Ateneo de Davao and several schools participated in “The Ireland Lesson: The Good Friday Agreement and The GPH-MILF Peace Agreement” last September 6.
The peace forum was held at the Finster Auditorium of AdDU with speakers Dominic Hannigan, Chair of the Committee that implemented the Good Friday Agreement, Meg Kagawa of Hiroshima University of Japan, and Mohagher Iqbal, Chair of the MILF Peace Panel.
The Peace Forum aims to strengthen the peace negotiation process between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GPH) by relating it to the peace negotiation in Ireland, called The Good Friday Agreement.
Among the schools who participated in the forum were University of Immaculate Concepcion, Holy Cross of Davao College, Assumption College of Davao, and Davao Doctors College.
The Good Friday Agreement was an arrangement that put an end to the conflict between the Catholics and the Protestants in Ireland regarding the issue of home role. The Catholics wanted to be separated from the United Kingdom while the Protestants wanted to remain under the British rule. This started the faction between North Ireland and South Ireland. However, on Good Friday of 1998, a peace agreement was signed, thus it was named “The Good Friday Agreement”.
Today, Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front are pursuing their own version of peace agreement. Both parties aims to put an end to the war in Mindanao by discussing just resolutions.
Ms. Meg Kagawa stated in an interview that though the peace negotiation between the GPH and MILF may be tough, considering that the MILF’s demand for a “sub-state”, it is not impossible. It can be attained if and only there is sincerity between the two opposing parties.
Many efforts were made from both parties, GPH and MILF, to reach for an agreement, but no single settlement was materialized. Ireland was successful in their efforts. Will Philippines learn its own lessons?