Clingendael trainers Wilbur Perlot and Eugène van Kemenade were in Myanmar last week to deliver the third Insider Mediation training for the Joint Ceasefire Monitoring Committee (JMC).
The peace process in Myanmar has two pillars. One pillar is National Political Dialogue. The JMC is the other pillar. Of the roughly 45 fighting groups in Myanmar, 10 have now signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) as well as the government and the military (Tatmadaw). All groups and factions that have signed the agreement, as well as representatives from civil society are part of the JMC.
The JMC, which operates on both the Union level as on State level, is more than just the monitor of the ceasefire and in itself important enough. The overall agreement and solutions have to come from the National Political Dialogue, which unfortunately is moving forward slowly. In the meantime the JMC is used as an inclusive mechanism of conflict prevention, resolution and avoiding escalation among the signatories of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement.
Within this context, the skills to negotiate and to mediate are of vital importance for the success and effectiveness of the JMC. Participants came from all sections of the JMC and many with years of experience as a negotiator or mediator. The training helped to enhance their understanding, skills and abilities to mediate and negotiate amongst the groups and parties, but also within their own group and communities. The training finished with a discussion on lessons learned and how to implement them in the context of the JMC, facilitated by JMC staff. The director of the JMC Technical Secretariat Center, U Aung Naing Oo, who was part of the team that designed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement, contributed with his own experiences.
Clingendael has trained about 100 JMC members in the three trainings for Insider Mediation. For now this third training was the last, although during meetings with the JMC and the UNDP new plans were developed for Clingendael to continue to support the capacity building of the JMC.
The training in Myanmar is part of the cooperation between Clingendael and the UNDP on Insider Mediation, which also includes a two week programme for Insider Mediators from all over the world as well as our work in the Philippines. The Clingendael side of the training is part of our larger project Negotiation Training as a Conflict Resolution Instrument, which is financed by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.