Youth delegates demand seat at peace talks

Aung Min, the vice-chairman of the Union Peacemaking Work Committee (UPWC), said that he would hold discussions with the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT) on whether to allow two youth representatives to observe the peace talks.

Union ministers Aung Min and Soe Thein, officials of the Myanmar Peace Centre (MPC) and more than 90 representatives from 25 youth organisations met at the MPC in Yangon to discuss the role of young people in the peace process. The youth organisations demanded participation at the next peace talks.

An MPC spokesperson said: “Some political parties and civic society organisations demanded access to the next peace and ceasefire talks as observers. There must be room for young people in the peace process. The current talks have lasted three years. Young people are not represented in the effort to sign a nationwide ceasefire deal. The MPC can’t make the decision. Only the government side and the ethnic groups can decide that.”

A representative from a youth organisation said: “We demanded the right to attend the talks as observers while meeting representatives of the NCCT. The NCCT replied that it needed to seek the approval of the UPWC.”

Aung Min said: “The youth groups can choose two young people and then we will sign it. After that I will discuss it with the NCCT.”

The youth delegates also demanded that military representatives from the UPWC be allowed in the next meetings with the UPWC. Aung Min replied that he would try to arrange it.