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August 2017

Briefing Paper: The Status of the Delegation for Political Negotiation Talks with the
Peace Commission and the Way Forward

The UNFCs Delegation for Political Negotiation (DPN) and the governments Peace
Commission (PC) held their sixth round of talks at the National Reconciliation and Peace
Center office in Yangon on 10-11 August 2017. Following pre-talks in Chiang Mai, this was
the first formal meeting since the UNFCs Second Congress held in June. The Second
Congress included the election of a new UNFC Central Executive Committee (see Annex 1)
and was followed by the appointment of new members to the DPN (see Annex 2). The DPN-
PC talks focused on the UNFCs 9 Points proposal for strengthening and signing the
Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) (see Annex 3).

Background on the UNFCs 9 Points


The UNFC proposed the 9 Points to strengthen the implementation of the NCA, enabling the
UNFC members to sign the NCA. The UNFC proposed the original 8 Points to the new
government more than a year ago. The 9th point was later added, stating that the UNFC
would sign the NCA once the 8 Points were agreed. The issues addressed in the 9 Points
focus on areas where implementation of the NCA requires strengthening. The 9 Points do not
seek to alter the NCA document itself; they strengthen the parties commitments to fully
implement the NCA in a way that will make it sustainable. The UNFCs underlying concerns
that the 9 Points seek to address are primarily the importance of stopping hostilities
throughout the country, carrying out a tripartite political dialogue, and ensuring
implementation of effective monitoring and dispute resolution mechanisms. These are the
basic concerns for achieving long-lasting peace that the DPN has been trying to negotiate for
over one year with the NRPC and Peace Commission.

Update on the Sixth Meeting


Following the fourth meeting on 3 March, the DPN and Peace Commission announced an
agreement in principal on the 9 Points. The task now is to turn that agreement into something
practical. Given that the Peace Commission has agreed in principal to the 9 Points, there must

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be a way that the parties can implement such an agreement, and the DPN seeks to reach an
understanding on those details in order to sign the NCA.
The recent 6th DPN-PC meeting in Yangon advanced the talks on the 9 Points, but did not
reach a full resolution on the proposals. The talks were also aided by the presence of
observers from the signatory EAOs. It has been reported that negotiation was completed for
the first four points. DPN leader Khu Oo Reh cautioned that as long as any point was not
fully agreed, then there was no agreement. The negotiations cannot be measured
quantitatively, since they are part of a package of issues that are necessary to achieve trust in
the implementation process. The DPN and PC agreed to take the remaining issues back to
their respective leaders prior to the next meetings.

Review of Points Five Through Eight


Points five through eight include important issues that still require additional talks to resolve.
For point five, the DPN, PC, and JMC teams have been working toward achieving the
required agreement on the Code of Conduct, JMC TOR, and JMC SOPs.
For point six, regarding international involvement in the JMC, the NCA provides for
international actors to support the JMC through providing technical assistance, advice, and
observers, and the JMC is required to be transparent. The DPN continues to seek creative
solutions that are mutually agreeable to strengthen the implementation of these points to
improve the JMCs functioning and the likelihood of the NCA and peace process holding for
the long-term.
Point seven is about establishing a dispute resolution mechanism. The current NCA
implementation mechanisms have faced difficulty in resolving disputes between the parties.
Multiple serious issues have created deadlock and harmed trust. For example: the failure to
agree on a way to hold all ethnic-based national level dialogues and the failure to establish all
JMC-State offices. The parties to the peace process will face larger challenges in the future,
and we all must be prepared with a more effective dispute resolution mechanism. Again, the
government has agreed in principal to these points, and has in earlier talks indicated certain
possible ways to implement them. The DPN strives to move forward with a real agreement on
these points as soon as possible.
Point eight relates to the implementation of development projects and international
humanitarian assistance. Similar to the preceding points, this point seeks to reaffirm and
strengthen commitment by the parties to effective implementation of the NCA. The need for
agreement on issues related to development projects and humanitarian assistance has become
even clearer since the 9 Points were first proposed.

Final Steps to Build Trust and Way Forward to NCA Signing


As part of the agreement on all the 9 Points, the parties will make them legally binding.
Given that the purpose of the 9 Points is to improve NCA implementation, thereby increasing
confidence in the agreement so that the UNFC can sign the NCA, it is necessary that the
government, Tatmadaw, and DPN not only find mutually acceptable words for the 9 Points,
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but that they also commit themselves to implement the 9 Points as they move forward with
NCA implementation. The 9 Points can only serve its purpose if it is binding on the parties. If
any party does not want to implement the 9 Points or be bound by them as part of the NCA
process, then instead of building confidence in the NCA the ongoing negotiations may harm
confidence.
In addition to negotiating and agreeing on the 9 Points, the UNFC expects to participate in
the Framework for Political Dialogue (FPD) and JMC review processes. These reviews are
also intended to improve the implementation of the NCA, and they complement the substance
of the 9 Points.
With all points agreed and legally binding on the parties, the UNFC members would be able
to sign the NCA.
The DPN continues to seek ways to advance the talks with the government in order to reach
agreement on the 9 Points, sign the NCA, and move forward with a stronger peace process. It
is encouraging that the DPN and PC held their 6th meeting in Yangon and that they have
agreed to hold a 7th meeting in the first half of September. A pre-meeting in Chiang Mai will
take place prior to that meeting. The DPN and PC will need to continue to build mutual trust
and seek guidance from their leadership on ways to reach a mutually beneficial agreement.
In order to achieve this goal, all participants in the talks will need to demonstrate sincerity
and good will in the negotiations and intentions toward the peace process. This could be
aided by focusing on creative ways to resolve the remaining points, by ensuring that the
substantive agreement is then formalized in a legally binding way, and by engaging in an
inclusive and constructive review of the FPD and JMC with other stakeholders. Reducing
military conflicts, human rights abuses, and humanitarian crises will also support confidence
in the political process.

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ANNEX 1: United Nationalities Federal Council Central Executive Committee
June 2017

Name Position Mother Organization

Nai Hong Sar Chairman NMSP

Dr. Khin Maung Vice Chairman ANC

Khu Oo Reh General Secretary KNPP

Col. Hso Aun Joint General Secretary-1 SSPP

Col. Solomon Joint General Secretary-2 LDU

Gen. Bee Htoo Member KNPP

Nai Ong Ma-nge Member NMSP

Twan Zaw Member ANC

Col. Mong Htwam Member ANC

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ANNEX 2: Delegation for Political Negotiation Members
July 2017

Name Position Mother Organization

Khu Oo Reh Team Leader KNPP

Nai Ong Ma-nge Deputy Team Leader NMSP

Dr. Nai Shwe Thein Member NMSP

Col. Hso Aun Member SSPP

Col. Mong Htwam Member ANC

Twan Zaw Member ANC

Na Ve Bon Member LDU

Col. Phone Naing Member KNPP

Maj. Hart Harn Member SSPP

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ANNEX 3: United Nationalities Federal Council Members Proposal (9 Points)
August 2016

Introduction

The UNFC member organizations, which have not yet signed the Nationwide
Ceasefire Agreement (NCA), the signing of which by others took place on October 15, 2015,
agreed upon the points mentioned below, for the establishment of a Federal Democratic
Union, participation in the review and adoption of the Framework for Political Dialogue and
attending the 21st Century Panglong Conference.

1. After reaching this agreement, the government/Tatmadaw is to declare nationwide


ceasefire, within 24 hours, and the UNFC member organizations likewise are to
declare ceasefire respectively within 48 hours.

2. On the basis of freedom, equality and justice and in accordance with the Panglong
Spirit, to establish the Nation of a Federal Democratic Union, which has full
guarantee for the rights of national equality and self-determination.

3. In the various levels of political dialogue, the government, parliament and Tatmadaw
representatives, the ethnic armed resistance organizations representatives and the
official political parties representatives are to be included, and the ethnic
representatives and other representatives, who are appropriate for participation are to
be included only in the sectors relevant to them.

4. Provisions of law, including those of the Constitution, are to be drafted and adopted in
accordance with decisions arising from the 21st Century Panglong Conference.

5. Agreements are to be acquired, in advance, relating to the ceasefire rules to be abided


by the two sides, the military Code of Conduct, Terms of Reference for ceasefire
monitoring and relocation of troops, including the Framework for Political Dialogue.

6. A Joint Ceasefire Monitoring Committee is to be formed with representatives of the


government, the ethnic armed resistance organizations and persons respected and
trusted by the public, together with an international monitoring team composed of
government representatives, acceptable to the two sides.

7. If differences occur with regard to the responsibilities, rules and regulations of the
NCA and this agreement, the two sides are to accept the decision of an independent
Mediation Commission, composed of local and international legal experts and judges,
acceptable to the two sides.

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8. If there are projects to be implemented in the ceasefire areas that would have serious
impact on the local populations, they are to be undertaken in consultation with the
local populations, in accordance with the process and procedures of the Extractive
Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) organization and also in consultation and
agreement with the ethnic armed resistance organizations concerned. In addition, the
international humanitarian assistance is to be managed in consultation by the
government and the ethnic armed resistance organizations, in accordance with this
agreement.

9. The NCA is to be signed, right after agreement is reached upon the points mentioned
above, after negotiation by the two sides.

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