Youth party hails success of exploratory talks in Oslo

By , on June 17, 2016

Photo: Kabataan Partylist/Facebook
Photo: Kabataan Partylist/Facebook

MANILA—The Kabataan Partylist hailed on Thursday the successful conclusion of the two-day preliminary talks between representatives of the incoming Duterte administration and the National Democratic Front (NDF) in Oslo, Norway and said that the speedy agreement of both sides to accelerate the peace negotiations is a good way to jump-start the stalled peace process.

Kabataan Partylist Rep. Sarah Elago said the youth are also expressing high hopes for the outcome of the formal peace negotiation slated to begin on the third week of July, also in Oslo.

“The youth extend our warmest congratulations to the representatives of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte and the NDF for the success of the preliminary talks in Norway. The speedy agreement between the incoming government and the NDF on the points for discussion in the formal peace negotiations shows the sincerity of both parties to pursue just and lasting peace,” Elago said.

Earlier, the two panels had signed a joint statement signifying their commitment to discuss during the formal round of negotiations five substantive points:

* The affirmation of previously signed agreements;

* Accelerated process for negotiations, including the timeline for the completion of the remaining substantive agenda for the talks which include socioeconomic reforms, political and constitutional reforms, and end of hostilities and disposition of forces;

* Reconstitution of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) list;

* Amnesty Proclamation for the release of all detained political prisoners, subject to the concurrence by Congress; and,

* Mode of interim ceasefire.

However, despite high hopes for the new round of peace negotiations, Elago said that the youth will remain vigilant and closely monitor the progress of the negotiations due to the government’s failure to honor pertinent points of previously signed agreements under previous administrations.

She said these agreements included the Hague Joint Declaration of 1992 and JASIG.

In the meantime, the Kabatan Partylist solon said that they would intensify campaigns to highlight the importance of the peace negotiations for the youth and other marginalized sectors.

“We plan to hold nationwide peace gatherings aimed at actively pushing for the youth’s peace agenda which we aim to forward to the joint peace panel. This agenda includes fundamental changes in the system of education and the fulfillment of the youth’s call for free public education at all levels,” Elago said.