Manila, Philippines – Peace activists and key civil society actors from different parts of Southeast Asia are set to embark on a solidarity and peace mission to Mindanao next week as part of a “Friends of the Bangsamoro” campaign, jointly organized by the Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID), Mindanao Peace Weavers (MPW) and Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict-South East Asia (GPPAC-SEA).

“Our aim is to mobilize the broadest and popular support for the successful conclusion of peace negotiations in Mindanao and the eventual passage of an inclusive Bangsamoro Basic Law,” said IID Executive Director Gus Miclat.

Delegates to the mission are GPPAC-SEA partners from Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, South Thailand and Timor Leste, and are key civil society actors involved in their respective peace and democratic processes. Partners from the GPPAC Global Secretariat in The Hague and other regional organizations are also participating.

The solidarity mission is also the formal launching of the “Friends of the Bangsamoro” campaign.

“Missions such as this are important and concrete expressions of regional and people-to-people solidarity,” Miclat added. “By bridging peoples, we build peace.”

Coincidentally, after the solidarity mission, the delegates shall be holding their meeting as the Regional Steering Committee of the GPPAC-SEA to take stock on their past work and lay out their next steps on joint efforts on building peace in the region. They are expected to tackle burning issues such as what is happening in Thailand now, the ongoing peace processes amidst the opening up in Burma and the continuing democratization challenges in Timor-Leste.

The organizers and delegates are also expected to meet with key agencies and government officials, from the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and Congress, and other stakeholders in the peace process including the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and civil society formations.