Kuala Lumpur — The momentum and spirit in ending the four-decade long conflict in the southern Philippines recently, should keep going as Asean still has other challenges in its landscape, Asean secretary-general Dr Surin Pitsuwan said today.
Of late, he said, Asean had seen a string of successes in managing conflicts, which included East Timor and Aceh.
“We have other challenges somewhere else on the landscape of Asean, and I hope this would be a momentum of going forward that we can reconciliate in other places, including Rakhine (Myanmar) and southern Thailand.
“The spirit of Mindanao will have a positive impact in other areas of conflict.
“Malaysia has been playing a very effective, contributing and wise role in mediating these conflicts, particularly Mindanao. It has taken a lot of time but I think all sides have been very patient and in the end, wisdom prevails and the only way to settle this is through negotiations.
“Malaysia has made a great contribution,” he added.
Pitsuwan was speaking to reporters after delivering a talk entitled, ‘The Role of Regional Networks in Humanitarian Aid’ at the Raja Nazrin Shah 2012 Lecture Series’ organised by Mercy Malaysia here.
The Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) recently signed a historic agreement, which Malaysia helped broker, to end a four-decade long conflict in the southern Philippines.
The Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro was signed by Philippine chief negotiator Marvic Leonen and MILF’s lead negotiator Mohagher Iqbal in the presence of Philippine President Benigno Aquino III and Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak, at the Presidential Malacanang Palace in Manila.