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Taunggyi, Shan State, December 4, 2013
Statement of the Civil Society for Peace and Development Forum, held in Taunggyi, Shan State, from 1 to 4 December 2013.
The Forum resulted in the creation of a Peace and Development Network and issued the following statement, which was later endorsed by the Shan State Government and presented to the Central Government.

Assessment and agreement of the Civil Society for Peace and Development Forum:

1. One hundred and fifty six representatives from civil society groups from different places such as Kayin, Mon, Thanintayi, North Shan, South Shan, Ayeyawady, Yangon, Pegu, Mandalay and Rakhine, came together from 1-4 December, 2013 at St. Joseph’s Pastoral Center, Taunggyi, to discuss the peace process and the need for public participation.
 
2. The assessment and conclusions of the meeting:
 
(A) Peace, justice and development are interconnected, and people’s participation in the peace process is crucial.
 
(B) However, there is no recognition or formal mechanism for participation of the people in the peace process. As a result, there is still a threat to public security.
 
(C) We, the people, suffer from the effects of the decades long conflict and short sighted decisions such as non-inclusive cease fire agreements.
 
(D) In this transition period, we need to see results that are beneficial for the public, now and in the future.
 
(E) To achieve these results, people’s participation in the decision making process should be formalized.
 
(F) The priorities for implementing the peace agreement:
  • To implement immediate nationwide cease fire and to safeguard public security.
  • To abolish those laws that limit public participation, and to guarantee human rights and human dignity for all.
  • To promote women’s participation in the peace process.
  • To make and implement laws that promote women’s rights.
  • To promote young people’s involvement in the peace process and development of the country.
  • To acknowledge freedom of education and its contribution to sustainable peace.
  • To implement relevant long term and the short term policies with regard to the drugs issue in Myanmar.
  • To promote transparency, social justice, sustainable development and public participation in investments and development initiatives.
  • To take responsibility for demining to guarantee the public’s safety and land rights. To sign the Mine Ban Treaty against the use of landmines.
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  • To take responsibility for demining to guarantee the public’s safety and land rights. To sign the Mine Ban Treaty against the use of landmines.
  • During the implementation of the peace agreement, the government should ensure opportunity for healing of physical, mental and social trauma.
  • To have proper implementation of the peace and development process as agreed on and recommended.
  • To promote and protect ethnic culture, literature, heritage and environment.
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    In summary: in order to have sustainable peace, justice and development for all citizens, we, the people, strongly request and recommend the government to formally recognize people’s participation in the transitional period for peace, justice and development.

    Translated from the original Burmese. The Forum was organized by NGSS, Paung Ku and BCN.

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    website: g.s.b. schagen ©2014; text&pictures: Burma Centrum Nederland ©2014