By THEPHILBIZNEWS STAFF
True to their commitment to promote sustainable peace across the country, His Excellency Bjørn Jahnsen, Norway Ambassador to the Philippines paid a visit recently in the provinces of Sulu and Basilan in Mindanao.
The said endeavor is aimed to support a project with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in the island provinces by embarking on a three-year project that will address the main drivers of instability in some of the fragile communities in Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.
“Inclusive governance and social cohesion at the community level are VERY important measures to prevent radicalization and violent extremism,” Ambassador Bjørn Jahnsen said in the statement sent to THEPHILBIZNEWS.
“I was therefore very pleased that the local government of Basilan and Sulu, organized peace seminars in their respective provinces that were very inclusive,” said the Ambassador.
‘Sustaining the Gains of Peace’ is the title of the event organized in cooperation with IOM and the Royal Norwegian Embassy, provided a platform for different sectors of the community, such as indigenous people, the religious sector, former combatants of separatist movements, women, the youth, and government line agencies, to come together to discuss peace and development in their communities.
It is interesting to note that the local officials and mayors from the provinces were very supportive to this endeavor and attended the dialogue, recognizing the importance of sustaining peace to boost economic development and promote education in their respective municipalities and across their community.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines provided crucial and excellent support for the visit both to Basilan and to Sulu, and Ambassador Jahnsen and his party had an engaging meeting with Commander of Western Mindanao Command, Lt. Gen. Cirilito E. Sobejana.
Ambassador Jahnsen promised to revisit the islands to review the progress of the project and see how the Norwegian Embassy can move further to help the peace process and development to take place in the provinces.