Wed. Sep 29th, 2021

The United Kingdom (UK) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) are working together to support the peacebuilding, community resilience, and conflict mediation capacities of women in the Bangsamoro region.

The British Embassy in Manila on Friday announced that the two have signed a new partnership to bolster the Bangsamoro Regional Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security (RAP-WPS) 2020-2022 established by the Bangsamoro Women’s Commission (BWC).

This new UK-UNDP partnership will support women’s engagement in preventing violence and violent extremism in their communities.

In addition, it will strengthen the capacities of community-based women leaders and peacebuilders in promoting peace and development.

“With the agreement, the UK government will support UNDP and the Bangsamoro Women’s Commission in their ongoing efforts to facilitate more involvement of Bangsamoro women in peacebuilding efforts and enable them to play critical roles as facilitators, convenors, and mediators in sustaining peace in the region,” the embassy said.

One of the program’s key initiatives is to support the Women Insider Mediators – Rapid Action and Mobilization Platform, a group of community-based women mediators from Moro and Indigenous Peoples communities in the Bangsamoro region.

The British Embassy’s Chargé d’Affaires Alastair Totty said the UK would “continue to place gender equality at the front and center of the UK’s program to promote economic growth, peace, and stability in the BARMM.”

UNDP Philippines Resident Representative Dr. Selva Ramachandran said “as in previous peace processes, UNDP stands ready to accompany the BWC, WIM-RAMP, and other WPS partners and stakeholders in the journey towards expanding roles and capacities of women in ensuring durability and sustainability of the Bangsamoro peace process.”

Meanwhile, BWC chairperson, MP (Member of Parliament) Bainon Karon, said she believes initiatives like this would “bring the women in, especially in transitional institutions and mechanisms required to enable broad-based implementation processes.”The UNDP, on the other hand, will further provide technical assistance to the BWC for the implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of the BARMM RAP-WPS in partnership with the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) and UN Women.

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