February 10, 2017

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Government suggests one topic per subject at planned political dialogue

Union Minister U Aung Min speaks at a preparatory meeting for the first session of the country’s Union Peace Conference at Myanmar Peace Centre in Yangon yesterday. Photo: Ye Myint
Union Minister U Aung Min speaks at a preparatory meeting for the first session of the country’s Union Peace Conference at Myanmar Peace Centre in Yangon yesterday. Photo: Ye Myint

UNION Minister U Aung Min suggested the planned Union Peace Conference should discuss only one topic for each of the subjects set to be covered at the meeting in order to make topics of discussion effective within the given time.
His suggestion for the discussions was outlined at a preparatory meeting to facilitate the first session of the country’s political dialogue at Myanmar Peace Centre in Yangon yesterday.
The topics of discussions at the first political dialogue will be documented, said U Aung Min who is also one of vice-chairmen of the Union Political Dialogue Joint Committee, adding that the current government will hand over these discussions to the new government.
In his address, The UPDJC’s vice-chairman representing the stakeholder group of the present government described the first round of the UPC as laying sound foundations for the future of the country’s political dialogue.
Subjects set for discussions at the first session of the peace conference set to run for five days from 12 to 16 January in Nay Pyi Taw include politics, economics, social issues, security, land and natural resources and general discussion.
Discussions on the main topics are likely to be held for three days or more as Day 1 will include the opening ceremony with the closing to take place on Day 5, Sai Kyaw Nyunt, secretary of the UPDJC representing political parties, said.
The topics set for each subjects are expected to be presented by stakeholder groups rather than having comprehensive discussions during the five day period of the conference, he added.
The UPDJC’s secretary, who is also a central executive committee member of Shan Nationalities League for Democracy, stated that no decisions will be made on the topics discussed at the UPC.
According to the pre-meeting, stakeholder groups representing the current government, Parliament, Tatamdaw, ethnic ceasefire signatory groups and political parties are set to discuss preparatory works for the first session of the UPC including seeking approval for the list of attendees to the conference, drawing up plans for submission to the Union Political Dialogue Joint Committee meeting, rules to be followed by representatives and observers, and topics to be discussed.
“This meeting is very important not only for the upcoming first round of political dialogue but also for the country’s peace process to continue,” said P’doh Saw Kwe Htoo Win, another vice-chairman of the UPDJC representing ethnic armed organizations.
Expecting possible challenges or changes to the country’s political configuration, the UPDJC vice-chairman, who is also the general secretary of the Karen National Union, an NCA signatory, expressed his belief that these challenges would be addressed through collaborative efforts based on goodwill of all stakeholders.

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