The 19th Union Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC-U) meeting was held in Horizon Lake View Hotel in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday.
At the meeting, JMC-U Chairman Lieutenant General Yar Pyae said as follows:
The JMC is the joint monitoring team to mainly implement the tasks relating to the ceasefire; to carry out meeting records, and rules and regulations, and as these are conducted bilaterally by the exact words, guidelines and procedures must be respectfully observed.
The conflicts in the country were born along with the independence; if we look back the conflicts, those are happening based on religion, race, and gang; once the conflict occurs, the burden of which is actually to the civilians, mainly the respective people from the conflict region; as the period of dispute has been long, there are exploitation of natural resources to run the business damaging ecosystems.
It has been 4 years that JMCs was formed and because of this, the disputes among the organizations which signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement have been reduced; that it can be seen that this can reduce the burden put on the people, and manage systematically the exploitation of the natural resources of those regions with the guidance; in the NCA signatory regions, the conflicts have been eliminated by solving the problems through negotiation and discussion between the two sides and that can be said the result of the signing the NCA.
Before being able to hold JMC meetings, we could prevent conflict as civilian representatives by reaching to the respective areas; by the time we could not hold the official meetings, we sometimes go and meet in person and could carry out the necessary measures so that we could prevent major conflicts and the two sides could solve normal conflicts through discussion and negotiation.
There are procedures approved in the JMC and those need to be re-negotiated if needed to comply with the current situation; and in doing so, there would be disagreements between two sides; but I would like to suggest to negotiate carefully for the sake of peace; to be able to more steadily monitor the conflicts and fights, the local civilian monitors should be grouped; and in 10th, 17th and 18th JMC meetings, we have had the agreement to form the monitoring groups.
As a conclusion, I would like to urge that the negotiation could be delayed if the image we want to create is far from the current situation; as long as the discussions are delayed, it could deviate from the right path; so, I’d like to suggest to build trust step by step through the discussion and negotiation the image we want to create in conformity with the current situation; in continuing the procedures of the JMC, the members of the committee should perform together by monitoring, by analyzing, and solving conflicts as per NCA provisions to build the sustainable peace based on transparency and impartiality.
Afterwards, Vice-Chairman (1) of the JMC-U Saw Issac Poe said as follows:
Although the JMC could have been formed as the organizations signed NCA, the expectation of trusting each other more has not happened in reality; although it is not the situation to be particularly worried, the inability of JMC’s responsibility to carry out should be special emphasized; meeting two armed forces, the things relating with the army, avoiding the confrontation and making agreements to assign the troops should be done; in order to get that result, by getting regional level ceasefire, perform monitoring tasks and more effective watching, involving local civilians who bear the brunt of the conflict in the monitoring committees is the most important; besides, we expect that the free and non-partisan group would take charge the performing the ceasefire.
JMC-U Vice-Chairman (2) Rev Saw Mathew Aye said that their organization was formed to point out the facts regardless of being friend or foe. Moreover, if the group is considered as impartial one among the armed groups, that will not be false. For many years, the processes of JMC took speeds and the relevant organizations also prioritized the role of civilians and and it is seen that the sector of civilian representatives become wider and he considers that the current JMC meeting is held after two years and so there is a good enough time to prepare for peace processes to carry out with concerted efforts.
They held public meetings to be able to reduce public concerns regarding the peace processes and also met with the relevant organizations and civil society organizations to conduct JMC processes, trainings and discussion. After the JMC was formed, the number of fights declined. They could promote relationship between the each level of JMC committee and also mainly lead to the ultimate goal like ceasefire and to achieve public participation in peace processes; on the other way, the public participation is a supportive manner in peace processes and the JMC will have to build their strong stance by cooperating with others for Myanmar’s peace processes, he added.
During this meeting, they approved the name lists for new members of JMC-U; presented the progress of work during the interim period of the 18th and 19th edition meetings; discussed about operations being implemented under No Cost Extension by using JMC’s fund; budget for 2020-2021FY; appointment of executive director position proposed by the government side and deputy executive director by EAOs; to revise the approved ToR (Terms of References) and SoP (Standard Operation Procedure) of JMC if they are needed to do so; to discuss bilateral contracts at JMC; to resume the JMC-S meeting; to organize Local Civilian Monitoring (LCM) groups; submitted the decision to seek policy from plenary session of civilian representatives of JMC; proposed to allow to hold the 9th plenary session of civilian representatives of the JMC in the last week of July, 2020; presented the contribution of China and Thailand; expenditures and outstanding amount out of JMC’s fund; fixed the date and time for upcoming JMC-U meeting. The 19th JMC-U meeting will be held until 21 July.
Union Minister for Border Affairs Lieutenant General Ye Aung, Lieutenant General Min Naung, Lieutenant General Win Bo Shane, Lieutenant General Aung Soe, Deputy Minister for Home Affairs Major General Soe Tint Naing, representatives of ethnic armed groups and civilian groups and the responsible persons attended the meeting.—Myo Myint, Han Lin Naing (Translated by Khine Thazin Han)