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EU vows continuing support to Mindanao and its peace process

BANGSAMORO NEWS UPDATES • 04:27 AM Thu Dec 10, 2015
European Union Ambassador Franz Jessen

MANILA -- European Union Ambassador Franz Jessen today vowed continuing support to the Mindanao peace process. The European Union is impressed by the fact that the government's and the MILF's commitment to the peace process despite the delay of the adoption of the Bangsamoro Basic Law has not changed, Ambassador Jessen said, and inspired with this firm resolve to peace, the EU's eagerness and readiness to support the calls for a negotiated political settlement in Mindanao remains. Meeting the press, the EU ambassador announced that he will visit Cotabato for the first time from 11 to 12 December 2015 to meet with peace stakeholders and to express the EU's continuous support.Ambassador Jessen said that despite the challenges encountered, the EU has decided to increase its funding to support peace and development in Mindanao. The EU remains one of the biggest foreign donors providing aid to Mindanao through a comprehensive approach supporting the political settlement and supporting longer term development.Mindanao is expected to benefit from two focal sectors identified in the EU development strategy for the Philippines (2014 to 2020) such as inclusive growth through access to sustainable energy and job creation, and strengthening the rule of law.In parallel, the European Union has launched a new programme in support of the peace process and is providing € 5.5 m (Php 275 million) to allow for a smooth transition and to create conditions for the establishment of the autonomous region of the Bangsamoro and the election of its government.The programme will contribute to peace building and conflict mitigation, support the implementation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro and strengthen local institutions and political processes.The grants are being channelled through the Non Violent Peace Forces, NGO Fondation Suisse de Deminage, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, United Nations Development Programme and Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue. (PNA)

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