Manila hosts global forum on federalism

It's all systems go for Asia Pacific's first and most comprehensive forum on autonomy, federalism and governance the Institute for Autonomy and Governance (IAG) in partnership with Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) Philippines will debut this October 2016 in Manila.

Slated on October 19-20, 2016 at the Mayuree Grand Ballroom of the Dusit Thani Manila in Makati City and co-presented with KAS Philippines Office, the GAGF Forum will feature over 30 international experts speaking and sharing first-hand experiences and programs on autonomy, federalism and governance.

It will highlight 15 country case studies, including Mindanao and Cordillera in the Philippines, Canada, Spain, India, Australia, Northern Ireland and Scotland, Bougainville, Aceh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, South Africa, Finland and Kenya.

Presidential peace adviser Sec. Jesus Dureza and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim will keynote the forum. Former chair of the Constitution of Kenya Review Commission and world-renowned constitutionalist Prof. Yash Pal Ghai leads this year's stellar roster of speakers. He will be joined by Dr. Markku Suksi, professor of Public Law at the Abo Akademi University in Finland; Dr. Rekha Saxena, professor with the Department of Political Science at the University of Delhi in India; Dr. Edward Aspinall, a fellow at the Department of Political and Social Change, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies of the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia; Prof. Nico Steytler of the Community Law Center of the University of the Western Cape in South Africa; George R.M. Anderson, former president and CEO of the Forum of Federations, Canada; and Prof. Sujit Choundry, former dean of the UC Berkeley School of Law in the United States. The complete list of speakers and the latest full hourly programme schedule can be viewed on the GAGF website (

Organizers from IAG and KAS expect some 400 international and local attendees in the two-day event. They said the forum is meticulously structured to make sure participants will be able to access latest findings of researches, projects and programs on autonomy and governance; learn best practices on effective autonomy and good governance; meet, network and do business with prospective customers and project partners; enjoy first mover advantage on business prospects and opportunities; and be part of a group of experts for interactive dialogue and consultative policymaking that will define the future of concerned regions and communities.

"I strongly urge all relevant stakeholders, negotiating panels, policymakers and government leaders to participate and make your voices heard at this first ever global forum on autonomy and governance in Asia Pacific. This is a rare opportunity to learn from the experiences of other countries and see what can be adopted here in the Philippines and vice versa," said IAG Executive Director and GAGF 2016 Conference Chair Atty. Benedicto Bacani.

The Philippines' hosting of the biggest gathering of governance and legal luminaries from around the world comes at a time when the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte is mulling over the shift from the unitary form of government to a federal one.

IAG has also announced it will launch during the closing ceremony of GAGF Forum on October 20 its latest publication, a compendium of papers on federalism and charter change for the Mindanao peace process. Organized by the Institute for Autonomy and Governance in partnership with Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Philippines, the GAGF Forum 2016 is an Australian aid project funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). It is also sponsored by the British Embassy and the ARMM Regional Government.

Source: Philippine Information Agency

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