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Building and preserving peace is a long and often challenging process, requiring patience, support, and determination. Since the signature of the Myanmar Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement in October 2015, the 21st Century Panglong Union Peace Conference has provided a valuable moment each year for stakeholders to rally behind this process and to provide it with fresh impetus.
Challenges still lie ahead. Ongoing clashes in several ethnic states result in continued human suffering. Fighting must cease and humanitarian assistance be allowed to reach all affected civilians without delay.
Experience from around the world tells us that peaceful, negotiated solutions are the long-lasting ones, the ones that bring genuine stability, security, enhanced economic prosperity and, ultimately, better lives. The third session of the Conference, which opens tomorrow, presents another opportunity for Myanmar to choose dialogue over fighting, and inclusion over divisions. As a formal witness to the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement, the European Union will continue to work with all stakeholders to overcome the challenges that remain, and to accompany the people of Myanmar as they shape a democratic, peaceful future for them and generations to come.