Mr. Secretary-General, Excellencies,
Since 2014, the Philippines has benefitted from the Peacebuilding Fund. In coordination with the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, headed by General Galvez, a man of war and peace, these pooled resources were instrumental in building the capacities of the State and non-state partners to sustain and nurture peace through a more inclusive peace process characterized by an all-Moro dialogue and consensus.
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is committed to a just and lasting peace in southern Philippines. When the allocated budget for BARMM, this bold experiment on autonomy ran out—old fighters are not auditors, he told us in the Cabinet, “So what. Budget the same amount again. Better to spend than kill each other.” He cannot abide that innocent Filipinos seeking peace albeit each with their own idea of that peace, should find it in the graveyard.
The Peacebuilding Architecture evolved from an “afterthought” in the peace process to a “principle” governing all UN engagements in preventive action, peacemaking, peacekeeping, and post-conflict recovery and reconstruction. It is the UN’s most important role in fulfilling its purpose to spare humanity the scourge of war.
In response to the Secretary-General’s call for a “quantum leap of support to the Fund”, the Philippines is honored to pledge fifty thousand US dollars towards the PBF for the year 2021. It’s not much but we’ll keep looking for money which cannot be better spent than for peace.