United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres congratulated the Philippines on Friday for establishing a government body to push forward the formal creation of an autonomous region.

In addition to the Government, he commended the Islamic Liberation Front, civil society groups, local communities and the Bangsamoro Transition Commission itself, which was first tasked some six years ago to help draft what in 2018 became the Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

The de facto seat of the Autonomous Region, which consists of five mostly Muslim provinces, has its own government, which is outside of its jurisdiction.

Following the plebiscite confirmations of 21 January and 6 February, Mr. Guterres called the Bangsamoro Organic Law “a landmark achievement on the road to lasting peace in the Southern Philippines,” as well as “a historic occasion for all people from the Philippines.”

He pledged continued UN support in implementing the Bangsamoro Organic Law and helping to “build the capacity of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority to achieve peace, democratic governance, and respect for human rights.” (UN News)