GPPAC peacebuilder Gus Miclat receives Timor Leste’s highest award for spearheading solidarity movement for its independence
Long-standing peacebuilder and founding member of GPPAC, Gus Miclat, Executive Director of the Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID) GPPAC’s Regional Secretariat in Southeast Asia, received the Ordem de Timor from Timor Leste's President Jose Ramos Horta on Wednesday, June 22.
“I humbly share this award not only with the peacebuilding circles in the Philippines and in the Asia-Pacific region but with the peoples and communities that we serve who until today continue to confront monumental challenges of armed conflict they never wished to be part of. This award represents a critical triumph of peace over armed conflict.”
The Ordem de Timor, established in 2009 seeks “to reward those who deserve such an award, due to their merit or to exceptionally relevant acts performed on behalf of the Timorese, the Nation or Mankind.’’ Gus earned the country’s highest honour “for his contribution to the struggle for national independence,” as a convenor and coordinator of the Asia-Pacific Coalition for East Timor (APCET). IID hosted APCET’s secretariat and ‘’helped form a global coalition to help East Timor activists in their fight for independence.’’
Honouring efforts for peace
Gus was recognized for his “contribution to the struggle for national independence through his various activities within the scope of the organization he established together with other people in IID. The activities of that organization focused on advocacy and solidarity, promoting solidarity between peoples, contributing to conflict prevention, peace building and democratization in this region of the world, particularly in countries where there is conflict.”
For years, IID has been accompanying the peace processes between the Bangsamoro people in Mindanao and the Philippine government as well as fostering the national peace process between the Government of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines. In 2018, IID organised a learning and solidarity mission to the Philippines to promote dialogue. Peacebuilders from around the world joined to share lessons learned from other peace processes.
“With the new era of armed conflict and violence happening at the moment between nations, and with wars often waged, unjustly, in the name of the people peacebuilding through people–to–people solidarity remains an imperative strategy.’’