Ceasefire signatories not ready for third peace conference

Min Naing Soe

The ethnic armed groups that are signatories to the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) are not ready yet for the third round of the 21st Century Panglong Conference despite the government and political parties’ plan to hold it at the end of this month, said Zaw Htay, director general from the Ministry of State Counsellor Office.

A meeting took place between government representatives and NCA signatories at the National Reconciliation and Peace Centre in Nay Pyi Taw on May 18 and 19 to discuss the holding of the third peace conference as scheduled, but compromise could not be reached.

"The government for its part had prepared for the upcoming peace conference this month. The political parties had also prepared. EAOs (ethnic armed organisations) told us they would reply after an informal meeting. So, we discussed the matter at the informal meeting. But they are not ready yet. So we will not be able to hold the conference by the end of this month," said Zaw Htay.

The 21st Century Panglong Conference also known as the Union Peace Conference is due to take place two times a year. However, it has not been held since the second round over one year ago.