Distrust hampers GRP-NDF peace talks

Norwegian Special Envoy to the Philippine peace process Elisabeth Slåttum of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs cited the need for local intiatives on peacebuilding in a forum held in Oslo Photo by Macel Ingles

OSLO – Norwegian Special Envoy to the Philippine peace process Elisabeth Slåttum of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said civil society should put pressure on the Philippine government (GRP) and the National Democratic Front (NDF) to return to the negotiating table to address the substantive agenda in the peace process.

“It is a lonely process and civil society is what we need. There should be a formal mechanism between the (negotiating) table and the ground. This is important to pressure (negotiating) parties to stay on the table and feel ownership of the process,” Slåttum said about the GRP-NDF peace talks.

She added the talks have also been hampered by the “mountain of distrust” between the two parties and that this needs to be addressed for the talks to move forward.

She also admitted that the peace process involving the GRP and the NDF had more downs than ups in the last 15 years and has been bogged down by procedural questions such as terrorist listing, ceasefire conditions, and releases of political prisoners.

Author: Macel Ingles, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau

Read the whole article in ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau

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