SPEECHES-Message of Minister Akio Isomata during the Inauguration Ceremony of BHWC

HON. MAYOR DATU LESTER SINSUAT, Municipality of Datu Odin Sinsuat

HON. ACTING SECRETARY POMBAEN KARON-KADER, Department of Social Welfare and Development-Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao

BRIGADIER GENERAL REY ARDOChairman, Government of the Philippines – Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities

Major General Datuk Baharom Bin Hamzah, Head of Mission, International Monitoring Team

HON. SAID SHIEK, Chairman, Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) – Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities

USTADZ MOHAMMAD SHUAIB YACOB, Executive Director, Bangsamoro Development Agency

 MS. NORAIDA ABO, Program Director, United Youth of the Philippines-Women, Inc.

 Distinguished Guests,

 Ladies and Gentlemen:

I am deeply honored to join you all today in this inauguration ceremony, and I am very grateful for the heartfelt welcome you have extended to me and my colleagues.

In 2006, the Government of Japan launched the Japan-Bangsamoro Initiatives for Reconstruction and Development or the J-BIRD to show our commitment to supporting peace and development efforts in Mindanao in concrete terms. Since then, we have supported projects that cater to the basic needs of local people in various conflict-affected communities in Mindanao. We are pleased to have an opportunity this time to have partnership with UNYPHIL-Women for providing another J-BIRD project to the people of Mindanao in need. UNYPHIL-Women has been engaged in noble initiatives to support vulnerable women and children. It is encouraging to know that UNYPHIL-Women has provided much-needed service to these women and children under difficult conditions and under the circumstances that they did not have their own facilities.

Now, the Bangsamoro Human Wellness Center stands before us. I strongly believe that this facility will be utilized to the maximum extent, so that the necessary social services and capacity building training will be continuously provided here to as many suffering women and children as possible to rebuild their lives.

In closing, I would like to thank all of you who painstakingly worked for the successful completion of this project. I truly hope that this facility will always remind us of the collective efforts of the Japanese and Filipino people to improve the lives of women and children in Mindanao. You can rest assured that Japan will continue to be a staunch supporter for the stability and development of Mindanao through the J-BIRD and whatever assistance it can extend.

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