Myanmar's peace conference reaches agreement for most points



Myanmar's ongoing 21st Century Panglong Peace Conference reached agreement for most points in five sectors on Thursday, the second day session of the conference held in Nay Pyi Taw, the Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee (UPDJC) told the press late in the day.

The 41 points agreed upon deal with political, economic, social, land and environment sectors.

In the political sector, all participants voiced commitment to signing the union agreement, while the other sectors also received positive results which will be submitted to the final-day meeting on Sunday for finalization, the secretariat said.

Discussions on the political sector on the day focused proposals on sovereignty and its exercising, equality, self-promulgation, policy of federal union and multi-party democracy, while debate on the economic sector covered effective implementation of market economy, banning the emergence of monopoly, effective implementation of the acquisition of equal rights on economic development in the union, regions and states, fair division of budgets, taxes, authority and power on economy among the union government, cabinets of regions and states, self-administered regions and regional groups.

In the social sector, plans were discussed for a durable solution on the victims and displaced people who were subject to man-made hazards or natural disaster by abiding international standard without any discrimination.

In the land and environment sector, six basic principles were touched regarding emergence of people-oriented land policy.

In the security sector, principles on the existence of the only one armed forces in the country were discussed.

The peace conference will enter into the third day on Friday when State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi will meet the seven non-signatories armed groups to the Nationwide Cease fire Accord (NCA), also known as the Northern Alliance, led by the United Wa State Army (UWSA).

In their meeting with Suu Kyi, the Northern Alliance will outline their political stance which is 70 percent similar to the NCA, according to Zhao Guo An, External Relations Officer of the UWSA.

Describing the Panglong Peace Conference as "smooth and good", Zhao also voiced commitment to peace in the country.

Earlier on Thursday, Myanmar's Peace Commission met with the seven Northern Alliance armed groups with commission chairman Dr. Tin Myo Win saying that the alliance's willingness of attendance at the conference represented a step of confidence building towards peace.

The seven Northern Alliance group refers to the United Wa State Army (UWSA), Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), Arakan Army (AA), Kokang's Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), Mongla's National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA), Ta'ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) and Shan State Progressive Party (SSPP)-North.

The second meeting of the Panglong Peace Conference, which aims to unite all ethnic nationalities and build a democratic federal union through dialogue, kicked off here Wednesday.

With State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi inaugurating the event, some 1,400 representatives from the government, the parliament, the military, invited political parties, ethnic armed organizations and civil society participated in the five-day meeting.

The 15 ethnic armed organizations, present at the event, include eight signatories to the NCA, led by the Kayin National Union (KNU), and seven non-signatories or Northern Alliance, led by the UWSA.