Ethnic Sustainable Development Forum discusses peace, economy

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Union Minister Nai Thet Lwin delivers the address at the Ethnic Sustainable Development Forum in Nay Pyi Taw.  Photo: MNA

A forum on the sustainable development of ethnic nationals continued yesterday morning at Mingalar Thiri Hotel in Nay Pyi Taw.
At the forum, Peace Commission member Professor Dr. Aung Tun Thet explained how the group discussions would be organised.
States/regions Ministers for ethnic affairs; self-administered regions’ and zones’ leading body chairmen and members, Hluttaw representatives, representatives of Ethnic Armed Organisations (EAOs) who had signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement, local and foreign media, ministerial representatives, representatives of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, representatives of the United Nations, non-governmental organisations and international non-governmental organisations, states/regions literature and cultural group members, and officials from the ethnic affairs ministry were then formed into three groups and discussed suggestions under the titles of “economic data of ethnic nationals,” “peace and ethnic media” and “division of natural resources in ethnic regions.”
Next, Peace Commission Member Professor Dr. Aung Tun Thet commented on the outcome of the group discussions.
Afterwards, Union Minister for Ethnic Affairs Nai Thet Lwin said ethnic rights are the rights that are shown in the Law on Protection of Ethnic Rights.
“Rights shouldn’t be viewed as political only, but also as social and economic. Outdated old ideas as well as the wrong mindset need to be changed. For economic development, not only the economy but the development of the people need to be taken into consideration, and only then can there be sustainable development”, said the Union Minister.
Ethnic nationals mostly live in border and hill areas and most are seen to live in rural regions. Traveling by road is very difficult where ethnic nationals live, making it difficult to go to another place or transport goods. Due to the difficult road communication, there is very little opportunity to conduct economic activities. These difficulties need to be overcome by working together in cooperation. Set aside the differing views. Whatever the differences may be, combine the similarities to work on and the differences can be coordinated, the Union Minister said. A message sent by the State Counsellor mentioned that due to the long-running conflicts, the country’s political, economic and social situations are far behind those of neighbouring countries. The event came to a close after the Union Minister reiterated the importance of using the results of the two-day forum for the sustainable development of the ethnic regions.

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