Australia warmly welcomes the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro by the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, in Manila today.

The signing ceremony concludes the long search for a peace agreement between the two sides, providing a framework for establishing a new autonomous entity known as the ‘Bangsamoro’ in parts of Mindanao. It marks an historic accomplishment on the path to achieving long-term security, stability and prosperity for the people of the southern Philippines.

I commend the commitment of all parties to negotiating a comprehensive and sustainable peace agreement. As both sides know, implementing the agreement will be critical to its success. I encourage all involved to build on these efforts during the next stages of the peace process.

Australia has been a long-term supporter of the peace process.  As I reaffirmed during the Philippines-Australia Ministerial Meeting last month, this support will continue.

In January, I announced an additional $6 million committed over the next three years through our aid program to help strengthen the peace process and boost institutional capacity to implement the peace agreement. This will build on Australia’s existing support to the peace process, including our assistance to the Independent Commission on Policing, to which Australia has provided an international expert.

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