by Mark Tristan J. Quimque
At the launching – EU representative Edoardo Manfredini (seated rightmost) and resource person Veronica Pedrosa and (seated beside him) with the event staff and representatives from EU’s partners.
In line with its long-standing commitment to the Mindanao peace process, the Delegation of theEuropean Union (EU) to the Philippines and its partners launched the 1stOctober 10 at the Al-Nor Hotel, Cotabato City.
Collaborating with EU as one of its partners in organizing this program is MSU-IIT’s Institute forPeace and Development in Mindanao (IPDM). EU’s other partners are the Center for Humanitarian Dialogue, National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, Institute for War and Peace Reporting, Konrad Adenauer Asian Center for Journalism, Ateneo de Manila University, the Photojournalists’ Center of the Philippines, and philstar.com. This program is also in collaboration with the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) and the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP).
The launching was attended by EU delegation to the Philippines headed by Mr. Edoardo Manfredini, EU Program Manager, representing EU Ambassador Guy Ledoux; Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) Chair Mohagher Iqbal; Dir. Marlon Dedumo of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP); veteran journalist Ms. Veronica Pedrosa of Aljazeera; representatives from EU’s partner organizations, and members of the media and civil society organizations. At the launching – EU representative Edoardo Manfredini (seated rightmost) and resource person Veronica Pedrosa and (seated beside him) with the event staff and representatives from EU’s partners.
“Today is a time of great promise but also a time when the new [Bangsamoro] governance structure is not yet in place. This is a time which should be used to explain to all stakeholders the benefit of this[GPH-MILF] agreement for the people of Mindanao and for the people of the Philippines. This is a time when the role of the media is even more important than at other times.” Ambassador Ledoux said in a statement read for him by Manfredini addressing the (media) participants.
The program aims to raise awareness about the impact and value of peace and the peace process, in general, and to generate information and a deeper understanding of the Bangsamoro peace process, in particular. It also intends to help the Philippine journalists appreciate their role as agents of peaceful social transformation through balanced, responsible, culturally-sensitive and conflict-sensitive reporting on peace and conflict stories; and to generate awareness, interest and appreciation for EU-supported activities in Mindanao in the context of the peace process.
The EU Peace Journalism Awards is a campaign which will run until May 2015. It is open to all Philippine-based journalists with the following categories: written text published in print media, online and broadcast media, photojournalism, campus journalism, and government advocacy peace projects.
Finalists will receive trophies, certificates, and special gadgets, while the grand winner will get the chance to travel to Brussels, Belgium to meet with peace advocates and fellow journalists.