Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Press Statement on “Forum on Myanmar’s Democratic Transition”

Nay Pyi Taw, 9 August : A three-day “Forum on Myanmar’s Democratic Transition’ in Nay Pyi Taw will bring together more than thirty speakers from the country and abroad on August 11-13 ,2017 in an exercise to review the progress towards democracy in Myanmar , the challenges faced and the roadmap for the future.

Organised by the Ministry of Information with support from a host of global and local partners, the conference will be opened by State Counselor Daw Aung San SuuKyi . After her inaugural speech, Information Minister DrPeMyint will lay bare the context in which the “Forum” is being organized, its objectives and what it seeks to achieve. The venue for the ‘Forum’ is the Myanmar International Convention Centre-2.
Several ministers and lawmakers , leaders of civil society groups, media practitioners, business leaders and veteran civil servants and representatives from Myanmar military will be joined by a number of international participants that includes Indonesian Lt General (retd) Agus Widjojo, former Vice Chairman of the Indonesia and Tentara Nasional Indonesia’s (TNI) Chief of Territorial Affairs and, one of its leading intellectuals.
Ambassadors from India, Norway and Singapore and other diplomats, UN functionaries and leading academics specializing on Myanmar will join the intense deliberations at the Forum.
Six plenary sessions bringing together more than thirty speakers will be followed by as many ‘winding-up’ interactive sessions that will seek out views from a cross section of more than 450 participants that would include special observers from foreign governments and global bodies who support Myanmar’s transition to democracy.
The Forum is seen as both a stock taking exercise in Myanmar’s transition to democracy as to identify the hurdles that confront the complex process and chart out a roadmap for the future.
“The Forum will be the largest review exercise on Myanmar’s democratic process so far,” said U Myint Kyaw, deputy permanent secretary at the Ministry of Information, who is heading the organizational effort for the ‘Forum’.
“We are making detailed arrangements for three days of intense deliberations that would be conducted in a free and frank atmosphere.”
At a time when the world is drifting towards intolerant right-wing sectarian regimes and even established democracies are showing signs of erosion of the spirit of democracy, Myanmar is struggling hard to emerge into a functional democracy, leaving behind more than five decades of authoritarian rule.
In the process, it faces many challenges like the one of establishing democratic federalism to ensure inclusive future for the nation’s many ethnic minorities, many of whom have challenged the Union government with force of arms for decades.
The Forum will inevitably focus on the ceasefires and the peace-making processes they seek to herald and two full sessions will be devoted to the issues involved.
One session will focus on the transition from a command economy to a market economy, an important economic corollary to the political transition from authoritarian rule to democracy.

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