“For domestic and exiled political parties to be able to cooperate, and both sides agree to work together, when needed, for the movement of 2008 constitutional amendment and for the establishment of [a] federal union,” said Colonel Khun Okkar, the organizing secretary for the UNFC’s congress meeting.
The first UNFC congress meeting began on August 25th, but had to be postponed for two days in order for the council to meet with Burma’s political parties on August 29th and 30th. The UNFC then continued its meetings on August 31st and September 1st.
On August 29th and 30th, the UNFC held meetings with five political parties from Burma, as well as Thailand-based women and youth organizations.
According to the Karen National Union’s (KNU} general secretary Padoh Kwe Htoo Win, the meeting’s main discussions included 2008 constitutional amendment and nationwide ceasefire agreements.
“We have discussed that of what we see upon our NCCT’s work [in] signing nationwide ceasefire, and that of each party’s points of view [regarding] the 2008 constitution,” said Padoh Kwe Htoo Win.
About 113 representatives from political parties or organizations, including the UNFC member groups, were present at the meeting.
Domestic political parties requested that meetings be held regularly with the UNFC in order to exchange political views and discussions.
“To meet often, to have more [public] people involved in [the] peace process, and to be able for both domestic and exiled political [groups] to get more involved, that is what their side wants. On the side of domestic political forces, they also suggest how the nationwide ceasefire agreement should be signed,” continued Colonel Khun Okkar.
During the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team’s [NCCT] August 18th meeting with 43 registered political parties at the Myanmar Peace Center (MPC) in Rangoon, the political parties requested that the NCCT meet with them once per month, but the NCCT replied that monthly meeting would not be easy for them.
At the council’s first annual meeting, political parties urged the UNFC not just to state their objectives on paper, but to accomplish them and make them happen.
After meeting with national political parties, the UNFC continued its congress on August 31st and September 1st.