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People's Daily Online

UN welcomes Myanmar's historic ceasefire agreement

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 17:46, March 31, 2015

YANGON, March 31 -- The United Nations on Tuesday expressed welcome of the historic and significant signing of a draft nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA) in Myanmar after negotiation for more than a year, said a statement of the UN Information Center.

On behalf of Special Adviser Vijay Nambiar, the statement said that the signing of NCA between the government's Union Peace- Making Work Committee (UPWC) and ethnic armed groups' Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT) is a first step towards a larger dialogue for settling political and military issues that will pave the way for an inclusive and harmonious future for Myanmar.

However, the statement added that it is a crucial first stage that must be crossed before embarking on the next chapter.

Myanmar is still in a nascent stage of its transition, the statement pointed out, saying that 'Today's agreement is a signal that new levels of trust, confidence and cooperation are possible between former enemies and that the seeds of change in Myanmar are beginning to sprout'.

UPWC and NCCT preliminarily signed the seven-chapter draft NCA here Tuesday as a follow-up of finalization of negotiation on Monday.

Witnessed by President U Thein Sein, the signing was participated by five members each from the UPWC and the NCCT, respectively headed by U Aung Min and U Naing Han Tha.

The event was also witnessed by the UN Special Envoy Vijay Nambiar's Secretary and Chinese Foreign Ministry Special Envoy for Asian Affairs Wang Yingfan.

The finalization of the draft NCA was made on the 7th day of the 7th round of peace talks between the government and ethnic armed groups after the remaining four points got resolved.

The peace process began in November 2013 when UPWC and NCCT met in Myitgyina, capital of Kachin state, for the very first time for the nationwide ceasefire talks, while the final round, which was the 7th, lasted in Yangon from March 17 to 30.

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