Peace and Stability

Australia has been a strong supporter of peace and development in Mindanao for over 20 years, working with the Philippine Government, local governments, multilateral and non-governmental organisations to build resilience in communities affected by conflict.

Australia’s current work supports the peace process between the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). This includes supporting the establishment of the new Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), and working towards long-term stability, security and development in the region’s conflict-affected areas.

Our support for the peace process is effectively preventing and countering violent extremism, as the failure to secure an autonomous region by peaceful means is a key recruitment narrative for violent extremist groups. Australia increased support for preventing and countering violent extremism following the Marawi siege.

This work is a significant aspect of our 75-year partnership with the Philippines. Our development program has long supported Mindanao, across a range of sectors including education, health, indigenous peoples and land governance. Australia’s active engagement in Mindanao since 1996 has focused on both addressing immediate needs as well as the changes needed for long term peace and development – leading to a secure and prosperous Mindanao that will benefit not only the people of the Southern Philippines but the entire country as well.

Australia recognises the ongoing challenges to the peace process, and as a major donor, believes the international community plays an important role in supporting this work. By working with the Philippine Government, local governments, multilateral and non-governmental organisations, Australia is supporting the establishment of the new Bangsamoro Regional Government. We have also invested in mechanisms to avert the escalation of violence, and support community-driven development, along with helping improving access to economic, and strengthening community cohesion and resilience.

MARAWI CITY, 7 August 2019 – Australia helps communities work together to de-escalate violence and resolve conflict, by establishing early warning networks on radicalisation, and by supporting land management planning and clan conflict resolution. We are proud to support the work of our partners such as International Alert in preventing the escalation of violence in Mindanao by supporting the expansion of conflict monitoring work across the Bangsamoro region.
MARAWI CITY, 14 March 2019 – Australian Ambassador Steven J Robinson AO visits Kampo Ranao in Marawi City and pays tribute to the fallen soldiers in the Marawi siege.
MARAWI CITY, 14 March 2019– Ambassador Steven J Robinson (middle left) with Brig Gen Romeo Brawner Jr (first from left), Assistant Secretary Felix Castro, Head of Field Office of Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) (middle right) and Sultan Nasser Sampaco (first from right) visit one of the damaged structures in Marawi City. The World Bank, with support from Australia, provided technical advisory support to the task force in developing the Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Plan of the city and profiling of residents who were displaced by the siege.
COTABATO CITY, 31 May 2019 – Ambassador Steven J Robinson (second to the right) visits the office of BARMM Executive Secretary Abdulraof Macacua in Cotabato City to highlight Australia’s strong support to the newly established Bangsamoro Government.
BASILAN PROVINCE, 24 JUNE 2019 – Representatives from the government of Basilan presented to Ambassador Steven J Robinson a framed hand-woven Yakan cloth and “pis” – a Yakan headdress, which denotes the wearer as an “Ambassador of Peace of Basilan.” Ambassador Robinson visited the Province of Basilan to attend the launch of the Australian-supported program The Comprehensive Approach to Preventing Violent Extremism in Southern Philippines and meet the program beneficiaries. (Photo source: Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Reconciliation and Unity)
SULTAN KUDARAT, MAGUINDANAO PROVINCE, 7 SEPTEMBER 2019 – Deputy Head of Mission Richard Sisson (ninth on first row, left) attends the launch of the second phase of decommissioning of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) combatants and weapons. Australia is supporting the Independent Decommissioning Body under the UNDP program START-Peace as part of our ongoing commitment of supporting the normalisation process of the MILF combatants and their communities.

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