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YES Alumna Joins Embassy Representatives at Peace Communication Summit

YES Alumna Joins Embassy Representatives at Peace Communication Summit

A representative of the U.S. Embassy Press Office took part in the 1st Peace Communication Summit, held April 17 at the Al-Nor Convention Center in Cotabato City. 

 A joint undertaking of the Bureau of Public Information - Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BPI-ARMM), the Communications Unit of the Office of the Presidential Assistant on the Peace Process (OPAPP), the Asia Foundation, the Australian Agency for International Development Program (AusAID) and the Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society, Inc., (CBCS) the summit carried the theme Beyond Conflict, Political Coverage: Is There a Room for Peace Communication in Muslim Mindanao Reportage.”

 The event gathered national and local media, civil society representatives and academics.  Presentations included updates on the peace process between the Philippine government and the Moro National Liberation Front; the role of media in promoting peace communication in the coverage of armed conflict (by Carol Arguillas of MindaNews); the role of civil society organizations in peace communication and in assisting internally displaced persons (IDPs) in conflict-affected areas; and presentation on creating a culture of peace by University of the Philippines Professor Armold Molina-Azurin.

Nash Maulana, Director of Public Information for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BPI-ARMM), and a participant in a recent US State Department Foreign Press Center Tour entitled “The Many Faces of Islam,” extended an invitation to representatives of the U.S. Embassy to attend the Cotobato summit.  Noteworthy during the event was the participation of several alumni of U.S. government sponsored exchange programs – such as Minaira Sungan, a student from Notre Dame University (alumnae of American Field Service-Youth Exchange and Study); Edward Lacanilao, Chairman of the Public Adminisitration Professionals in Mindanao (2006 Youth Democratic and Leadership Fest in Laguna); David Santos of online news organization rappler.com (Foreign Press Center reporting tour on “The Many Faces of Islam”); and Manuel Cayon of BusinessMirror (alumnus of an International Visitor Leadership Program focused on conflict resolution).  The event provided an opportunity for face-to-face interaction with regional media contacts.

Following the presentations, participants broke into groups to discuss ways to improve news gathering and reporting on peace and conflict in Muslim Mindanao; the elements of peace communication; partnerships among media, news sources, stakeholders’ organizations, and private sector institutions such as advertising organizations; and exploring the alternative media to promote “peace communication” at the grassroots level.

Original article: Web site of the US Virtual Presence Post in Mindanao, Philippines

Photo by William Solano, BPI-ARMM