The Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee organized the 20th meeting yesterday at the Ruby Hall of Myanmar International Convention Centre I (MICC-I) in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday afternoon. The meeting was to approve the proposals of UPDJC secretaries for the Part III of Union Accord which was slated to be signed at the third and final day of the Union Peace Conference—21st Century Panglong today. The UPDJC is proportionally comprised three groups—the government side includes the officials from administrative sector, the Hluttaw and the Tatmadaw; the NCA-S EAOs group and the political parties group. State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, in her capacity as the Chairperson of UPDJC, made an opening speech. Vice–Chairperson of UPDJC Dr Salai Lian Hmung Sakhong said that the 20th meeting of UPDJC will approve the proposals of UPDJC secretariat on the decisions at 19th UPDJC meeting for Part III of Union Accord before it is signed at the Union Peace Conference.
This document has three topics: (1) 15 points of agreements on NCA implementation (2) 8 points for implementation of step-by-step processes and phase-by-phase implementations in the post-2020, and (3) 4 points of agreements on principle guidelines for establishment of a Democracy Federal Union. Vice–Chairperson U Thu Wai discussed the duties of national people to protect the Union, importance of human rights issue for everyone, duties and responsibilities and prevention of violating other’s rights by law. He added that unity of national people is vital to the development of the country and peace of the Union. The attendees at the meeting continued discussions on finalizing the topics for Part III of the Union Accord.
In his concluding remark, U Thu Wai expressed his appreciations on peacemaking efforts of relevant persons, and highlighted the crucial role of unity for the country. Dr Salai Lian Hmung Sakhong said that the meeting has made an agreement on the Part III of Union Accord; the UPDJC is tasked with organizing and supervising political dialogues which are aimed for the establishment of a Union based on democracy and federalism.
He added that the UPDJC was working both day and night in 2019 despite some worries about the delay of peace dialogues after the 10 Plus 10 Meeting in 2018. A working committee has been formed to implement the decisions of JICM made on 8 January 2020; the work groups discussed the needs of the country; it is believed coordination with these work groups could help in the establishment of a Democratic Federal Union.
He also remarked that the next step should focus on close and friendly discussions among senior leaders, rather than the members, of UPDJC; for ensuring a stronger UPDJC, its secretaries, work groups and committees will need to work more; the next administration is believed to continue the existing peace processes after the upcoming elections soon per the provisions of Part III of Union Accord.
He also concluded that the country is implementing peace process and democratic reform simultaneously; the ethnic armed groups have some restrictions on access to the common people; more public participation is required in peace efforts with the view of ‘peace is essential’.
UPDJC Vice–Chairperson Union Minister U Kyaw Tint Swe said, quoting the speech of State Counsellor, that the Part III of Union Accord slated to be signed at the conference on 21 August could create a new route for post-2020. He added that the political talks were really effective and fruitful, and agreements were reached for identifying future steps to implement the peace process.
He said that the statement saying “Nothing but goodwill is needed to achieve peace” is genuinely true. He insisted that the discussions and negotiations were successful because all UPDJC members have goodwill. He said that the objective of the UPDJC is “to build a Union based on principles of democracy and federalism in accordance with the outcomes of political dialogue; in the spirit of Panglong, which fully guarantees democratic rights, national equality and the right to self-determination; on the basis of liberty, equality and justice; and upholding the principles of non-disintegration of the union, non-disintegration of national solidarity and perpetuation of national sovereignty”. He urged all groups to resolve long-lasting political problems to meet the objective of the UPDJC, and to build mutual trust to clear up historically–rooted doubts.
The Union Minister highlighted the importance of increasing momentum of political dialogue for post-2020, and the importance of the duties of UPDJC. He said that whether armed conflicts in Myanmar will be ended permanently depends on the efforts of the UPDJC. He added that UPDJC will continue to exist in post-2020, and continue its efforts to settle the political problems. There can be changes of representatives in UPDJC, but the spirit of UPDJC will not change, and that spirit can bring success, said the Union Minister. He also stressed that despite different opinions and arguments among different groups of UPDJC, the members could maintain friendship and actively participate in the meetings. On behalf of the National Reconciliation and Peace Centre, he expressed thanks to all UPDJC members for having the opportunity to work together in UPDJC for more than four years. Union Minister U Kyaw Tint Swe made a wish that the spirit of UPDJC will be maintained in post-2020 too, and all UPDJC members can exert efforts to achieve the objective of the UPDJC and the hope of the Union.
At the meeting, the representatives from the government group were Vice–Chairpersons of UPDJC and Union Minister U Kyaw Tint Swe, Peace Commission Chairperson Dr Tin Myo Win, Union Attorney-General U Tun Tun Oo, Union Minister U Min Thu; UPDJC members Union Ministers U Thant Sin Maung, U Thein Swe, Dr Win Myat Aye and Naing Thet Lwin; Peace Commission Secretary Retired Lt-Gen Khin Zaw Oo, Lt-Gen Tin Maung Win from the Office of Commander-in-Chief (Army), Maj-Gen San Myint, Maj-Gen Soe Naing Oo, Brig-Gen Ye Yint Win, Pyithu Hluttaw MPs Khun Maung Thaung and U Pyone Cho (a) U Htay Win Aung, Peace Commission advisory board member U Hla Maung Shwe, Director-General U Zaw Htay. The representatives from NCA-S EAOs were UPDJC Vice–Chairperson Dr Salai Lian Hmung Sakhong (CNF), Sao Sai Sai Nguen (RCSS), U Myo Win (ABSDF), Saw Mra Raza Lin (ALP), P’doh Saw Tah Doh Moo (KNU), Khun Myint Tun (PNLO), Saw Sein Win (DKBA), Saw Kyaw Nyunt (KNU/KNLA-PC), Nai Aung Min (NMSP), Kyar Solomon (LDU), Mi Su Pwint( ABSDF), Salai Thla Hei (CNF), Dr Sai Oo ( RCSS), Saw Samit Dun (DKBA), Khaing Lin Khaing (ALP) and P’dho Saw L Kalu Sae from KNU. Those from political parties group were Vice–Chairperson of UPDJC U Thu Wai (Democratic Party-Myanmar), U Naing Ngan Lin (NLD), U Myint Soe (USDP), Sai Kyaw Nyunt (SNLD), Tar Hla Pe (Ta’ang – Palaung), U Thein Tun (NUP), U Aung Kyi Nyunt (NLD), Dr Aung Myat Oo (USDP), U Oo Hla Saw (ANP), Khun Tun Shwe (PNO), U Zam Za Hmon (ZCD), U Shwe Min (LNDP), Dr Tu Jar (KSDP), Nai Ta La (MUP), Daw Yin Yin May (KDUP), Saw Tun Aung Myint (KPP) and officials.—MNA (Translated by Aung Khin, Maung Maung Swe)