Welcoming the announcement of a peace agreement to end decades of fighting between the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) on the island of Mindanao in the country’s south, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today pledged full United Nations assistance in helping the parties implement the accord, according to his spokesperson.
“The Secretary-General expresses his heartfelt wishes for peace and prosperity to the Government and the people of the Philippines, in particular the people of Bangsamoro, to be created in Mindanao as a new autonomous political entity in the country,” Mr. Ban’s spokesperson added in a statement.
President Benigno Aquino announced yesterday in Manila, the Philippines' capital, that his Government has reached a preliminary agreement of autonomy with the MILF, which has been fighting for decades for an independent Islamic state in the southern Philippines.
The new autonomous region will be named Bangsamoro. The accord reportedly comes after 15 years of negotiations, with the latest round taking place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Describing the accord as a “landmark achievement,” the spokesperson said the UN chief commends President Aquino for his vision and courage, as well as the commitment of the MILF leadership, in reaching the agreement.
“The Secretary-General is grateful to all national and international actors, in particular the Government of Malaysia, for their contributions to the success of the peace negotiations,” he noted, adding that the United Nations “stands ready to provide assistance to the parties, as needed, in implementing the Framework Peace Agreement.”