STATEMENT BY THE SPECIAL ADVISER TO THE SECRETARY-GENERAL ON MYANMAR, VIJAY NAMBIAR

Yangon, 10 October 2013. Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Myanmar, Vijay Nambiar participated as observer in the peace talks between the Myanmar Government and the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) in Myitkyina from 8-10 October.

Following the last meeting in May, this latest round of dialogue achieved significant progress on important issues such as the establishment of a joint monitoring committee, assistance and resettlement of IDPs, the opening of additional roads and highways, and consultations with the local communities as key components of the peace process. Most importantly, the parties committed themselves to further de-escalation of violence and to moving the peace process forward speedily towards a Nationwide Ceasefire Accord.

The presence as Observers of ethnic groups, political parties and civil society representatives at this meeting was also notable. The United Nations welcomes the decision to hold a high level meeting of leaders of all ethnic armed groups to find a joint way forward. This further strengthens the hope of a peaceful end to more than half a century of Civil war and the start of a political dialogue where key concerns for all ethnic groups will be addressed. The United Nations encourages all stakeholders in Myanmar to work together to reach the next stage of the political process

While there have been some sporadic clashes since the last round of talks in May, it is encouraging that these have reduced significantly. The Special Adviser expressed the hope that the situation at the ground level would further improve and encouraged representatives at all levels on both sides to resolve all possible issues through dialogue.

The Special Adviser was deeply impressed by the genuine spirit of goodwill displayed by the Government and KIO negotiating teams while conducting these negotiations. It requires both courage and statemanship to negotiate with courtesy and magnanimity in the midst of conflict. He
expressed his particular respect and admiration for Minister U Aung Min, General Myint Soe, Sumlut Gam and General Gun Maw for their exceptional leadership in these negotiations. He also underlined his respect for the Kachin people, civil society and religious leaders for their important
contributions.

The Special Adviser reaffirmed his belief that a Peaceful solution to the conflict in Kachin is of great importance, not only for the people in Kachin, but for the country as a whole. The United Nations will continue to
assist and support the people of Myanmar as the country continues on its path towards peace and democracy. ENDS