The Panglong Peace Conference, aimed at the unity of all ethnic nationalities and building a democratic federal union through dialogue, kicked off here on Wednesday.

The four-day conference is being attended by representatives of the government, the parliament, the military, political parties, ethnic armed and non-armed organisations and civil society — taking the attendees to about 1,600, Xinhua news agency reported.

President U Htin Kyaw and two vice presidents were among others at the opening ceremony.

The 17 ethnic armed organisations present at the event include eight signatories and seven non-signatories to the Nationwide Ceasefire Accord (NCA), represented by the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) as well as Mongla and Wa groups.

The conference is also attended by UN agencies and foreign diplomats resident in the country.

Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, speakers of both houses of the parliament U Win Myint and U Mann Win Khaing Than, Defence Chief Senior-General Min Aung Hlaing, Chairman of the Kayin National Union Saw Mutu Sae Phoe and Vice Chairman of the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) N’ Ban La, Patron of the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) U Tin Oo as well as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon delivered opening addresses respectively.

The Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee (UPDJC), the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) and the preparatory committee for the conference will submit their reports on the framework for political dialogue.