Leaders from ceasefire signatory and non-signatory ethnic armed groups are meeting in Chiang Mai this week to discuss cooperation on the peace process.
The meeting involves representatives from both the Delegation for Political Negotiation (DPN) – a body under the auspices of the non-signatory coalition the United Nationalities Federal Council – and the Peace Process Working Team (PPST), which is comprised of the eight signatories to the nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA).
Khu Oo Reh, leader of the DPN, said potential for collaboration in several areas will be discussed.
“We are holding this meeting to review and amend [the process] together and to try to establish consensus since it is very important for this process to have approval from both sides,” he said.
The two-day meeting will cover issues surrounding the Panglong Handbook, the framework for political dialogue including the papers on defence and security, joint ceasefire monitoring, terms of reference and the UNFC’s eight-point preconditions to signing the NCA.
A strategy outlining future plans for the peace process will be set down based on the outcomes of the meeting, which is also expected to set a date for a meeting between political parties and ethnic armed groups.
In his opening speech, the PPWT’s leader, P’doh Saw Kwl Htoo Win, indicated that further negotiations will likely be needed.
This is the third meeting between the DPN led by Khu Oo Reh and the PPWT led by P’doh Saw Kwel Htoo Win.