United Youth of the Philippines-Women applauds the initiatives of the Government of the Philippines and Moro Islamic Liberation Front to end the decades-long conflict in Muslim Mindanao. The commitment of GPH and MILF to the peace process is most beneficial to the Bangsamoro People who, for a long time, has been suffering from injustice and negligence that is aggravated by continuous conflicts in their communities. Thus, the Framework Agreement is a substantial victory for the Bangsamoro People.   We are hoping that it will finally pave the way for a just and lasting peace for all Muslims, Christians, and Indigenous People in our region.

The Framework Agreement is the manifestation of the struggle for self-determination of the Bangsamoro People; however it is not yet the conclusion. It is just the foundation of a long and arduous process towards self-governance. Our society is still ridden with human rights violations and gender-based violence, the provision of basic social needs and services is still inadequate. Our society cannot undergo efficient transformation overnight.

It is the crucial role of all civil society organizations and all who are aspiring for justice, peace, and development to continue addressing the current situation of our war-torn region, especially the plight of the women and children who are most vulnerable to injustice and abuses brought about by war. It is a collective effort from all state and non-governmental institutions to uplift the socioeconomic situation of our region, in accordance with the transition and eventual establishment of the Bangsamoro Government.

More importantly, all stakeholders should be extra vigilant that the mechanisms of the transition period, the stipulations of the Bangsamoro Basic Law, and the components of the Bangsamoro Government will uphold human rights and promote gender justice and gender balance. We should carefully analyze the details of the Framework Agreement to ensure that there are no underlying schemes that will result to unilateral benefits but detrimental to the interests and aspirations of the Bangsamoro People. We should keep an eye to both GPH and the MILF that they may remain firm on the peace process and resolute to bring about social, political, and judicial reforms in the region.

Ultimately, UnYPhil-Women is beckoning all women to get involved in the process of transforming our society; we should impart our wisdom and compassion for the betterment of our sector and of our children.

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