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“Strengthening Young People’s Participation in Peace Building” Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Ryan Silverio, Philippines Mar 6, 2007
Human Rights , Peace & Conflict   Opinions


The following information is the final statement adopted by youth leaders and representatives from conflict areas in the Southeast Asian Region.

“Strengthening Young People’s Participation in Peace Building”
December 8-10, 2006, West Gorordo Hotel, Cebu City

Cebu Declaration (2006)

We, as pro-active and concerned youth representatives from Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand to the “Strengthening of Young People’s Participation in Peace Building” held in Cebu City, Philippines from December 8 to 10, 2006 declare that:

The problem of one country in the ASEAN region is the problem of all member states and we are all responsible to address the issues faced by children and youth. These include the need for real peace and social justice and to address serious threats to child and youth development;

There is also a need for a regional commitment towards the protection and promotion of human rights and the strengthening of young people’s participation in peace building;

We are important members of society - with the power to improve and develop our communities and to promote a culture of peace.

In consideration of serious threats to child and youth development and of the lives and well-being of all children and youth in the region especially those affected by armed conflict, we bring the following recommendations to civil society and the ASEAN:

1. Prioritize the youth by recognizing their involvement and participation in every ASEAN decision making process;

2. Create an ASEAN youth organization for human rights and peace building;

3. Be concerned for children and youth through acting on the Singapore 2001 Declaration on the Commitments for Children in ASEAN and implementing the Vientiane Action Programme;

4. Call upon members states to enforce their national child and youth protection laws and honour their international obligations on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child;

5. ASEAN should report annually on the progress in the implementation of the following:
• Singapore 2001 Declaration on the Commitments for Children in ASEAN
• Vientiane Action Programme
• National laws towards he protection of the children and youth
• Their obligations on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and on the issues faced by the youth;

We also call upon action on the following important issues faced by its member states:

• To prioritize and effectively address the issue of child soldiers;

• To tie up and seek help from non-government organizations;

• To support peace process to conflict areas such as Aceh and Ambon;
• To provide assistance programs to these areas through rehabilitation and reintegration program in informal and formal sectors;

• To stop the recruitment and the use of child soldiers by the rebel armed groups;
• To stop discrimination and inequality towards the indigenous people in Philippines by effectively implementing the Indigenous People’s Right Act of 1997;
• To stop political killings of politicians, journalists, activists and youth leaders in the Philippines;
• To address the issues and concerns with regards to the health and environmental hazards brought about by open-mining policy;
• To advocate mainstreaming of peace and development to honour traditional structures among Moro and indigenous communities in Mindanao;
• To promote information dissemination on the present status of peace negotiations between Government of the Republic of the Philippines and Moro Islamic Liberation Front at the grassroots level.

• To be concerned and conduct a dialogue for a peace agreement and support peace building initiatives in Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani in the southern part of Thailand.



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