Australian Ambassador welcomes finalisation of Annex and Addendum on Bangsamoro peace agreement
The Australian Ambassador to the Philippines has congratulated Parties on completing the final Annex and Addendum as part of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement on the Bangsamoro and welcomed it as a new opportunity for peace and stability in Mindanao.
His Excellency Bill Tweddell, the Australian Ambassador in Manila, today welcomed the finalisation of the Annex on Normalisation and Addendum on Waters as part of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
Ambassador Tweddell said, “We congratulate the Philippines Government, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and all the panel members on finalising the Annex on Normalisation and the Addendum on Waters. We recognise the significant efforts of all the parties who have worked tirelessly toward this goal.”
Since the Framework Agreement for the Bangsamoro was signed between the Philippines Government and MILF in October 2012, the two negotiating panels, assisted by a facilitator from Malaysia, have worked to develop the comprehensive agreement which will establish the new autonomous Bangsamoro.
“I commend the political leadership of President Aquino, who has prioritised this agreement to bring peace to Mindanao,” added Ambassador Tweddell.
Finalisation of the Normalisation Annex and the Addendum on Waters paves the way for completion of a Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the Philippines Government and the MILF. This would be a historic achievement, seeking to end decades of conflict in the region.
Australia has provided support to the peace process, including through an expert on the Independent Commission on Policing, formed to develop recommendations on policing in the new autonomous region.
This support will continue, with almost half of the broader Australian aid program currently focused in Mindanao, working in areas such as education, economic development and disaster risk reduction
“We recognise the work that needs to be done in Mindanao,” said Ambassador Tweddell, “and we stand with the Filipino people in our commitment to the long term stability and development of the region.”
Once the Comprehensive Agreement is concluded, Congress will review the Basic Law for the Bangsamoro, which will then be ratified by the people in the newly created region.
“Today is a great step on the path toward a more peaceful, secure and prosperous Mindanao,” said Ambassador Tweddell.