An unprecedented conference of ethnic armed groups/non-state actors organised by the Kachin Independence Organisation was convened at KIO headquarters in Laiza from 30 October to 2 November 2013. 102 delegates and observers from 17 organisations attended. Each organisation sent 3 representatives to participate in the ethnic armed conference. The KNU delegation was led by KNU Chairman, General Saw Mutu Sae Poe, including the KNU General Secretary, P’doh Saw Kwe Htoo Win and Political & Military Advisor to the KNU Chairman, Col Saw Htoo Htoo Lay.
The Conference adopted a 6-step Road Map and the “Framework for a Political Dialogue” drafted last year by the Working Group for Ethnic Coordination (WGEC). A Nationwide Ceasefire Coordinating Team was formed to discuss the proposed Nationwide Ceasefire with the government. Thirteen of the 17 organisations present were able to immediately nominate representatives to the NCCT. The remaining four and at least three other organizations not present, will nominate members at a later date.
The conference included delegates from organisations with and without ceasefire agreements. Delegates were also from member and non-member organisations of the United Nationalities Federal Council. The UNFC is an alliance of 11-armed groups, which in June 2013 had announced that it would no longer participate in the WGEC.
President Thein Sein also sent a congratulatory letter to the Conference wishing them every success in building unity for peace and consensus for the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement.