Myanmar’s armed groups to join Panglong conference

Nay Pyi Taw, Aug 25 (IANS) Non-signatory armed groups of the Nationwide Ceasefire Accord (NCA) in Myanmar on Thursday decided to attend the 21st Century Panglong Ethnic Conference here on August 31, authorities said.

All UNFC member organisations will join the Panglong conference with the aim of building a federal union through political dialogue, Xinhua news agency reported.

Represented by the United Nationalities Federal Council’s (UNFC) Delegation for Political Negotiation (DPN), the decision was made after an emergency and extended meeting over the past two days, which re-assessed the current peace process and the country’s political status.

Last weekend, the DPN met government’s Preparatory Committee over 21st Century Panglong Conference and the Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee (UPDJC) in Yangon’s National Reconciliation and Peace Centre, reviewing the political framework for the peace process.

The UPDJC agreed to allow the non-signatory armed groups to the NCA to join the Panglong conference.

Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, who is also Chairperson of the UPDJC, called for mutual trust and unity to successfully hold the Panglong conference.

The former Myanmar government and eight ethnic armed groups out of 15 signed the NCA on October 15, 2015, leaving seven other armed groups yet to sign the accord.

Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is likely to address the upcoming Panglong conference and all international organisations assisting Myanmar’s peace process, UN agencies and resident foreign diplomats in the country will be invited to the conference.

–IANS

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