Ceasefire agreement in Myanmar: an important step towards peace

'The signing of a national ceasefire agreement in Myanmar today is an important first step towards lasting peace. Norway is ready to support all the parties in the further process,' said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.

Today, the authorities, the army and several of the armed ethnic groups in Myanmar signed a national ceasefire agreement. The agreement is a milestone in the peace process, and an important step towards resolving a conflict that that has lasted for several decades.

'It is positive that representatives from all the armed groups have been involved in negotiating the agreement, even though not all of them will sign it today. I urge all parties to abide by their commitments, also those who are not signing the agreement at this stage.

'Myanmar faces many, complex challenges. We hope and expect that today's agreement will provide a basis for peace and reconciliation efforts, and that the authorities and the ethnic groups will be able to build on this, after the election as well. It will be important to ensure an inclusive political dialogue in the time ahead,' said Mr Brende.

Norway has supported the reform and democratisation efforts in Myanmar since 2012, including through the Myanmar Peace Support Initiative and the international Peace Support Group, which Norway has led. Norwegian organisations and their partners are also playing a key role in supporting peacebuilding activities.