CSOs Peace Forum Aims To Steer Peace Process

Myitkyina Peace Forum on March 19-20, 2019

Civil society organizations met to discuss urgent issues they say are essential for peace-building in Myanmar.

Civil society organizations (CSOs) gathered in Myitkyina for the third round of the CSOs Peace Forum. Attendees discussed critical ideas they hoped would ultimately to steer the direction of the 21st Century Panglong – Union Peace Conference.

Wint Htel Kaung Myat, from Shan state, told KNG that after meeting for three days from March 18 to 20, the Myitkyina forum produced three papers. They are: 87-point environmental affairs paper, 91-point paper on federalism and 86-point paper on land affairs.

The papers were submitted to Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee (UPDJC) for the 4th round of 21st Century Panglong – Union Peace Conference.

"I think they are the raw materials of the peace process," Daw Khaing Lae Lae Myint said. The points clearly outline all the problems most people face; solving them is essential for peace-building in Myanmar, she said.

The organizing committee said six-months of research went into creating the papers.

A 14-point statement was also released. The statement demanded for fighting in Rakhine and Chin States to stop, the Myanmar Army to declare a ceasefire in NCA-signatory (nationwide ceasefire agreement) areas and ensure the safety of IDPs (internally displaced persons) including assistance for returning to their homes.

The statement also said non-NCA signatory groups should be allowed to participate in the NCA process, for mega development projects to be stopped during the peace negotiation period, scrap the Myitsone hydropower project and fix the VFV land law so can solve land issues across the country (not make it worse).

About 562 representatives from 13 regions and states joined the peace forum. Eighteen visually impaired disable people also participated.