Myanmar Govt Negotiation Body to Form Peace Secretariat

By Chit Min Tun 11 September 2019

YANGON—The government’s National Reconciliation and Peace Center (NRPC) is planning to form a Peace Secretariat team in order to negotiate with ethnic armed organizations (EAOs) that are both signatories and non-signatories to the nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA), according to a spokesperson for the Presidents’ Office.

U Zaw Htay, director general of the Presidents’ Office, told reporters about the plan at a press conference following a government meeting in Yangon with negotiators from ten EAOs on Tuesday.

The government is still “discussing with the relevant organizations the formation and structure of a NRPC Peace Secretariat,” he said. “When [it is formed], we will continue [negotiations] on the peace process with both the signatories and non-signatories.”

Currently, the NRPC’s Peace Commission leads all peace process negotiations. The proposed Peace Secretariat would be comprised of experts and civil servants, he said.

The NRPC was formed in July 2016 by the ruling National League for Democracy government after the dissolution of the Myanmar Peace Center, which was formed by the previous government.

Dr. Salai Lian Hmong Sakhong, chairman of the Chin National Front, an NCA signatory, previously told The Irrawaddy the NRPC program needed to be amended and that chief peace negotiator Dr. Tin Myo Win should be appointed at the minister level and implemented into the peace process.

The previous government’s chief peace negotiator, U Aung Min, was a Presidents’ Office minister.

EAOs and civil society groups have previously suggested modifying or expanding the NRPC, calling its peace process implementation far more sluggish than the MPC’s.

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