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Zubiri to IPU fellows: Be agents of peace

SENATE President Juan Miguel «Migz» Zubiri has called on fellow members of the International Parliamentary Union (IPU) to serve as ambassadors of peace in the face of wars and conflicts across various regions worldwide, including the South China Sea.

In his address at the IPU General Debate in Geneva, Switzerland, on March 25, Zubiri urged the IPU to amplify its tradition of audacious thought and courageous initiatives.

He emphasized that today's parliaments must collaboratively devise effective strategies to bring an end to armed conflicts across the globe.

«The raging strife dotting the world underscores 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 said.

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

«In the WPS, some geopolitical analysts have predicted that it could be a major flashpoint in the region. Let me emphasize that the Philippines has consistently adhered to an 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 said, 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 said.

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