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: