Stakeholder groups gear up for first session of Union Peace Conference
THE secretaries of five stakeholder groups for the Union Peace Conference are set to meet in Yangon on 5 January, six days ahead of the planned first session of political dialogue in Nay Pyi Taw, a secretary representing the government side said yesterday.
There will be a total of 15 representatives from the government, the Parliament, Tatmadaw, ethnic armed organizations and political parties, each with three members at the meeting, said U Hla Maung Shwe, a government representative to the Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee.
The meeting is aimed at coordinating topics for discussion at the UPC, but decisions will be made at the UPDJC meeting in Nay Pyi Taw prior to the country’s first political dialogue, the secretary added.
According to U Hla Maung Shwe who is also the senior adviser at the Myanmar Peace Centre, U Sai Kyaw Nyunt from the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy, U Myint Soe from the Union Solidarity and Development Party and U Ngaing Ngan Lin of the National League for Democracy will be present at the meeting on behalf of their political parties.
Three members including Dr. Salai Lian Hmung Sakhong of the Chin National Front and U Myo Win of the All Burma Students’ Democratic Front will represent the EAO side while Deputy Minister for Defence Rear Admiral Myint Nwe, Maj-Gen Soe Naing Oo and Brig-Gen Thein Tun Hla are set to attend on behalf of the Tatmadaw.
“I have been chosen to represent the government side but the remaining two will be confirmed later,” the senior adviser told The Global New Light of Myanmar.
According to sources, the main topics set to be covered at the Union Peace Conference are politics, security, economic and social issues and land and natural resource policies.
The very first political dialogue of all stakeholders is due to convene on 12 January involving 700 people equally divided among the Tatmadaw, ethnic armed organizations who signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement and 92 political parties, with 150 representatives each.
The current government and parliament are set to hold 75 seats each, with 50 seats each set aside for both other ethnic leaders and other invitees.
The first session of the upcoming peace conference is expected to run until 22 or 23 January will feature the inclusive participation of stakeholders to solve the country’s political problems through diplomatic means, said the government representative to the UPDJC.
He noted that while political dialogue must begin within 90 days of the signing of the NCA, no deadline is set beyond that.
According to the terms of the NCA, a code of conduct for ceasefire signatories and guidelines for respective monitoring committees are scheduled to be finalised within 30 days of the NCA signing, while a political framework is to be drawn up within 60 days and political dialogue is to be held within 90 days.
The UPDJC approved the draft framework for political dialogue on 15 December and submitted the approved framework to the President the following day.