PPST says it engages in humanitarian works through ASEAN collaboration

The ethnic armed organizations (EAOs) participating in the Peace Process Steering Team (PPST) and having signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) are collaborating with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to carry out humanitarian initiatives within their respective territories, announced at the PPST Summit held on May 17th and 18th.

In March, the National Solidarity and Peacemaking Negotiation Committee (NSPNC) of the Military Council and the Peace Process Steering Team (PPST) engaged in informal online discussions. Following these discussions, the recent PPST Summit took place in Chiang Mai, Thailand with the aim of presenting the outcomes of the March discussions to NCA-signed EAO leaders and seek their guidance on the matter, according to PPST.

NCA-signed EAOs had extensive discussions regarding their collaborative efforts with the ASEAN Coordinating Center for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Center) and reached an agreement to work on developing processes and methods aimed at safeguarding civilians from future disasters, PPST stated on May 18th.

Colonel Saw Kyaw Nyunt, the spokesperson of PPST told KIC that there are numerous communities in the country facing the repercussions of political conflicts and in need of assistance, and PPST is actively collaborating with various relevant organizations, including ASEAN, to ensure the efficient and impactful delivery of support to these communities.

“As a matter of fact, this is not our first collaboration with ASEAN in humanitarian endeavors. We have had ongoing projects in place before. The AHA Center has been instrumental in working alongside us to streamline humanitarian efforts, aligning them with the three key principles of the NCA. However, it should be noted that not all seven EAOs within the PPST are engaged in collaboration with the AHA Center. Each EAO is independently carrying out humanitarian activities within their respective territories, either autonomously or in coordination with ASEAN”, he explained.

NCA-affiliated EAOs are diligently striving to provide assistance to communities in need beyond their controlled regions, as well as making concerted efforts to collaborate effectively in all ongoing humanitarian operations, Colonel Saw Kyaw Nyunt added.

According to PPST’s statement, the 7 NCA-signed EAOs have pledged to exert their utmost efforts in providing emergency aid and relief operations to Rakhine State and other storm-affected regions, which suffered significant damage from the devastating Cyclone Mocha that struck western Myanmar in the third week of May.

The Karen National Union (KNU), Chin National Front (CNF) and Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP), which previously accepted the NCA agreements, were decided to partner with National Unity Government (NUG) to announce a statement aiming to call ASEAN’s more collaboration to international organizations including the United Nations to response Myanmar’s humanitarian needs because the country is practically plunging into a terrible humanitarian disaster.

The Karen National Union (KNU), Chin National Front (CNF), and Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP), who had previously accepted the NCA agreements, have joined forces with the National Unity Government (NUG) to issue a statement urging increased collaboration from ASEAN and international organizations, including the United Nations (UN), in addressing the pressing humanitarian needs of Myanmar, a country currently facing a dire humanitarian crisis.

The New Mon State Party (NMSP), a member of PPST, has submitted a request to transition from a permanent membership status to that of a cooperation partner. As a result, during the recent PPST Summit, while leaders from other NCA-signed EAOs were present, the NMSP participated with only two representatives serving as observers, as reported by certain attendees.

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