NORWAY recently urged the Philippine government to continue its peace talks with the National Democratic Front (NDF).
During the Royal Norwegian Embassy in the Philippines’s “War and Peace in the Philippines and Colombia: Pathways to a Political Settlement” event, Norwegian Special Envoy to the Peace Process in Colombia Ambassador Dag Nylander said the peace process must continue.
“Sustainable peace depends on parties finding common grounds. They should find moderates in both camps. Stay the course even if it is long and with no certainty of end result,” Nylander said.
He added: “Use of military force is sometimes justified because of national interests. Military intervention may stop fighting but they do not ensure that political settlement takes hold.”
Nylander said their work in the country’s peace process is part of the international efforts and that they advocate the work of civil society and its role to sustainable peace.
The peace process with the NDF, which negotiates on behalf of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army, began in 1986, but has stalled, with the last formal talks happening in 2013.
Norwegian Special Envoy to the Peace Process Elisabeth Slattum said they are committed long term toward achieving peace in the country.
“Peace processes are marathons, not sprints. We need to patiently work toward political settlement of the conflict, and drawing lessons and experiences from other peace processes—such as the Colombian—can contribute to creative thinking, leading to progress in the Government of the Republic of the Philippines-NDF talks,” Slattum said.
Norway is the-third party facilitator in the peace process.