Ceasefire Agreement between Myanmar Government and Two Ethnic Armed GroupsStatement from The Nippon Foundation on Step toward Peace

Photo
The signing ceremony

Representatives of the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and two ethnic armed groups signed a ceasefire agreement on February 13 at a ceremony in the capital city of Naypyidaw. Along with Thailand, China, India, the United Nations, and the European Union, Japan, which has promoted dialog among the parties involved and provided humanitarian aid to conflict-affected regions, was a witness to the signing. Yohei Sasakawa, Chairman of The Nippon Foundation, attended the ceremony and signed the agreement in his capacity as Special Envoy of the Government of Japan for National Reconciliation in Myanmar. Following the signing, The Nippon Foundation released the following statement.

Please visit The Nippon Foundation’s website for more information regarding the Foundation’s activities in Myanmar.

Statement Regarding Myanmar Ceasefire Chairman
Yohei Sasakawa, The Nippon Foundation

As Special Envoy of the Government of Japan for National Reconciliation in Myanmar, I cosigned the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement on February 13, 2018 having taken part as a witness in the ceasefire negotiations between the Government of Myanmar and two ethnic armed groups known as the New Mon State Party (NMSP) and the Lahu Democratic Union (LDU).

The ceasefire negotiations between the Government of Myanmar and ethnic armed groups have been ongoing since 2011, and on October 15, 2015, 8 other groups, including the Karen National Union (KNU), signed a ceasefire agreement with the government. In the more than two years since then, the Government and I have continued to talk with the remaining groups. As a result of these efforts agreement has been reached with the NMSP and LDU.

I will do my utmost to see that further agreements can be reached with those groups that are not yet signatories.

The Nippon Foundation has, for the past 40 years, conducted many projects to improve the welfare of the people of Myanmar. In addition to the fields of health, education, agriculture and support for people with disabilities, we have put effort into humanitarian activities aimed at helping the victims of conflict. In particular, we have aided both the victims and returnees to the areas controlled by those ethnic armed groups that signed the 2015 ceasefire agreement. To this end, using its own funding, since March 2016 the Japanese government has worked with Japanese NGOs in more than 20 locations in and around Karen State, to build more than 1,000 residences, install solar panels, dig wells and build such facilities as schools, hospitals and bridges. This is being done so that people in these regions can enjoy the benefits of the ceasefire. The Nippon Foundation will continue to cooperate towards lasting peace in Myanmar.

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Communications Department
The Nippon Foundation

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