Peace on Local Terms: Discussing Peacebuilding in the Philippines

The Norwegian Peace Association and Forum for Development and Environment have the pleasure to welcome Cesar Villanueva, Director for Popular Peace Education at Pax Christi Institute Philippines, to the Peace House. We invite everyone interested, to a discussion with Villanueva on peacebuilding in the Philippines, Friday June 5th, at 12:00-14:00.

In March 2014 the government of the Philippines and the rebel group Moro Islamic Liberation Front signed a peace treaty, which ended decades of armed conflict on the island of Mindanao. The treaty paves the way for increased autonomy and control over resources for the Bangsamoro population in Mindanao. At the same time the peace process between the government and the Communist Party of the Philippines has been stalled since 2013.

How did local efforts pave the way for the treaty between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front? How did the international community support these local efforts? To what extent can lessons from the work leading up to the treaty, between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, be relevant to the work on other conflicts in the country?

The Norwegian Peace Association (NPA) and Forum for Development and Environment (ForUM) hereby invite everyone to a discussion on peacebuilding in the Philippines. Cesar Villanueva Director for Popular Peace Education at Pax Christi Institute Philippines, Elisabeth Slåttum, Norwegian Special Envoy to the Philippines Peace Process at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Aron Halfen, Program Coordinator in Caritas will give introductions on their work and perspectives on peacebuilding in the Philippines, both related to the conflict between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, and the conflict between the government and the Communist Party of the Philippines.

Time: June 5th 2015, 12:00-14:00
Location: Fredshuset, Møllergata 12, 7th floor, Oslo


12.00 – 12.15: Opening by Borghild Tønnessen-Krokan (ForUM) and Fredrik Heldal (NPA)

12.15 – 12.45: Presentation by Cesar Villanueva

12.45 – 13.00: Presentation by Elisabeth Slåttum

13.00 – 13.15: Presentation by Aron Halfen

13.15 – 14.00: Q&A and discussion

Registration is required. Please sign up for the discussion to by June 4th.

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Short bio:

Cesar Villanueva is the Director for Popular Peace Education at Pax Christi Institute and a part-time faculty teaching creative conflict transformation and reconciliation at the Graduate school at the University of St. La Salle in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, Philippines. He is a consultant on conflict sensitivity using do no harm, conflict transformation, transformative mediation, peacebuilding and reconciliation. His works on peace futures and peace weaving have helped organizations and communities in the Philippines build equitable and sustainable peace. He is the national convenor of TRANSCEND Pilipinas, a peace, development and environment network affiliated with Johan Galtung.

Elisabeth Slåttum is a Norwegian diplomat and was appointed Special Envoy to the Peace Process between the Government of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) in 2014. Prior to this, she was part of the Norwegian facilitation team in the peace process between the Colombian Government and the FARC. Previously, she has been engaged in dialogue and conciliation efforts in Haiti and the Dominican Republic and in the efforts to coordinate international support to the Nepali peace process in the post-agreement phase.

Aron Halfen is Program Coordinator for Asia/Africa in Caritas Norway. He is active in several organizations in Norway, including the Latin America Groups and SeilNorge. He has a broad background working on topics related to climate and development, and has experience working as an Adviser at the foundation Zero Emmissions Resource Organization (ZERO) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Borghild Tønnessen-Krokan is Senior Adviser at Forum for Development and Environment (ForUM), a network of 50 Norwegian NGOs. Current focus areas are the post-2015 agenda, peace and arms trade issues. Board Member of the global Control Arms Coalition that was nominated to the Nobel Peace Prize for its advocacy for the Arms Trade Treaty. Consultant in Cuba 2012-2014 for UNDP, NUPI and SUM. Previous positions include Project Manager at the Human Rights House Foundation and Information Director at Center for Climate and Environmental Research - Oslo (CICERO).

Fredrik Heldal is Director of the Norwegian Peace Association (NPA), which works on thematic areas like arms trade drone warfare, and autonomous weapon systems. He has previously worked on issues related to human rights and conflict prevention in Nepal, the Philippines, Argentina and Egypt.

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