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The role of peace fund initiatives in Burma

Despite a tenuous situation, the international community has begun planning and implementing a range of peace fund initiatives in Burma, including Norway’s Myanmar Peace Support Initiative and the World Bank’s Community Driven Development Program using its State and Peace-Building Fund.

Paul Sein Twa Photo: dhf.uu.seA panel discussion at 8 p.m. on Monday in Bangkok at the Foreign Correspondents Club will look at the potential of the plans to undermine a comprehensive nationwide peace process and engender more harm to local communities than good.

The discussion will look at the possible impacts of peace funds on local communities and the prospect of nationwide peace, as well as other country examples that provide valuable lessons for Burma.

A set of collective recommendations for donors will be released. Norway and the World Bank have also joined the European Union, United Kingdom, the United Nations and Australia to form the Peace Donor Support Group with the objective of catalyzing peace building and development.

Speakers will include Paul Sein Twa (Karen Environmental Social Action Network); Khin Ohmar (Burma Partnership); Tin Tin Nyo (Women’s League of Burma); and Shalmali Guttal (Focus on the Global South).

In a July 18 commentary in Mizzima, Paul Sein Twa said that sustainable peace is the long-term vision of the Karen people that incorporates rule of law, the protection of human rights, democratic governance, security of livelihood and equitable access to natural resources and essential services.

Peace funds can be an important tool for building a culture of peace in Burma, he said.

“However, peace funds must contribute to addressing deep rooted and structural obstacles to realizing peace in the country and strengthen community decision-making processes to identify the priorities of ethnic people,” he said. “The effective management of peace funds includes maximum transparency, support for a shared framework for peace, inclusive and meaningful consultation with a wide-range of non-state actors, multi-party dialogues and clear monitoring and accountability mechanisms.

“Whether peace funds come from Norway-led MPSI, World Bank or other official aid agencies, they should bring in and reach out to local NGOs or CBOs from outside the capital. They should be included in the actual negotiations and decisions. A top-down approach should be eliminated and peace fund proponents should not be party to furthering the divide between the core and the periphery,” he said.

For more information, contact: Jessica Stevens, Media and Communications Officer, Burma Partnership at  +66884307032 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 03 October 2012 12:59 )  

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