From 30 October to 2 November 2013, an unprecedented meeting took place at the Kachin Independence Organisation headquarters in Laiza. For the first time, representatives of 17 armed ethnic opposition groups were able to meet in Burma with the consent of the Government.
Although there had been numerous concerns prior to the conference, it appeared that such worries could be addressed. General Saw Mutu Sae Poe, Chairman of the KNU, noted during the conference that:
“Different things may come out of this conference. Unity is of great importance; to meet the wishes and aspirations of all of our ethnic organisations . . . Understanding is also a key factor. We must build unity only through rich diversity of opinion. We KNU believe this.”
This Laiza conference finally resulted in the creation of a 13 member Nationwide Ceasefire Coordinating Team (NCCT) and the signing of an ‘11-Point Common Position of Ethnic Resistance Organisations on Nationwide Ceasefire’ or Laiza agreement. The agreement was made to discuss the following points with the Union Peacemaking Work Committee (UPWC) at the next meeting in Myitkyina.
NCCT is a working team made up of all the ethnic armed organisations. Their mandate is to take responsibility on writing the nationwide ceasefire document based on mutual understanding between the different armed groups so far. However, at the Law Khee Lah Conference it was agreed that NCCT has the mandate to discuss and change the document technically, except at policy level. Once the final document is ready, the respective ethnic organisation leaders can deicide and discuss with UPWC on the nationwide ceasefire.