23 September 2019, Jakarta – The ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation (ASEAN-IPR) today launched a publication entitled “Lessons Learned from a Process of Conflict Resolution between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) as Mediated by Indonesia (1993-1996).” The project, led by ASEAN-IPR Indonesia and funded by the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF), is the first research project launched under the auspices of the Jakarta-based Institute. The ceremonial book launching was immediately followed by a seminar on the outcomes of the research project.

The research looks into to the lessons learned during the four rounds of Peace Talks mediated by the Government of Indonesia, which led to the signing of the Final Peace Agreement in 1996. It has benefitted greatly from interviews with key players from both the Philippines and Indonesia, historical archives and scholarly papers.

Launching MNLF Publication 1

Ambassador Noel Servigon receives a copy of the publication from Dr. Darmp Sukontasap, 2019 Chair of the ASEAN-IPR Governing Council

Addressing approximately 100 guests, Vice-Minister Fachir noted that “as one of the prominent success stories of peaceful conflict resolution, the peace process between the GRP and MNLF provided lessons from the region on how countries can settle a conflict through peaceful settlements of dispute in ASEAN.”

In his welcome remarks, Ambassador Servigon underscored the value of the publication, especially in showing the “importance of mediators as champions of peace and how diplomacy became instrumental in forging peace between the GRP and the MNLF.” He also expressed the fervent hope that “more of this kind of project will be launched to contribute to the ever-growing body of knowledge that is crucial to promoting peace in Southeast Asia.

Launching MNLF Publication 2

Ambassador Noel Servigon, Permanent Representative of the Philippines to ASEAN, delivering his welcome remarks.

The Seminar on the Outcomes of the research project consisted of 2 substantive sessions: (a) Reflections of the Role of Indonesia in Facilitating the 1993-1996 Peace Talks and (b) Looking Ahead at the Significance of Facilitation in the Resolution of Conflicts in ASEAN.

Launching MNLF Publication 3

Members of the ASEAN-IPR Governing Council and Advisory Board, Permanent Representatives of ASEAN Member States to ASEAN, Philippine and Indonesian key players in the peace talks, and the project team pose for the official photo with Vice-Minister Fachir (8th from the right).

Atty. Nabil Tan, Member of the GRP Negotiating Panel, and Mr. Muslimin Sema, Former Chairman of the Moro National Liberation Front from 2008 to 2017, also gave their own viewpoints on the historical peace process during the panel discussions. The event was also attended by Director Jana Gallardo of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, Philippine civil society organizations and media outlets. END.