The Congress of Nations and States (CNS) is an independent platform created to bring together ethnic minority community from around the world and in equal partnership with governments work together to solve challenges. CNS has many different projects, but one of the main projects it undertakes is bringing together ethnic groups throughout Burma to raise awareness on the issues facing the country. The leader of the Burma Dialogues and Summit in CNS is Dr. Habib Ullah. For the second Summit CNS co-hosted the summit with Beth Lilach who is the Director of the Konar Center. Dr. Lilach has previously visited the camps in Cox’s Bazar in an inter-faith dialogue team.
The program started with opening remarks from Dr. Ullah, Dr. Beth Lilach, and Hkadin Lee, a Kachin leader in the Rochester community. The event had four panels. The first one was regarding land rights. The speakers represented many different communities from Burma, including Kachin, Karen, Mon, and Hmong. The Women’s League of Burma also presented information on the panel. Dr. Hla Myint of ARNO, represented the Rohingya voice. Dr. Hla stated that the Rohingya suffer from forcible displacement, land mines, and there are now internally displaced persons residing in the Arakan who are forced to live in camps.
The second panel focused on religious freedom. In this panel Dr. Myint discussed discrimination against Rohingya Muslims. The final panel focused on gender-based violence. Beth Lilach asked questions of the representatives of the Women’s League of Burma, Karen Women’s Organisation, GEN, and Myanmar Multi-Ethnic Muslim Consultative Committee.
The last panel featured Kachin, Chin, and Burmese Muslim young activists to discuss what it means for them to be part of the movement to stop the military from abuse. The first Burma Summit took place in 2022. The output from that Summit can be found on CNS website: www.cnsintl.net.