December 13, 2017

Peace process and preparation in every sector

Starting from over one month ago, meetings for convening the Union Peace Conference—21st Century Panglong 3rd Session were held. Joint-committee meetings on assessment of NCA implementations were held on October 25-26, resulting in emergence of round-table negotiations in preparation for the Union Peace Conference—21st Century Panglong 3rd Session.
As of 17th November, the working committee meeting was held for four days and the Secretariat meeting was also held. During those meetings, they were able to assess 5 terms of reference on the political negotiation framework and in addition certain requirements were amended. On 24th November as well, Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee meeting was successfully held in Nay Pyi Taw, approving five ToR and one SoP [standard operating procedures] on the political negotiation framework.
The Political Negotiation Framework was drawn up within 60 days according to the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement; hence lack of fulfillment, that is, some requirements in the framework. The first-drawn-up frameworks were found inconvenient in some parts, at the time when the political negotiations were held. So, the government, the ethnic armed groups and the political parties group reviewed and renewed the framework through negotiations in groups, getting a workable framework. Moreover, in holding political negotiations, by negotiating the SOPs in the same uniform manner, possible arguments will be reduced remarkably.
The most important thing in the last month was that the 6th Joint Implementation Coordination Meeting on NCA was successfully held on 27th November. JICM is the highest body which has the official authority of deciding the peace process. According to NCA, JICM is to be held quarterly, but it could not be held regularly. The 6th JICM attended by the State Counsellor, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Defense Services and KNU Chairman made 7 important decisions for the development of the peace process. Among them, there are schedules to convene RCSS-SSA national-level political negotiations in Linkhe township, Shan State in January 2018 and to convene UPC—21st Century Panglong’s 3rd session in the last week of January, 2018 and to approve the political negotiation framework ToR and the regulations on convention of national-level political negotiations. Round-table talks in preparation for the UPC—21st Century Panglong 3rd Session had been held during the last part of November.
It is heartening to have seen efforts for preparation of 3rd session of UPC—21st Century Panglong in spite of many duties of the national-level leaders. Similarly, it is praiseworthy to have known about the efforts of NCA signatories. Among the peace process until now since gaining Independence, political negotiations reached today’s stage just at the time when the incumbent government took office, achieving agreement on 37 points resulting in the Union Agreement in the 2nd session of 21st Century Panglong. At the coming UPC – 21st Century Panglong 3rd Session, efforts will be made for laying down fundamental principles. In brief, we wish that the aims and objectives will be achieved at the UPC – 21st Century Panglong 3rd Session to be held in the end of January.

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