Wed. Dec 2nd, 2020
EU thanks PH gov’t, MILF on designation of monitoring team chair

The European Union (EU) Delegation to the Philippines on Tuesday thanked the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) for the recent designation of Heino Marius as the new Chair of the Third Party Monitoring Team (TPMT).

EU Chargé d’Affaires Thomas Wiersing (PNA)

In a statement, EU Chargé d’Affaires Thomas Wiersing also reiterated Europe’s commitment to the peace process. Since 2008, the EU has been one of the biggest supporters of the Mindanao Peace Process through a comprehensive approach.

“The European Union is pleased to note that the Peace Implementing Panels of the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front have designated Heino Marius as Chair of the Third Party Monitoring Team”, Wiersing said.

He emphasized that the EU supports the political settlement through providing a humanitarian and human rights law expert to the International Monitoring Team (IMT) and supports the functioning of the TPMT which monitors the implementation of all the agreements signed by the parties, including the 2014 peace agreement.

A German national, Marius joined the European Commission in 1993 and served in various posts in EU Delegations in Ethiopia and India. In 2000, he was posted at EC headquarters in Brussels, and as Deputy Head of Unit for Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives. Since the third quarter of 2013, Marius serves as Deputy Head of Division for South East Asia with the European External Action Service (EEAS).

As a key partner in promoting peace, security, and economic development in Mindanao, the EU is also spot-on in addressing the wider effect of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) among vulnerable groups through its Peace and Development in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (PD BARMM), a Php1.4 billion funding aimed to improve the social cohesion and resiliency of communities, and at the same time, address the health, social and economic impact of COVID-19 in the region.

The Php1.4 billion likewise helps to consolidate the hard-won peace in Bangsamoro by supporting the new administration, the parliament, the judicial system, and civil society through the transition.

Rise Mindanao, another EU program, focuses on the immediate priority of food security by supporting agro-cooperatives and strengthening the service delivery of local authorities. 

With the EU providing Php2 billion, this program helps to provide job opportunities for farmers, women, youth, and indigenous people.

Through its civil society partners, the EU is also working on COVID-19 information campaigns such as advocacy materials to inform communities on how to prevent the virus and cope with the pandemic.

Multi-lingual videos and infographics are being produced and disseminated widely, in particular to youth and women, to increase public understanding of COVID-19.

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