Statement of the Chin National Conference
Hakha, Chin State
15 November 2013
The Chin National Conference (CNC) was held in Hakha, Chin State from 12 to 15 November 2013 with 571 delegates from the Chin State government, political parties, Chin National Front (CNF), civil society organizations, women, youth, university students, and religious leaders, MPs from the Chin National Party (CNP), Chin Progressive Party (CPP) and Ethnic National Development Party (ENDP), Chin Affairs Ministers, representatives of tribal groups and townships, and scholars. The following is a set of common resolutions reached from discussions from the conference.
01. The CNC welcomes President U Thein Sein’s initiatives and vows to solve the root causes of armed conflict through political means in order to achieve sustainable peace. It calls for immediately holding a national-level political dialogue following a nationwide ceasefire agreement.
02. The CNC agrees to use the word ‘Chin’ as the national name and for ethnicity on the National Registration Card when the nationwide census takes place in 2014. Chin people have the right to make their own decisions concerning designation of the Chin tribal groups.
03. The CNC agrees that Chin tribal customary laws be collected, documented, published, and amended as needed in accordance with current contexts and practices.
04. The CNC agrees to request Burma’s government to develop economic and social infrastructure for Chin State and the people in a systematic and equitable way.
05. The CNC agrees that each constituent State draft a State constitution and the 2008 Constitution be amended toward achieving a federal Union of Burma following the necessary framework laid for building a genuine federal Union.
06. The CNC welcomes the National Strategic Plan for the Advancement of Women 2013-2022 (NSPAW) and urges for its implementation in Chin State. It agrees that men and women work shoulder to shoulder to eliminate all forms of discrimination and violence against women in accordance with the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), and that up to 30 percent participation by women be reserved across sectors including politics, peace and security, and social development processes.
07. The CNC urges that the State government be allowed to play a more important role when it comes to rights and issues related to land and natural resources; that priority be given to the consent and involvement of the indigenous people; that a clear system be defined through which the incomes obtained from the natural resources projects will be shared equally between the Union and the States; and that transparency and accountability be ensured when dealing with issues related to land and natural resources.
08. The CNC urges the making of laws that guarantee the rights to freely think, worship and believe in order to end ongoing discrimination and persecution against religious minorities including the Chin, and to replace the Ministry of Religious Affairs with an independent and impartial commission on religious affairs in order to ensure equal rights for all religions in the country.