Summary of the UPDJC Meeting and some outcomes
· The Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee (UPDJC) has held its 12th round of meeting on October 30 and 31, 2017 at the office of National Reconciliation and Peace Centre (NRPC) in Naypyidaw. The representatives from the Government, NCA signatory EAOs, and political parties have attended the meeting.
· Holding the JICM Meeting: As proposed by NCA Signatory EAOs, the meeting duly discussed the need to convene the meeting of the Joint Implementation Coordination Meeting (JICM) following November 20, 2017. It was decided that the government will respond with the exact date as to when the JICM meeting will be held. The meeting further agrees that the next UPDJC meeting shall be held before holding the JICM meeting.
Topics for the Conference: The meeting thoroughly deliberates agendas and issues to be discussed at the next Union Peace Conference – 21st Century Panglong, and decides the following topics to be prioritized in the discussion.
(a) Politics: Constitutional matters concerning democracy and federal systems with a particular focus on basic federal principles for the future Union of Myanmar.
(b) Economics: (i) Regional development matters: basic principles concerning regional development, and (ii) Matters concerning economy and finance based on a federal system: Policy regarding economic and financial matters based on a federal system.
(c) Social: Resettlement, restoration/rebuilding and socio-economic development issues. Basic principles concerning resettlement, restoration, and socio-economic development matters.
(d) Security: National Defence matters be discussed (This matter will only be discussed at the Union level). The meeting further suggests that any issues regarding security matters be informally discussed between Myanmar military and NCA signatory EAOs first, and later present to the Working Committee of UPDJC for the security sector and the Union Peace Conference.
(e) Land and Environment related policy matters: (i) Matters concerning management as well as distribution of land and natural resources with a particular focus on land policy based on a federal system. (ii) Matters concerning environment and natural disaster protection with a particular focus on environment and natural disaster related policy.
(f) Special notes: Among the topics highlighted above, the next Union Peace Conference is going to concentrate on (i) the proposed basic federal principles especially under politics, which have not been finalized or agreed among the delegates during the last conference, and (ii) those issues that were not submitted to the conference despite being discussed in the working committees (WCs).
· Organizing National-level Dialogues: The meeting agrees to make concerted efforts for the possibility of organizing the National-level dialogues especially in both places of Shan and Rakhine states. So far, the Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS) and Arakan Liberation Party (ALP) are the only two NCA signatories that have not been able to hold their national-level dialogues due to some issues of concerns for security and contentions raised by the Myanmar military.
· Adopting Standard Operating Procedure (SOP): The meeting decides that a working committee of 24 members, comprising of 5 Secretaries from each stakeholder plus 3 persons, be created in order to lead the process of drafting Standard Operating Procedure for reviewing a framework for political dialogue and terms of reference as well as national-level dialogue. The proposed working committee shall hold its meeting before the end of November to produce the first draft, which shall be submitted to UPDJC.
· Forum for Civil Society Organisations (CSOs): The meeting decides that the issue based forum for Civil Society Organisations shall be held within the month of November 2017 in order to discuss topics approved by UPDJC, and shall submit its adopted proposed basic principles to the Union Peace Conference – 21st Century Panglong.