Madrid, Spain (19, Nov)– Current and former diplomats and officials of regional inter-governmental organizations endorsed a campaign for a negotiated political settlement of the armed conflicts in the Philippines in a conference between civil society and multi-laeral organizations in Madrid today.

Two Deputy Secretary-Generals of regi0nal formations, a former Secreteray General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), senior officials, former ambassadors, and a former Dutch Defense Minister were among those who signed a petition of the One Million Voices for Peace in the Philippines (OMVP) campaign in the First International Conference Strenghtening Global Peace and Security for Development organized by the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) and the Organization of American States (OAS). The conference was hosted by the Ibero-American General Secretariat (SEGIB).

Ambassador Albert Ramdin, Deputy Secretary General of the OAS led the signatories. Ramdin was joined by Ms Andie Fong Toy, Deputy Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum and Ambassador Rodolfo Severino, former Secretary General of ASEAN. Other signatories were Dr. Joris Vooorhoeve, former Defense Minister of the Netherlands, Azizuddin Ahmadzada, Director at the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), Kwaku Asante, Senior Expert at the African Union Commission, Samuel Urrutia, President of the Business Council of Latin America (CEAL).

The Madrid conference tackled perspectives and experiences of civil society engagement with regional organizations particularly on issues of conflict prevention, peace-building and democracy. A Madrid Declaration calling for prevention as an effective and cost efficient approach to respond to crisis situations and encouraging partenrships among states, regional organizations and civil society to use such was issued at the end of the conference. An ad hoc steering committee composed of representatives of th different participants was likewise to be organized after the conference.

The OMVP is a campaign launched by the Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID), a regional advocacy and soliadrity institution based in Davao City in Mindanao in Philiippines.
IID is a founding member of GPPAC.

The OMVP was also recently endorsed by former Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines President and DAvao ARchbishop Fernando Capalla