ASEAN INITIATIVE FOR THE REBIRTH OF MARAWI CITY, MINDANAO
- An International Conference on MARAWI was held in the city of Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia between 19-21 July 2019 on the rebuilding and rehabilitation of the devastated city of Marawi, Mindanao in the Philippines.
- The Conference was attended by representatives from governments, UN affiliates, various corporations, NGOs and Civil Societies from various parts of the world.
- Even though the conference was initiated by a Malaysian NGO, Amal Foundation of Malaysia, in collaboration with others NGOs, it is intended that this initiative should be taken over ultimately by the Malaysian government.
- It is also hoped that the Malaysian government will expend further this initiative to be an ASEAN INITIATIVE to embrace especially Indonesia and Brunei. This is necessary as Marawi was devastated as a result of the attack started by ISIS affiliated terrorist organisations present in all 3 these four countries. It is an unrelenting and ongoing struggle common especially in the four ASEAN countries.
- It is now about two years when the terrorists were finally driven out of Marawi – living the historic and heritage city in ruins and about 200,000 of it’s inhabitants displaced. It is now felt that the city should be rebuilt immediately to all its former glory and the inhabitants brought back and their lives rebuilt – as an eloquent testament and notice that the evil of these terrorists will never succeed and will never be allowed to succeed, anywhere in the world and especially in our region.
Towards achieving the above objectives, this “International Conference on Marawi, Mindanao” held in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia from 19-21 July 2019 unanimously adopted the following resolutions:
1. To persuade the Philippines government, through diplomatic sources, to allow the original inhabitants of Marawi City to return to their home, immediately.
2. Towards this, the government must immediately secure the City to ensure the safety of all the returnees. It is also recommended that an effective screening mechanism be established to ensure that no outsiders, troublemakers or subversive elements are allowed to penetrate the city.
3. The conference also recommends that a three months clear notice be given before the returnees are allowed to return. Within this three months period, the Philippines government, through it’s own agencies and with the help, if necessary, of other governments, NGOs and Civil Societies must immediately rehabilitate and restore the basic facilities that are needed. The help of coporations and businesses should also be welcomed. The basic facilities should include water supply, electric supply, repairs of the roads, drainage, sewerage systems and other basic facilities. This should be a continuous effort to encourage more and more of its people to come back home.
4. Simultaneous with the above, the Philippines government with the help of other parties and agencies especially from other relevant ASEAN countries, should set up various committees to study and recommend the long term rehabilitation, upgrading, stability and prosperity of Mawari City and it’s inhabitants.
5. These studies should include all aspects of its education, health, employment, welfare of its women and children etc etc.
6. Marawi City and the Province of Lanau del Sur is very rich in natural resources – largely untouched and unexploited. With careful planning and promotion these should attract huge amount of local and international investments. These should 7 naturally guarantee the long term prosperity and happiness of its people.
7. Toward this, the Malaysian, Indonesian and Brunei Government, together with their NGOs and agencies should be prepared to extend reasonable technical, financial and other assistance where possible.
8. We sincerely pray that the above initiatives spearheaded by the four neighbouring ASEAN countries, with a common cause and with huge similarities in culture, way of life, outlook and national aspirations should be able to foster and achieve simultaneously the ASEAN Dream of a closest-knit region of peace, prosperity and happiness for all.