A POLITICAL DIALOGUE

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The two oldest and strongest militias fighting the government are the Karen National Union KNU , which has remained active since the late s, and the Kachin Independence Organisation, which was formed in the early s. In total, here are more than a dozen mostly ethnic-based guerrilla groups active throughout the country. Especially in the period of junta dictatorship that lasted until the government attempted to crush the rebellions, which led to numerous human rights violations. With the start of democratic reforms in the aftermath of the elections, peace negotiations have taken place and resulted in the signing of various agreements, although conflicts remain active.

Page 1, Chapter 1 Aims and Objectives 1. The aims and objectives of the Framework for Political Dialogue are Negotiate to find answers to achieving internal peace, national reconciliation, and to ensuring all ethnic nationalities are able to live together in harmony and equality. Page 2, Chapter 2, Basic Principles 2. The basic principles for all stages of political dialogue based on this Framework for Political Dialogue are Collectively establish a national identity that embraces the diverse ethnicities and languages by recognizing the distinctive history, cultural practices, literature, language and national characteristics of all ethnic nationalities living within the Republic of the Union of Myanmar.

Hold inclusive political dialogue, attended by all relevant stakeholders, in accordance with the aspirations and desires of all ethnic nationalities in order to achieve lasting and sustainable peace. Guarantee equal rights to all citizens who live within the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, and ensure that no citizen shall be discriminated against on the basis of ethnicity, religion, culture, or gender.

Discuss matters concerning the Pyidaungsu Tatmadaw made up of all ethnic nationalities during political dialogue. Representatives of the government, parliament, Tatmadaw, ethnic armed organizations, registered political parties, ethnic nationalities, civil society organizations, and relevant stakeholders may participate in national political dialogue. Issues under the six 6 major topics to be discussed during national political dialogue relating to ethnic nationalities, specific regions, or citizens at large may be discussed at the state and region level, or at the nationwide level.

Page 4, Chapter 4, 4. There shall be total participants in the Union Peace Conference comprising: 75 representatives of the government, 75 representatives of parliament, representatives of the Tatmadaw, representatives of the ethnic armed organizations, representatives of registered political parties, 50 ethnic representatives, and 50 relevant stakeholders. Page 5, Chapter 4, 4.

The government, ethnic armed organizations and registered political parties shall select in equal numbers, the 50 representatives of ethnic nationalities and 50 representatives of relevant stakeholders to participate in the Union Peace Conference. The topics are: a. Matters relating to the ethnic collective rights of every ethnic nationality.

The topics are Matters relating to worship and religion. Establish a secular state based on the principle of the separation of religion and state in order to avoid abuse of religion for political interests. Page 1, Preamble, The Framework for Political Dialogue is drafted with the objective of establishing a Union based on the principles of democracy and federalism in accordance with the outcomes of political dialogue; in the spirit of Panglong, which fully guarantees democratic rights, national equality and the right to self-determination; on the basis of liberty, equality and justice; and upholding the principles of non-disintegration of the union, non-disintegration of national solidarity and perpetuation of national sovereignty.

The basic principles for all stages of political dialogue based on this Framework for Political Dialogue are: a. Establish a Union based on the principles of democracy and federalism in accordance with the outcomes of the political dialogue; in the spirit of Panglong, which fully guarantees democratic rights, national equality and the right to self-determination; on the basis of liberty, equality and justice; and upholding the principles of non-disintegration of the union, non- disintegration of national solidarity and perpetuation of national sovereignty.

Signing of the Pyidaungsu Accord The Pyidaungsu Accord, that is based on the outcome of the various stages of political dialogue, shall be signed in order to establish the Union of the Republic of Myanmar based on the principles of democracy and federalism in accordance with the outcomes of the political dialogue; in the spirit of Panglong, which fully guarantees democratic rights, national equality and the right to self-determination; on the basis of liberty, equality and justice; and upholding the principles of non- disintegration of the union, non-disintegration of national solidarity and perpetuation of national sovereignty.

Establish a Union based on the federal principle, which fully guarantees national equality and the right to self-determination, in accordance with the outcomes of political dialogue. Matters relating to the practical division of judicial, executive and legislative powers of government, mutual restraint, and reforms. Reforms of Union general administration. Based on the provisions of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement and the Framework for Political Dialogue, the following detailed list of topics shall be discussed during the Union Peace Conference.

Political dialogue takes place inmany forms; is initiated and facilitated by a variety of actors; and takesplace at various levels of society. Four main types of dialogue have beenidentified: i High-level or summit dialogues involving the top leadership ofcontending sections of the population. These dialogues are often initiated ormediated by the international community.

Democracy and Political Dialogue - Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Kosovo Office

These are high-risk events, with muchat stake. It is increasingly, but not yet sufficiently,understood that such planning has to be driven by political dialogue. These four approaches are not mutually exclusive, rathercomplementary. Each type has its advantages and limitations.

The Framework for Political Dialogue

It is oftenadvisable to pursue different types of dialogue in parallel, on the conditionthat they pursue the same overall objectives and are not contradictory. Political dialogue is a complexpolitical and psychological process. For success it relies on specificpreconditions and professional attention. An under-estimation of its complexity contributes to failure. The preconditionsfor successful dialogue are:. Credible facilitation. It is crucial to have a skilled facilitatorthat all parties accept and feel comfortable with in order to make the processas fair and even-handed as possible.

Sufficient political commitment.


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Political will is important forthe dialogue to reach inclusive agreements; and for effective implementation. Political commitment is influenced by internal and external political pressure;but is strongest when participating parties enjoy a sense of ownership of thedialogue process. Collective leadership capability. A critical factor determining thesuccess of dialogue is the capability of leaders to form coalitions acrosspolitical and social divides in order to implement decisions that have beenmade through the dialogue process. Where the capability to form such coalitionsdoes not exist, little can be expected from dialogue in terms of lastingresults.

Adequate inclusion. The aspect of inclusion is of criticalimportance because exclusion is often a major cause of conflict. It is in mostcases a contentious issue; and in reality difficult to satisfy all. The inclusion of women is crucial as the political dialogue processcan be a window of opportunity for addressing structural inequalities. Theinclusion of youth is also highly important given the demographic realities ofmany societies. It is possible to improve theeffectiveness of political dialogue through well-designed interventions.

Thefive strategies that hold most promise are:. Strengthening leadership capability to formproductive coalitions. The improvement of the knowledge, attitudes, andskills of the collective leadership of a society with regards to participativeleadership and dialogue holds much promise. Infrastructures for peace. The approach relies on existing institutions government, civil society and traditional , providing effective linkage andcoordination between them.

The approachhas also shown promising results when used in the context of potentiallyviolent elections. Conducting planning processes as politicaldialogue. In a context where planning for development has immediateconsequences for either a return to violence or constructive peacebuilding,planning cannot be conducted as purely bureaucratic procedures.

These processes also provide opportunities for dialogue with donors.

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Theunderstanding is that planning should not outpace political consensus, butshould be aligned to political reality and conducted as political dialogue. Allthe preconditions for successful dialogue therefore apply to these processes. Attention to the implementation ofagreements. It is normal that the implementation of agreements resultingfrom dialogue will be troubled by recurring doubts, ongoing intra-party andinter-party tensions, and new challenges.

It is therefore necessary to pay specific and serious attention tomeasures to support the implementation process. Measures to be considered inthis regard include the validation of dialogue results through as broad apublic process as is possible. Civil society institutions have a critical roleto play in monitoring agreements and holding parties to account. Conductingplanning as ongoing political dialogue, as discussed above, will alsocontribute to constructive implementation.

On the whole it means that thedialogue process does not end with the signing of agreements, but has tocontinue with a focus on implementation. Agreements should therefore includeprovision for procedures or institutions to monitor implementation andfacilitate ongoing dialogue. Institutionalization of dialogue support. Given the need for expert support to mediation and facilitation processes, itis in the interest of individual societies and the international community toinvest in and support institutions that focus on deepening knowledge throughresearch, that improves facilitation skills though training, and that have thecapacity to provide technical support to dialogue processes.

Such institutionsexist at international level e. Complex socio-political conflicts are not solved throughonce-off dialogue events, but through ongoing, multi-faceted and multi-leveldialogue processes. Building sufficient social cohesion and functionaldemocratic institutions in societies that have been ravaged by violent conflictis a process that takes decades rather than years.

Political dialogue, in otherwords, has to be sustained across all the levels of society for a prolongedperiod of time. It is therefore necessary, for the countries involved anddonors alike, to invest long-term in the capacity of a society to conductpolitical dialogue. The short-term perspective that still holds in some circlesof the international community and that sees the first post-crisis democraticelections as the end of the crisis, has to change.

The international community has played a substantive rolein initiating, facilitating and supporting political dialogue inconflict-affected societies.

Yet, its role is not without its controversies anddilemmas. This report offers a number of buildingblocks for such a dialogue. Thecontribution of political dialogue to post-violence reconstruction and reducingfragility is its role in facilitating consensus, strengthening legitimacy,building trust, promoting reconciliation, and enabling productive coalitionsbetween important actors.

Dialogue with authorities and politicians

Dialogue plays a necessary role in violenceprevention, peacemaking and peacebuilding. Politicaldialogue takes place in many forms, with each approach having specificadvantages and disadvantages. It means that care has to be taken in designing adialogue process. Success is not guaranteed, and failure may do harm because ofreduced confidence and dialogue fatigue. However, there is sufficient evidencethat the impact of political dialogue can be strengthened and improved throughwell-designed interventions. Itis evident that a specific dialogue process is not able to address all thevariables that cause conflict.

There is need for multiple interventions thatcomplement each other and that operate at different levels of society. Politicaldialogue is a complex undertaking that relies on specific preconditions andthat benefits from professional attention. The preconditions are adequatepreparation, credible facilitation, sufficient political commitment, thecollective leadership capability to form productive coalitions, and sufficientinclusion.

Complexpolitical problems and deeply embedded patterns of distrust and hostilitycannot be solved through a once-off dialogue event. The process of buildingsufficient social cohesion and functional institutions in a society that hasbeen ravaged by violent conflict is a long-term process of two to threedecades. The focus therefore has to be on strengthening procedures orinstitutions that have the capacity to sustain dialogue processes. Ultimatelythe objective has to be a political culture that resorts to dialogue as thefirst response to rising tensions. Itis in the interest of affected societies and the international community toinvest in procedures or institutions that assume responsibility for ongoingdialogue and that enhance the potential for success with dialogue.

Planningfor peacebuilding and development has to be driven by political dialogue. Theseare political matters with the potential to either contribute to furtherviolence or to peace, and should not be pursued in a purely technical or bureaucraticmanner. It is important to ensure that the political dialogue that shouldunderpin these processes is conducted with full awareness of the preconditionsfor success. Theimplementation of dialogue results is an area that needs particular attention,particularly in terms of strengthening procedures or institutions to assist theimplementation process.

What is clear is that the need for dialogue does notend when an agreement is signed. Political dialogue remains necessarythroughout the implementation process. Transitional Political Arrangements after departures fromconstitutional order: five recent cases involving UN mediation support.

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Chopra,T InternationalPeacekeeping DeVer H. Kennedy An analysis of Leadership DevelopmentProgrammes working in the context of development. Research Paper ,Developmental Leadership Program. Peacekeeping anddemocratization. From War to Democracy. Dilemmas 0f Peacebuilding. Jarstad and T. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. INCAF Unpacking complexity.

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ResearchPaper , Developmental Leadership Program. Sisk From war to democracy. Dilemmas ofpeacebuilding. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. Report of meeting on March, , Geneva. Washington DC, U. Institute of Peace. Hogg The case for leadership and the primacy of politics inbuilding effective states, institutions and governance for sustainable growthand social development. Development Leadership Program, Background Paper

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