April 11, 2017
On April 10, JICA President Shinichi Kitaoka held talks with Ghadzali Jaafar, chair of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission* (BTC) of the Philippines, at JICA Headquarters in Tokyo.
It was their first meeting since Mr. Kitaoka’s trip to Mindanao in March 2016, and Mr. Kitaoka began by expressing his congratulations to Mr. Jaafar on his BTC chair appointment in February of this year.
In response, Mr. Jaafar expressed his gratitude for the support from JICA toward peace on Mindanao and said, “Even if the Bangsamoro Basic Law, which is the basis for the establishment of a new autonomous political entity, is passed by the Congress and Senate, there will be no true peace without a foundation of cooperation for advancing the peace process by various stakeholders including non-Muslims and indigenous people.” He also emphasized that he would focus on showing leadership as the BTC chair.
The two then exchanged opinions on the outlook and issues concerning the peace process going forward. Mr. Kitaoka noted that inclusive development is essential for permanent peace and development on Mindanao, and that toward such development, JICA would continue to provide socioeconomic support for the consolidation of peace.
JICA will continue to work closely with concerned organizations while providing comprehensive support for peace and development on Mindanao.
* Bangsamoro Transition Commission
After more than 40 years of civil strife on the island of Mindanao, the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front agreed to establish an autonomous political entity through the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro signed in October 2012 and the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro signed in March 2014. The mission of the BTC is to formulate the Bangsamoro Basic Law and coordinate socioeconomic development toward the launch of that new political entity.