Former EU Ambassador heads third party monitors in GPH-MILF peace pact implementaiton

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/08 July) – Alistair MacDonald, former
Ambassador of the European Union to the Philippines, is the chair of
the Third Party Monitoring Team (TPMT), the body that would “review,
assess, evaluate and monitor” the implementation of the Framework
Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) of the government and Moro Islamic
Liberation Front, and its annexes.

MacDonald and four other members of the TPMT attended the opening
session of the peace talks between government (GPH) and the MILF
Monday morning, July 8, upon the invitation of GPH peace panel chair
Miriam Coronel-Ferrer and MILF chair Mohagher Iqbal.

The other TPMT members are Dr. Steven Rood, representing The Asia
Foundation (TAF); Omar Kesmen, representing the Turkish İnsan Hak ve
Hürriyetleri ve İnsani Yardım Vakfı (IHH; which in English means “The
Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief);
lawyer Zainuddin Malang, representing the Mindanao-based Mindanao
Human Rights Action Center (MinHRAC), and Karen Tanada, representing
the Manila-based Gaston Z. Ortigas Peace Foundation.

According to the FAB, the TPMT will be composed of “international
bodies, as well as domestic groups to monitor the implementation of
all agreements.”

Under the Terms of Reference (TOR) signed by both parties on January
25, 2013, the TPMT will be composed of a chair, two representatives of
local NGOs, one nominated by the GPH and the other by the MILF; and
two representatives of international NGOs, one nominated by the GPH
and the other by the MILF.

The chair, according to the TOR, shall be an “eminent international
person.” The chair shall serve as convenor and spokesperson for the
TPMT.

As EU Ambassador to the Philippines, MacDonald is familiar with the
GPH-MILF peace process.

In their January 25 Joint Statement, the GPH and MILF peace panels
said they will identify the members of the TPMT “within one month.”
No announcements were made about the TPMT’s membership and although a
July 5 article in the website of the Office of the Presidential
Adviser on the Peace Process said Ferrer announced that members of the
TPMT were invited to join them in Kuala Lumpur next week “for
introductions and to convene for the first time” as TPMT, the members
were not named.

The TPMT’s functions, according to the TOR are: “to monitor and
evaluate the implementation of All agreements;” review and assess the
progress of the implementation of commitments by both parties and
submit comprehensive periodic reports and updates to both parties for
their appropriate action” and “communicate to the public the progress
and developments in the implementation of the agreements.”

The TOR also provides that at the end of the transition period, “upon
the regular operation of the Bangsamoro government, the GPH and MILF
peace panels, together with the Malaysian Facilitator and the TPMT,
shall convene a meeting to review, assess or evaluate the
implementation of all agreements and the progress of the transition.”

An “Exit Document” officially terminating the peace negotiations “may
be crafted and signed by both parties if and only when all agreements
have been fully implemented.”

The TPMT is supposed to convene every two months “and as they deem
necessary.” (Carolyn O. Arguillas/MindaNews)

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