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Press Release - SP Zubiri to World Parliamentarians: Let's help silence guns, facilitate peace even in the WPS

Senate President Juan Miguel "Migz" Zubiri has appealed to fellow members of the International Parliamentarian Union (IPU) to be "facilitators of peace" amidst all wars and conflict now happening in different parts of the world, even in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

In his speech at the IPU General Debate in Geneva, Switzerland last March 24, Zubiri rallied the IPU to build on its legacy of "bold thinking and brave action" should spur parliaments of the world today to craft strategies that will silence the guns this time.

"The raging strifes that dot the world underscore the mission that we parliamentarians should pursue on behalf of mankind. And that is to mount a campaign to pause war, to stop the bloodshed, and end the suffering of innocent civilians whose lives have been disrupted, but whose hopes for peace have not been dashed, by war," Zubiri declared.

"We in the IPU have a rich heritage that inspires confidence that, if united and determined, we can, as our predecessors had done, be facilitators of peace," the Senate leader added.

Zubiri then appealed to the IPU to stand with the Philippines as it promotes freedom of navigation and adherence to international rules-based order in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

"In the WPS, a number of geopolitical analysts have predicted that it could be a major flashpoint in the region. Let me emphasize that the Philippines has consistently adhered to international rules-based order, ensured freedom of navigation in the area and practiced restraint in dealing with the harassment and provocations of our neighbor in the north," he expressed, referring to China's constant illegal and bullying activities in the WPS.

"It takes a community of nations to preserve and nurture peace, thus, we appeal to the international community to support and stand firm with us in promoting freedom of navigation and adherence to international rules-based order in the West Philippine Sea," Zubiri appealed.

In expounding his call for peace, Zubiri said the IPU was once a fledgling union that became a powerful force that gave birth to peace institutions such as the United Nations.

"Ending the misery of people caught in the crossfire of conflicts