Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Six dimensions to attain peace in Mindanao

Archbishop Antonio Ledesma

Since the Spanish colonial period, Mindanao has been a theater of intermittent conflicts between Muslim and Christians, In order to build the culture of peace in Mindanao, the six dimensions and the operative values are proposed as follows:

1. Personal and family integrity.
Building peace should begin with inner peace in each individual, and peace in very home, and in community. Spirituality is a major operative value.

2. Promotion of human rights and democracy
The operative value of justice should be practiced by the individual and society in countering any violations of human rights, especially the rights of the minority communities.

3. Poverty eradication
Extreme poverty can drive people to carry arms which support more violence. Any sustainable development to improve the quality of life such as good health, housing and education should be promoted together with the effort of peacemaking.

4. Intercultural understanding and solidarity
In Mindanao, religious leaders have formed and conducted a Bishops-Ulama conference and inter-religious dialogue in order to promote intercultural understanding and religious solidarity.

5. Disarmament and cessation of hostilities
The value of active non-violence is encouraged to be practiced in terms of zones of peaceas well as a call for firearms control.

6. Environment protection
Environmental disaster is a kind of violence as a whole. One needs to exercise an operative value of stewardship as a moral and social responsibility. Christians, Muslims and indigenous communities must join advocacy groups against logging and mining, including the protection of watershed, cleaning up polluted rivers, and safeguarding the living conditions of communities near factories and processing plants.

These six dimensions of a culture of peace provide constructive areas to “heal the past by building the future together.” Putting it in another way, these six dimensions can be summarized as a three-fold culture of life, of human rights and culture of peace. This three-fold culture provides the social, political and economic needs of people. It also focuses on human dignity.~

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