ICF staff and ICF alumni in the Philippines attended Youth Peace Summit

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Last Updated (Friday, 28 May 2021 13:28)

ICF Staffs and some ICF alumni in the Philippines attended the 1st National Ecumenical Youth Gathering for Peace with the theme: "The Peace We Want: Life and Dignity for All". The Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform (PEPP) organized the summit on May 22-23, 2021 thru zoom. More than a hundred participants from different faiths attended the said activity.

The summit aimed to gather young people to mainstream the call and work for a just peace and the resumption of the peace talks. It also sought to listen to the youth’s perspectives and insights on the national issues that are specifically relevant to peace and conflict transformation. Another objective was to put human dignity in the center of the discourse for a just peace. Lastly, it challenged the youth to respond pro-actively to the call of the times through a sustained though loose network formation of young peace advocates geared towards sustained peace initiatives.

Pastor Carlton James Palm was the keynote speaker. He explained the reasons for the need to pursue the peace talks. After his presentation, a conversation followed on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic with Kabataan Party List Congresswoman Sarah Elago and Dr. Joshua San Pedro of the Council for Health and Development. Professor Francis Alvarez Gealogo, a historian from Ateneo de Manila University discussed the history of peace talks and the role of churches in the peace process.


The first day of the summit ended successfully.

On the second day of the summit, the co-chair of the PEPP, Bishop Rex Reyes Jr. shared the Biblico-Theological Reflection (BTR). In his reflection, he focused on the role of young people in the peace process. Calling on the youth to learn lessons from the current situation in Myanmar, he urged them never to allow again the military to rule the Philippines. He mentioned that the peace process is a major step in ending the war, and it is the least expensive and least deadly way. He concluded that the Peace Ecumenical Peace Platform (PEPP) continues to call for the resumption of peace talks between the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) and the Government of the Philippines.

The sharing of the narratives and cries of the poor followed. Four young people from the different sectors, namely, the Lumad or Indigenous Peoples, Informal Settlers, Workers, and Peasant spoke about their experiences in their respective communities during the pandemic, especially the abuses in their communities are facing. They also shared their experiences in mobilizing their sectors and their communities. They further emphasized the importance of the resumption of the peace talks, highlighting the great role of the young in pursuing peace.

In addition, different young people’s organizations in the Philippines expressed their support and called for the resumption of the peace talks between the CPP-NPA-NDFP and the Government of the Philippines. The PEPP expressed their gratitude to the young people who participated in the summit and further challenged them to continue the call for peace.


The summit ended successfully with the participants calling for the resumptions of peace talks. ICF hopes that the ICF alumni who attended the summit will share their learnings with other young people in their communities.#ResumePeaceTalksNow


~ Baidido Saganding, ICF Program Officer