IN PRINT NOW: Global Autonomy, Governance and Federalism Forum Proceedings
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The Institute for Autonomy and Governance hosted in October 2016 in Manila the first ever global conference on the themes of autonomy, governance and federalism, three critical concerns as the Philippines mulls the shift in the form of government from unitary to federal.
In his foreword to the Global Autonomy, Governance and Federalism (GAGF) Forum Proceedings, IAG Executive Director Benedicto Bacani urges reflection “on the lessons, good or bad, that can be drawn out of the diverse experience and analysis raised during the Forum as the common thread that could inform and guide policymakers and stakeholders in evolving their own brand of autonomy, federalism and governance arrangements to address their own unique problems.”
This publication of the proceedings of the Global Autonomy, Governance and Federalism Forum (GAGF 2016) is the fruit of the concerted effort and aspirations of organizations and leaders to promote and understand the dynamics of political transitions, governance, security, peace and development. The Institute for Autonomy and Governance (IAG) is proud to initiate and lead this Forum that brought together international and local experts and stakeholders in discussing and analyzing best practices, strategies and policies in making autonomy, federalism and governance an effective and potent instrument for peace and development.
The panel discussions and presentations as well as the robust exchange of views have greatly contributed to the trove of knowledge and experience that will guide policymakers and leaders in the Philippines and other jurisdictions in negotiating, policy-making and implementing autonomy, federalism and governance arrangements towards peace and development. GAGF 2016 is a timely and relevant Forum for the Philippines currently engaged in a national debate for shifting its unitary form of government to a federal system to address among others the long-standing violent conflicts in southern Philippines.
The diverse and sometimes contradictory views expressed in the Forum demonstrates that indeed, there is no single model of political arrangements that can serve as a “magic pill” in addressing issues of violent conflicts and weak and failed development. But we should reflect on the lessons, good or bad, that can be drawn out of the diverse experience and analysis raised during the Forum as the common thread that could inform and guide policymakers and stakeholders in evolving their own brand of autonomy, federalism and governance arrangements to address their own unique problems. While each context is unique, the primacy of the dignity of every human being entitled to live in peace and harmony is supreme and common to all. This common lens we take in navigating thru the diverse views and experiences articulated in this Forum.
I would like to thank IAG’s partners in planning and organizing GAGF 2016. I am grateful to the Government of Australia and IAG’s long-time institutional partner, Konrad Adenauer Stifting Philippines for their significant financial support and encouragement. My thanks to the Embassy of the United Kingdom (UK) and the Regional Government of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). I greatly appreciate all other partners who helped promote the Forum.
I am grateful to the International Board of Advisers of GAGF 2016 led by Prof. Yash Pal Ghai for their counsel and support particularly in bringing in the Forum the leading international experts on autonomy and federalism. Finally, IAG thanks all resource persons, participants and staff for contributing to the successful holding of GAGF 2016.
Atty. Benedicto Bacani
GAGF 2016 Chair and Executive Director, IAG