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Burma Groups Release Concerns and Recommendations on Peace Funds

By Karen Environmental and Social Action Network and Burma Partnership  •  October 8, 2012

Burma’s ethnic community and civil society organizations released a position paper today welcoming peace fund initiatives but expressing concerns and recommendations to encourage the funds to support the country’s nascent peace process.

“There are many elements that successful peace funds must include, namely inclusive consultations, engagement with full organizations rather than individuals, equitable natural resource management and land rights, and addressing anxiety over the return of refugees and internally displaced persons,” described Paul Sein Twa, Director of the Karen Environmental and Social Action Network. “Peace fund initiatives must incorporate these issues so that there can be a long-term solution to conflict.”

The position paper was launched at a panel discussion at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand in Bangkok this evening. Speakers included Paul Sein Twa, Khin Ohmar, Coordinator of Burma Partnership, and Shalmali Guttal of Focus on the Global South. The discussion was moderated by Veronica Pedrosa from Al Jazeera.

The paper was the result of several strategy meetings, consultations and exchanges with Burma groups over the last few months. In it, the groups outline a multi-track process that peace funds must support, including national reconciliation through a negotiated political settlement between armed ethnic groups and the government, addressing the causes of conflict and underlying issues affecting peace processes, and support socio-economic reconstruction with sustainable development. The paper also gives detailed recommendations to peace fund donors.

“We believe that this is a time of many opportunities for our country, but we want donors to invest properly in order to truly support sustainable peace. Economic development cannot be a substitute for a political settlement to long-standing inequality and lack of fundamental rights for Burma’s ethnic nationalities,” said Khin Ohmar.

The position paper can be downloaded here.

For more information, please contact:

Paul Sein Twa: paulkesan@gmail.com or +66817247093
Khin Ohmar: khinohmar@burmapartnership.org or +66818840772

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