Sweden is a big funder in the institution for peacekeeping in the BARMM (Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao), Swedish Ambassador to the Philippines Annika Thunborg recently said in a virtual roundtable with The Manila Times.
The Ambassador said that Sweden is actively involved in promoting women’s empowerment and the strengthening of communities in the Philippines. “We want the women to take part in the peacekeeping. All actors have to be involved in peacebuilding and women are usually victims more than combatants, civilians, children,” the Ambassador said.
The establishment of the BARMM in 2019 was the culmination of several years of peace talks between the Philippine government and several autonomist groups. Later that year the Bangsamoro Women Commission (BWC) was inaugurated by the Government of Sweden together with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
Developed with the support of UNDP and other UN agencies, the BWC launched the Bangsamoro Regional Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security (RAP-WPS) 2020-2022 in October 2020, which seeks to enhance the role of Bangsamoro women in the implementation of the peace agreement and the protection of their human rights in conflict and post-conflict transformation.
“We are to a large extent a part of the European assistance committed to assisting in peace-building in BARMM. Making sure the government can function as a government and the rule of law,” Ambassador Annika Thunborg said. Women play major roles during natural disasters, conflicts, and pandemics, the Ambassador added.
“Capacity building and the actual transfer of knowledge is important in making sure that people can take charge of their future development through assistance, security, and humanitarian assistance,” she said.