Deles stresses importance of civil society in crafting peace

November 30, 2010 10:52 am 

MANILA, Nov. 30 –- Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Q. Deles has cited the role of civil society in “crafting a peace shared by all.”

Deles made the statement in a speech at the 2010 Peace Weavers Awards Night in Zamboanga City on Sunday.

“We are weaving a peace tapestry —the more threads are interwoven, the more colors arrayed, the more textures combined, the more beautiful and durable it is,” Deles added.

She stressed civil society’s valuable contribution to the peace process that includes broader base of support which impacts the lives of people.

Civil society also holds negotiating parties accountable for their actions and helps tracks down early signs of conflict and prevents it from further escalation.

“We are crafting a peace shared by all, and in the process, our appreciation of the distinct but complementary roles of the different stakeholders have become deeper and more palpable,” she said.

Deles said the work of civil society as peace builders is never a simple task.

“It’s not easy, especially for those who have seen up close what armed fighting can do to civilians —especially women and children— being with them as they flee, attending to the wounded, safeguarding the little they have left, keeping them from further harm, being with them in their homelessness, pain and uncertain future,” she said.

“It is not easy, but we persevere, because our people cannot afford to suffer again and anymore,” she added.

With the support of civil society, “peace is breaking out in places where people have experienced in the first place.”

“We are ready to talk peace again, as we commit also to fast-track the work of development on the ground. But we still have more to talk about and work on to ensure genuine peace in our country,” Deles said.

She congratulated the Peace Advocates Zamboanga (PAZ) and the Interreligious Solidarity Movement for Peace (IRSMP) for their efforts in organizing the yearly Mindanao Week of Peace Award.

The Peace Weavers Award is given to individuals, groups, institutions and communities who have demonstrated selfless service to others and promoted harmony between and among persons and communities.

These include those who are taking steps to bring people in conflict together; modeling a way of relating with people that shunned prejudice or conditions of peace; organizing or implementing a significant role in programs that promote respect and appreciation for persons and institutions and what they value; and performing specific actions that led to a higher level of peace in the community.

This year’s individual awardees were Hji. Ahmad W. Sakaluran (posthumously), Ret. LGen. Mohammad Ben Dolorfino, and Mr. Gualberto F. Largo.

Tzu Chi Foundation, Inc. and the World Vision Human Development Foundation were likewise recognized for their institutional contributions.

Special Peace Citations were also given to Dr. Norma Vecina (Education), Hon. Manuel Q. Banua (Governance), Prof. Norma Conti (Music), ABS-CBN Zamboanga (Media), and Ms. Lorna Pulalon (Education-Posthumous). (PNA)

LDV/RBC/mec

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