by Feng Yingqiu
YANGON, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar will hold the second meeting of the 21st Century Panglong Peace Conference starting Feb. 28 in Nay Pyi Taw, officials said.
A total of 700 representatives are estimated to take part in the five-day conference.
"We agreed to carry out the process with union spirit and to encourage groups that have not yet signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) in the conference," U Zaw Htay, acting director-general of the Ministry of the State Counselor's Office, told the Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee (UPDJC) in the capital.
State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, who is also chairperson of the UPDJC, called for making clear and firm decision for peace.
At the UPDJC meeting, she emphasized the importance of the UPDJC in Myanmar's peace process and highlighted that the organization is neither working for the National League for Democracy (NLD) nor the government but for the emergence of the union.
Chairman of the Joint Cease fire Monitoring Committee Lt. Gen. Ya Pyae also urged for placing emphasis on avoidance of armed conflicts in order to hold the second meeting of the Panglong Peace Conference successfully for national reconciliation and peace.
Late last month, Aung San Suu Kyi held talks with the Peace Process Steering Team (PPST) of armed groups in Nay Pyi Taw with the two sides pledging to strive for achieving a concrete result in the upcoming Panglong peace conference.
Their discussions covered the current conflicts in northern Shan state, the impact on the peace process, domestic and international aid for the development of the ceasefired areas in the state and efforts to bring in non-ceasefired groups to the NCA.
Myanmar government and eight armed groups initiated the NCA on Oct. 15, 2015 and the first meeting of the 21st Century Panglong Conference was held on Aug. 31, 2016.
The first meeting of the Panglong Conference ended on Sept. 3, 2016 with participants agreeing to find solutions through coordination and discussions towards the goal of achieving peace under the guideline of NCA and the establishment of a democratic federal union.
The four-day conference called for prompt implementation of peace without delay and coordination of diversified stances and opinions expressed at the conference.
Challenges remained as to how to bring in non-signatories to the NCA.
Meanwhile, Myanmar begun last month to hold the first national region-oriented political dialogues separately in three areas of Tanintharyi region, and the race-oriented political dialogue in Hpa-An, the country's southeastern Kayin state.
The subject-oriented political dialogue is to follow in Nay Pyi Taw Council area.
The outcome of all regional dialogues will be submitted to the second meeting of the Panglong Peace Conference at the end of this month in accordance with the NCA.