International Lawyers’ Resolution on the Philippines Calling for Resumption of Peace Negotiations in a Foreign Neutral Venue

WHEREAS, we are in receipt of depressing information and disturbing reports that the political, economic and social situation in the Philippines have turned from bad to worse, resulting in continuing injustice and impunity and in deprivation and discrimination;

WHEREAS, various forms of violations of human rights law and international humanitarian law and the failure of the Philippine government to fulfill its obligations and pledges under international legal covenants and instruments it has entered into continue with disregard or impunity;

WHEREAS, such situation calls for accountability and mechanisms to ensure respect for human rights and international humanitarian law and needs institution of basic social, economic and political reforms;

WHEREAS, we are keenly aware that there is an ongoing armed conflict in the Philippines for the longest time and we welcome serious efforts to resolve this through peace negotiations;

WHEREAS, the formal talks in the peace negotiations between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) to address the roots of the armed conflict are being held in Norway and the Netherlands;

WHEREAS, such talks are being hosted and facilitated by the Royal Norwegian Government (RNG) as the mutually-agreed Third Party Facilitator;

WHEREAS, we are informed that the Philippine government is again persistently demanding that the peace negotiations be held in Manila, a position divergent from a binding agreement between the parties that it be held in a foreign neutral venue;

WHEREAS, that mainly for security reasons, history and universal practice teach us that most, if not all, peace negotiations between two warring parties were generally held in a foreign neutral venue outside the country or territories where their respective armed forces are;

RESOLVED , that we members of the governing Bureau of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) strongly join the calls urging the GRP and the NDFP to honor and abide by their agreements and resume their peace negotiations in a foreign neutral venue in order to try to resolve the basic issues of the Philippine armed conflict so that the Filipino people can attain a just and stable peace.

Brussels, Belgium, 21 June 2018.

References:

Jeanne Mirer
IADL President
+1 (313) 515-2046

Jan Fermon
IADL Secretary General
+32 475 44 18 96

(Members of the Bureau in attendance include those from Algeria, Belgium, Brazil, Greece, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Palestine, Philippines, Portugal, United Kingdom, United States, South Africa and Togo.)