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Independent Third Party Monitoring Team visits Philippines

IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation took part in the Independent Third Party Monitoring Team (TPMT) established by the Philippines government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in the context of their peace process.
05.10.2013

A framework agreement between Philippines government and MILF, which has been waging a struggle for independence in the south of the country for 40 years, was signed in October, 2012.

The Philippines government admitted to the establishment of an autonomous region named, “Bangsamoro,” and an independent team was established to monitor the implementation of the terms of the agreement.

The independent team paid a visit to Manila and Cotobato between Sept.23 and 28. During their visit, the team members exchanged views with various key actors and civil society representatives in Manila and Cotobato concerning the implementation of the framework agreement and the success of the peace process.

 

Full text of press release

TPMT visits Manila and Cotobato

The independent Third Party Monitoring Team (TPMT), established by the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in the context of their peace process, made its first visit to the Philippines from 23 to 28 September.
Alistair MacDonald, the TPMT chair, said at the close of their visit that “my colleagues and I were encouraged by the strongest commitment to peace underlined by all of our contacts, whether in the government or the MILF, or among civil society and other key actors. Much has been done already, and much remains to be done, both in completing the remaining annexes to the Framework Agreement and in implementing these mutually-agreed commitments. But it was clear that both Parties are absolutely determined to make this work.”

All five members of the TPMT were present for their first visit, as a team, to the Philippines – Zainuddin Malang and Karen Tañada from MinHRAC and from the Gaston Z. Ortigas Peace Institute, Huseyin Oruç and Steven Rood from IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation and from The Asia Foundation, together with the Chair.

Mr MacDonald noted that during this visit they had been able to meet both with OPAPP (Secretary Teresita Quintos Deles and Panel Chair Miriam Coronel-Ferrer) and with the MILF (Central Committee and Panel Chair Mohagher Iqbal), with members of the Transition Commission, of the International Contact Group and the International Monitoring Team, and with representatives of civil society both in Manila and in Cotabato.
He added that the real work of the TPMT could only fully commence once the two outstanding annexes (on Power-sharing and on Normalisation) had been completed and added to the already-agreed Framework Agreement and its annexes on Transitional Modalities and on Wealth-sharing. Nevertheless it had been essential for the TPMT to commence its preparatory work already now, reaching out to the key stakeholders, outlining the mandate of the TPMT, and most of all listening to these key actors and hearing of their thoughts and expectations for the way ahead and for how the TPMT could best fulfil its mandate.
All members of the TPMT joined Mr MacDonald in expressing their condolences to the families of the victimsof the recent violence in Zamboanga.

Manila, September 30, 2013

 

Background

The Third Party Monitoring Team was established by the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro of October 2012, being tasked to monitor the implementation of all agreements between the Parties.

The terms of reference of the TPMT were adopted by the Parties in January 2013, noting inter alia that the TPMT will “monitor, review and assess the implementation of all signed agreements, primarily the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro and its Annexes”. In particular, this will include monitoring and evaluating the implementation of all agreements between the Parties, reviewing and assessing the implementation of commitments by both Parties (submitting reports, observations and recommendations to both Parties for their consideration), and communicating to the public the progress and developments in the implementation of the agreements. The TPMT shall convene every two months and as they deem necessary. The TPMT mandate will run through until the completion of the Exit Document when all agreements have been fully implemented.

The members of the TPMT were nominated in May-June, and had their inaugural meeting in Kuala Lumpur in July, on the margins of the 38th exploratory talks between the Parties. The TPMT meetings in Manila and Cotabato from 23 to 28 September marked their first visit, as a team, to the Philippines.

The five members of the TPMT include representatives from two local NGOs and two international NGOS (one of each nominated by each Party). The chair is an independent international person jointly nominated by the two Parties. The five members of the TPMT are

- Zainuddin Malang, Executive Director of the Mindanao Human Rights Action Centre
- Huseyin Oruç, Vice-President of IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation (a Turkish humanitarian NGO)
- Steven Rood, Country Representative of The Asia Foundation
- Karen Tañada, Executive Director of the Gaston Z. Ortigas Peace Institute
- and Alistair MacDonald, Chair (former EU Ambassador to the Philippines 2006-
11, currently on leave from the EU prior to his retirement at the end of this year)

The start-up activities of the TPMT have been financially supported by the
Governments of Norway and of the United Kingdom as well as by the organisations
involved.

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