| Cotabato

Norway Supports Peace Building in Bangsamoro

 Ambassador Bjørn Jahnsen met with Norway’s on ground representatives of IDB in Cotabato - Photo: Ambassador Bjørn Jahnsen met with Norway’s on ground representatives of IDB in Cotabato
Ambassador Bjørn Jahnsen met with Norway’s on ground representatives of IDB in Cotabato

During a recent visit to Mindanao, Norway’s Ambassador to the Philippines, Bjørn Jahnsen, visited project partners working on peace building in the region.

Norway is a consistent partner for peace in the Philippines. Since 2001, Norway has been the third party facilitator in negotiations between in the Philippine Government (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

Norway also supports the Bangsamoro peace process since 2010, initially as member of the International Monitoring Team (IMT) during the ceasefire operations between the MILF and the Philippine Government, and now through the Independent Decommissioning Body (IDB).

Norway has four international representatives on the ground in Cotabato today, and is the current Vice Chairman of IDB that oversees the decommissioning of former combatants from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Ambassador Bjorn Jahnsen, Ms. Larissa Kosanovic, together with the women of Aleosan North Cotabato

Ambassador Bjorn Jahnsen, Ms. Larissa Kosanovic, together with the women of Aleosan North Cotabato

During their visit to Mindanao Ambassador Bjørn Jahnsen and Deputy Head of Mission Larissa Falkenberg Kosanovic met with the women from Aleosan, North Cotabato for the WePeace: Women in Peacekeeping project.

The WePeace: Women in Peacekeeping aims to train women as peace builders in their conflict affected communities, in partnership with the Center for Peace Education (CPE) – Miriam College and Balay Mindanaw.

Bjørn Jahnsen and Larissa Kosanovic from the Embassy with youth of BARMM, LakasKabataan and IOM.

Bjørn Jahnsen and Larissa Kosanovic from the Embassy with youth of BARMM, LakasKabataan and IOM.

Jahnsen and Kosanovic also visited the satellite office of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Cotabato to discuss a joint initiative on addressing the drivers of instability and recruitment to radical movements in the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

IOM Philippines Chief of Mission Philippines Kristin Dadey discuss updates from the project

IOM Philippines Chief of Mission Philippines Kristin Dadey discuss updates from the project sites

Ambassador Jahnsen also met Minister Bainon Karon, Chair of the Bangsamoro Women Commission, to discuss Women, Peace, and Security initiatives, and their programs and policies in the new autonomous region.

Meeting with Minister Bainon Karon, of the Bangsamoro Commission

Meeting with Minister Bainon Karon, of the Bangsamoro Commission

Ambassador Jahnsen underlined during the meeting the crucial role of women in peace processes, and the important part they play in achieving a sustainable peace. The Philippines will be one of Norway’s priority countries for its women and peace initiatives in the coming years.

The successful site visits was concluded with a shared lunch a la boodle fight, which is also a symbol of equality and solidarity among Filipinos.

The successful site visits was concluded with a shared lunch a la boodle fight, which is also a symbol of equality and solidarity among Filipinos.

Earlier this year, Norway launched its Fourth Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security 2019 - 2021 that details Norway’s systematic focus on the gender perspective in implementing crosscutting peace and security initiatives. The Philippines is one of the priority countries for this Action Plan.

Norway is a candidate for the UN Security Council 2021-2022 and aims to defend a humanitarian and rules-based global order.