The government, Myanmar Army and eight ethnic armed groups who have signed the nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA) started their first joint review of NCA implementation in a three-day meeting which began in Yangon on Wednesday.
The meeting aimed to review how far the negotiation process has reached and what changes are necessary to be able to move forward with the implementation of the NCA process.
Lt-Gen Yar Pyae, a member of the National Reconciliation and Peace Centre (NRPC) and head of the Joint-ceasefire Monitoring Committee (JMC), said in his opening speech to the meeting on Wednesday “whether the momentum of our negotiation process is falling or stalling, we have to talk over it thoroughly.”
He said the need to “continue the negotiation process” began two years ago after the NCA was first signed.
NCA signatories have since formed ceasefire implementation structures on political and military affairs: the Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee (UPDJC) and the JMC.
U Tun Tun Oo, the Union Attorney General and a member of the NRPC, said in his opening speech that the process has been implemented in accordance with the NCA roadmap but agreed that detailed negotiations need to be carried out for each chapter of the NCA text.
U Tun Tun Oo has been involved in the peace process since its inception, having previously held the role of deputy attorney general.
The joint review on more effective implementation of the NCA came after the NCA-signatories—eight ethnic armed organizations (EAOs)—leaders had separate meetings with the State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the Myanmar Army chief Sen-Gen Min Aung Hlaing on Oct. 16, a day after the second anniversary of signing NCA, in Naypyitaw.
U Than Khe, a head of the EAOs’ joint review on NCA implementation, said the negotiators want the peace process to be stronger and thus holding a review on the implementation of the NCA was necessary.
According to U Than Khe, despite three union peace conferences held since 2016, a comprehensive framework for political dialogue has not yet been completed.
There were ongoing discussions for a flexible political dialogue framework before each of the peace conferences convened. In addition, some of the terms of references for implementing the NCA principles are still needed to be drafted, he said.
“Thus we realized that there are some obstacles in the implementation of the NCA, and therefore, we have come together to find solutions to overcome these,” said U Than Khe.
The joint review will be shared with the Joint-ceasefire Implementation Committee Meeting, the highest authority in the peace building process, he added.