Former House Speaker Jose De Venecia, Jr. announced his agendas in collaboration with organizations around the world at a luncheon with the press in Makati City the other day.
“A few weeks ago, we had a meeting with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. I submitted to him number of proposals. I [also] led together with Korean Ambassador Chung Eui-yong, the 18 man standing committee of International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP) and we met with him at the UN in New York,” said De Venecia.
He noted that the extent of ICAPP is composed of purely political parties, ruling parties and opposition parties from Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, Central Asia, West Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and Pacific small islands.
“Understanding among the great religions and cultures still is the only basis for the enduring peace in the world,” the letter sent by ICAPP to the UN Secretary-General read. “Our need to mobilize churches, temples, mosques and synagogues, no less than political parties and civil societies, to promote a global culture of peace and mutual tolerance is as imperative as it was then.”
The letter also stated that the need to bring people together may even be more acute after the recent flashpoints of conflicts created by an Internet film and magazine cartoons that some Islamic communities find extremely offensive to their religion.
“I would go one more step forward by asking the Islamic nation in ICAPP to support our Philippine appeal for observer status membership in the organization of Islamic countries,” said De Venecia.
He added that after the progress of the peace agreement framework, they will invite the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) under Nur Misuari to join the transition council.
“The Bangsamoro should include the MILF, MNLF and all other Muslim organizations,” added De Venecia.
Former House Speaker then cited that in that way, “the MNLF will be represented,” pertaining to the final agreement of Bangsamoro.
De Venecia suggested for the consideration of UN to revive the Global Inter-faith dialogue; because of the worsening, inter-faith problems and Christian-Muslim conflicts in various parts of the world.
Nobel Peace Prize winners former East Timor President Jose Ramos Horta and Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma joined the board of directors of Centrist Asia Pacific Democrats International (CAPDI), composed of political parties and civil organization.
De Venecia thoroughly stated that ICAPP now have more than 380 member-parties from 52 Asian states and growing fraternal ties with its South America and Caribbean counterparts under the original organization, Conferencia Permanente de Partidos de America Latina y el Caribe (COPPPAL), while initiating linkages with the African political parties.
ICAPP and COPPPAL, with the unprecedented participation of political parties of Africa for the first time, gathered in Mexico City on October 13-14, expressing its gratitude to the considerations provided by the COPPPAL and Mexico’s Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) President Pedro Joaquin Coldwell and to highlight the message of the Mexican president-elect Enrique Peña Nieto.
It also reiterated its acknowledgement for the leadership of the ICAPP and COPPPAL for having initiated and developed the dialogue and communication between political parties of Asia and Latin America.
“We are happy to announce that after our leaping in Mexico, there will be now a formal meeting of the Asian, Latin American and African political parties in Beijing next year in Mexico,” added De Venecia.
Political parties of Asia, Latin America and Africa agreed to unanimously endorse the framework agreement between the Philippine government under President Noynoy Aquino and the MILF which would lead to a final settlement and a plebiscite after more than 40 years of recurring hostilities.
There is a need to call the international community to convene governments, political parties, and civil society organizations at a Global Summit meeting on the worldwide problem of drug and weapons trafficking and its consequences and seek solutions together.
“In our meeting with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, we also took up the issue of the possibility of calling a Global Summit to be convened by UN and by the Mexican government to tackle this worsening problem of narcotics proliferation in almost all country of the world, even in almost all the provinces in the Philippines.”
According to De Venecia, it is important to support in the creation of an Asia-Latin America Business Council with the participation of representatives of political parties of the three continental regions that impel cooperation on terms of trade and economic harmonization between the countries and continents.
“I started working on this when I met with the president-elect Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico a few months ago. [Before being elected,] I proposed to him, asking the New Mexican government [if they can] should convene a Global Summit of the battle against narcotics.
Elsewhere, the ICAPP has helped establish an Asian Peace and Reconciliation Council (APRC), based in Bangkok.
“I told Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that we created the APRC which will specialize and concentrate in Track 1.5 and Track 2 diplomacy so that we can provide a mechanism in Asian governments to help tackle the conflict problems in Asia,” said De Venecia.
APRC has 16 founders which includes the former presidents of Chile and Poland, former chancellor of Austria, former prime ministers of Malaysia and Singapore, former deputy prime minister of Thailand, and former minister of India, Japan and China.
“We have highly experienced group of former leaders of government now of civil society who can mobilize for peace process,” said De Venecia.