-Check against delivery-
Remarks by the Ambassador of Australia to the Philippines
HE Mr Bill Tweddell
at the N-PEACE Awarding Ceremony
9 October 2012
Ladies and gentlemen
- I would like in particular to acknowledge the presence today of His Excellency President Benigno S Aquino III and to welcome colleagues from UNDP and from Nepal, East Timor, Indonesia, Sir Lanka, Afghanistan and the Philippines.
- How very appropriate that we are holding this event here in the Philippines only days after an historic framework peace agreement was reached between the Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
- Australia’s Foreign Minister, Bob Carr, has publicly acknowledged President Aquino’s leadership in this matter.
- Australia is a major contributor to peace and security in Mindanao, through support for basic education, governance reforms and community resilience. We look forward now to furthering this partnership.
- Today we honour and recognise the particular efforts of women working to build peace in their nations.
- Although they frequently bear the brunt of the consequences of armed conflict, women can also be the key to preventing violence from emerging, to resolving conflict and to rebuilding societies.
- However women are still largely excluded from formal peace-making processes and decisions, and they are rarely present from the start.
- Yet women and women’s organisations have a wealth of knowledge and experience to contribute.
- The N-Peace awards recognise those who devote their lives to protect vulnerable women and girls in conflict affected zones, and promote women’s participation in peace and security, and development efforts.
- Australia is committed to supporting these efforts and I am delighted that Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced last June our continued support to UNDP through Phase II of the N-Peace Network.
- I am proud to be here today at the 2012 N-Peace Awards to celebrate the achievements of women leaders in conflict prevention and peace building
- their growing strength to function as a network, share ideas, implement good practice and increase dialogue between government and civil society
- Congratulations to all. I look forward to seeing the N-Peace network grow and strengthen as a platform for building sustainable peace and creating positive change.
- Thank you.