Dureza boosts Mindanao youth’s role in peace building

Says peace is a work of a lifetime

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Jesus Dureza on Thursday highlighted relationship-building as part of the youth’s role in doing peace work as he urged them to determine ways in which they can contribute to peace in their own localities. during the Youth Peace Table Training in Davao City.

“What we are doing right now is actually not only for the present generation, but it is more importantly for your generation. Don’t wait for us to finish the peace negotiations. Instead, you do it yourselves and you should even take the lead as peace is a work of a lifetime,” Dureza said during the Youth Peace Table Training in Davao City, a press statement from the Secretary’s office said Thursday.

The peace secretary underscored the importance of social cohesion for peace and development to be sustained and locally owned by their communities as a counter measure for the violent extremism that is gaining popularity in the young sector.

“These are things that are practically happening now and these are things that you have also to know in looking at the whole spectrum of peace work. Look at your own locality and find out what triggers conflict there and you’ll have to address it there from then,” he pointed out.

To recall, the paradigm of the Duterte administration does simultaneous peace and development efforts in order for peace dividends to be felt, thus addressing the need of the bigger peace table – the Filipino people.

“You’ll have therefore to slowly find out how you can bridge that so-called ideological divide. It takes time. It takes a lot of goodwill and takes a lot of building of trust. Thus, these are points that probably the young people who are still going to be doing this work in the ground should always keep in mind and remember, ” Dureza explained.

Dubbed as the “Kilos Kabataan Para sa Kapayapaan,” the three-day workshop provides an avenue for the young delegates to contribute their own inputs, knowledge and expertise on grassroots peace work, as well as capacitating individuals with the culture of peace and engaging them to draft an action plan.

Present in the training are the youth leaders and representatives from various schools and organizations namely the Youth for Peace Network, United Voices for Peace Network, Batang Transformers, Young Educators Convergence of SOCSKARGEN, Zabida-Nagdilab of Basilan, Youth Solidarity for Peace, Supreme Student Council, United Youth Acton Group of Maguindanao, Junior Chamber International, Ateneo de Davao University, National Anti-Poverty Commission’s (NAPC) Youth and Student Sector and the National Youth Commission (NYC).

The workshop started May 15 and will end May 19. It is part of the continuing consultation process of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) in its call for a more inclusive and transparent peace process.

It was organized in partnership with Miriam College’s Center for Peace Education, Agencia Espanola Cooperacion Internacional para el Desarollo (AECID), together with the Mindanao State University, Teach Peace Build Peace, Gen Peace, NAPC and NYC. (PNA)