Third round of 21st Century Panglong Conference scheduled for January

EMG reporter

Myanmar will hold the Union Peace Conference, also called the 21st Century Panglong Conference, for the third time in the last week of January next year, according to a Joint Implementation Coordination Meeting (JICM).

It was agreed to hold the third peace conference in the last week of January 2018, said officials from both sides during a press conference after the JICM took place at the National Reconciliation and Peace Center in Nay Pyi Taw on November 27.

“We approve the time of holding the upcoming peace conference. The meeting agreed to hold it in the last week of coming January,” said Zaw Htay, director general of the State Counsellor Office Ministry.

At the meeting, the government side was led by State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Vice-Senior General Soe Win. The delegation of the ethnic armed groups that are signatories to the nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA) was headed by leader of the Peace Process Steering Team and chairman of Karen National Union General Saw Mutu Sae Poe.

Chin National Front Vice Chairman Dr Salai Lian Hmung Sakhong said the peace conference was previously planned to be take place at least two times a year, but it hadn’t happened because of the difficulties facing the country, including the Rakhine issue.

The second conference was held in May this year and the third was planned in December. The government wanted to hold the third conference in December while the ethnic armed groups wanted it to take place in February.

Zaw Htay quoted the JICM as saying that it also decided to implement the union agreement in accord with the provisions of NCA.

“We decided that we would implement the union agreement in line with the NCA provisions,” said Zaw Htay.

During the third Union Peace Conference, the participants agreed on a total of 37 points of the union agreement in the first phase.