Aug 2012

Building structures for peace

Where in the world does an armed revolutionary group and the standing government of the day join together to develop the leadership and management capacity of the armed group for its own future? In Mindanao, in the Republic of the Philippines.

This unique initiative is in fact a dividend of a 2007 agreement which gave birth to the Bangsamoro Leadership and Management Institute. The BLMI is designed to train future leaders of the Bangsamoro people and increase their capacities in good governance, political transition and leadership, in preparation for the establishment of the new political entity.

If I have to underscore the many gains that the negotiating process between the government and the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front) achieved, I would count the establishment of the Bangsamoro Leadership and Management Institute (BLMI) to be close to the top of the list.

Dean Marvic Leonen, panel chair, Government of the Philippines

During the 22nd Formal Exploratory Talks in 2011 - 23 August in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - the Government of the Philippines gave 5 million pesos to the running of the BLMI and on 7 June 2012 both negotiating panels witnessed the Japanese government handing over a new building to the BLMI. It is envisaged that up to 500 people a year will be trained in the new facility located in Simuay village in Maguinao province.

The BLMI, as a structure for peace, is a confidence building measure which shows the armed, political and community leaders the sincere intention of both the Philippine government and the MILF, to move towards peace, as peace talks continue and the ceasefire holds.