EU — International Monitoring Team in Mindanao

EU con­firms will­ing­ness to par­tic­i­pate in Inter­na­tion­al Mon­i­tor­ing Team in Min­danao, Philip­pines

Fol­low­ing a request from the Peace Pan­els of the Gov­ern­ment of the Philip­pines and of the Moro Islam­ic Lib­er­a­tion Front (MILF), the Euro­pean Union has con­firmed its will­ing­ness to par­tic­i­pate in the Inter­na­tion­al Mon­i­tor­ing Team (IMT) assist­ing the peace process in Min­danao. The EU has been asked to lead the Human­i­tar­i­an, Reha­bil­i­ta­tion and Devel­op­ment Com­po­nent of the IMT, and this par­tic­i­pa­tion will be finalised once appro­pri­ate terms of ref­er­ence have been agreed with the Par­ties in the peace talks.

Cather­ine Ash­ton, High Rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the EU for For­eign Affairs and Secu­ri­ty Policy/Vicepresident of the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion, said: “The Euro­pean Union attach­es great impor­tance to help­ing pro­mote peace and devel­op­ment in Min­danao, and has long been active in pro­vid­ing both devel­op­ment and human­i­tar­i­an assis­tance in the con­flict-affect­ed areas. The EU was hon­oured to be invit­ed by the Par­ties to assist fur­ther in the peace process, by tak­ing part in the IMT, and I see this as a very impor­tant con­tri­bu­tion which the EU can make, togeth­er with oth­er inter­na­tion­al part­ners, to help pro­mote peace, secu­ri­ty and pros­per­i­ty in Min­danao, and to help strength­en the long-term devel­op­ment of the Philip­pines.”

Since 2008, the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion pro­vid­ed more than €14.5 mil­lion (approx PhP 820 mil­lion, at cur­rent exchange rates) in human­i­tar­i­an assis­tance to help civil­ians affect­ed by the con­flict in Min­danao.

Back­ground

The peace talks broke down at end 2008, lead­ing to an upsurge of vio­lence which dis­placed sev­er­al hun­dreds thou­sand peo­ple. Since then, how­ev­er, the talks have resumed with Malaysia as facil­i­ta­tor. But there is still a big need to build con­fi­dence, hence impor­tance of inter­na­tion­al sup­port.

The Inter­na­tion­al Mon­i­tor­ing Team (IMT) was deployed in 2004, and by 2008 includ­ed per­son­nel from Malaysia (Third-Par­ty Facil­i­ta­tor and IMT Head), as well as Brunei, Japan and Libya. Nor­way has also indi­cat­ed its will­ing­ness to par­tic­i­pate in the IMT, sub­ject to agree­ment on Terms of Ref­er­ence. In addi­tion a num­ber of local and inter­na­tion­al civ­il-soci­ety organ­i­sa­tions will take part in the Civil­ian Pro­tec­tion Com­po­nent of the IMT. Revised Terms of Ref­er­ence for the IMT agreed in Decem­ber 2009 include four com­po­nents – Secu­ri­ty, Socio-Eco­nom­ic Assis­tance, and Civil­ian Pro­tec­tion com­po­nents, as well as the Human­i­tar­i­an, Reha­bil­i­ta­tion and Devel­op­ment com­po­nent which the EU will now lead.

With a view to assist­ing the Par­ties and the Facil­i­ta­tor in car­ry­ing the peace process for­ward, the Inter­na­tion­al Con­tact Group (ICG) was also estab­lished in Sep­tem­ber 2009. Its mem­bers include Japan, Turkey and the Unit­ed King­dom, as well as a num­ber of inter­na­tion­al NGOs.

EC devel­op­ment assis­tance grants to Min­danao since the 1990s have amount­ed to some €96 mil­lion in total, focus­ing on rur­al devel­op­ment and the envi­ron­ment, agrar­i­an reform, and the health sec­tor. In addi­tion, the EC has pro­vid­ed some €21 mil­lion in grants for liveli­hood sup­port and reha­bil­i­ta­tion for civil­ian vic­tims of con­flict, and some €23 mil­lion in human­i­tar­i­an assis­tance, par­tic­u­lar­ly for inter­nal­ly-dis­placed per­sons (IDPs). A num­ber of EU Mem­ber-States have also been active in pro­vid­ing devel­op­ment and human­i­tar­i­an assis­tance in Min­danao.

More gen­er­al­ly, the EU has been a long-stand­ing devel­op­ment part­ner of the Philip­pines, both in devel­op­ment assis­tance and in human­i­tar­i­an assis­tance. Total EC devel­op­ment coop­er­a­tion grants for the Philip­pines since our coop­er­a­tion began in 1976 have amount­ed to some €705 mil­lion, not includ­ing human­i­tar­i­an assis­tance amount­ing to €52 mil­lion (most recent­ly for the vic­tims of Typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng, for which the EU as a whole pro­vid­ed some €19 mil­lion in emer­gency assis­tance). In addi­tion, the EIB has pro­vid­ed loans amount­ing to some €414 mil­lion for infra­struc­ture and busi­ness-devel­op­ment projects in the Philip­pines.

Source:
Coun­cil of the Euro­pean Union