Peace Forum at Arts Hall

13 February 2020

Peace process has been a serious issue in different periods of history and also a major problem in international relations. Peace and security is essential for human life and critical to society because it affects the social and economic development of a country. A country can develop and grow economically with peaceful coexistence among its peoples, and within its borders. Building peace and adequate security involves a wide range of efforts by diverse actors in government and civil society at the national and international levels to address the causes of violence and ensure that people have freedom from fear of humiliation and conflicts.

For the peace process, "Peace Forum" was held at Arts Hall of Yangon University on 8th February.The forum was jointly organized by Centre Development for Ethnic Studies (CDES) and Yangon Region Youth Affairs Committee (YRYAC). The discussions are brought to the audiences by the experts. The topics focused on the current situations of peace, opportunities and challenges and also the youth's empowerment in peace process.

Dr. Lian Hmung Sahkong, Vice-President of Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee (UPDJC) said, "We made three main decisions in last meeting of Joint Implementing Coordination Meeting (JICM) meeting. Firstly, we will focus on NCA, and the editing of frameworks if needed. Secondly, we will organize more of peace talks. We have chosen what topics we are going to discuss with the government. We have upcoming appointments with the government on 16, 17 and 18 February. Thirdly, we are organizing another Union Peace Conference in April. There are still ceasefires in places that can decline to sign NCA. To stop the ceasefire and to solve the political problems in political way, they need to sign the NCA and democracy and federal principles should be stipulated."

Youths are actively joining in their communities to make positive contributions to peace. They are feeling they are excluded from political processes as their roles are important in peace rebuilding.

Htet Paing Soe, national representative of YRYAC said how the youths have been taking responsibilities.

"The main plans of YRYAC concerning the peace process can be divided into two parts, the process and activities. As for the process, we take part as observers in Union Peace Conference-also known as the 21st Century Panglong. And for the activities, we organize peace talks. People don't know when peace process and national reconciliation will end. On the other hand, youths have to take responsibilities for such goals of achieving peace in the future. So, we have to make sure that youths understand what has been done and what they should continue. There are peace processes which are succeeded and some are still in the process. Youths can have different ideas and point of views on such issues so we want the government to focus on youths' voices and also people's voices."

The Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) is the agreement between the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and the Ethnic Armed Organizations which focuses on the enduring peace on the principles of dignity and justice.

Pomo and Soe Yadana