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Manila Bulletin: Peace-builders to visit Mindanao Monday

Mr. James Flynn speaking at the Global Peace Convention 2009.

More than 200 foreign delegates involved in peace-building activities around the world will visit the conflict-affected areas in Mindanao Monday to make an assessment on the real situation there and possibly be ambassadors of goodwill for the South when they go back to their respective countries.

Paul Murray, spokesperson of the Global Peace Convention, which is ongoing at the historic landmark Manila Hotel, said that they will hold a fact-finding tour in Lanao del Norte where international peace advocates would see for themselves the situation in that region.

“Whenever there is conflict, what we usually do is we look at the community level and we don’t focus much on the conflict, may it be political or religious.

Our goal is really to engage the communities to talk to the government and find solutions,” Murray said.

“Instead of working from top to bottom, we would be more productive if we work from the bottom up. We can galvanize and bring the whole community together to bring change,” he added.

The Philippines was chosen as the host nation of the first four-day Global Peace Convention that started Thursday.

It has a tri-fold platform of three pillars essential to peace-building namely promoting interfaith cooperation, building a culture of service, and strengthening family.

Participants composed of foreign educators, youth leaders, members of non-government, and faith-based organizations, among others, have convened to look at best practices in these three areas.