U.S. President Barack Obama, who has presented Myanmar`s support for Myanmar`s reforms as a foreign policy success, urged Thein Sein to conclude the ceasefire as part of broader changes to protect minorities. The agreement is a useful campaign tool for the government, dominated by former military and duty officers, who constitutionally hold 25% of the seats in Parliament. The ruling Union can claim them as a sign of its commitment to reform for the 8 November elections, but even the name of the ceasefire is misleading. The agreement can hardly be considered “federal” as it excludes the majority of Myanmar`s nearly two dozen armed groups, including some of the most powerful. Nevertheless, those involved in the process say that the ceasefire document is at least a starting point for peace negotiations to address the causes of conflict. It is not a perfect or even strong ceasefire agreement: military issues such as separation of violence, delimitation and revision are vague, are not included or require other agreements to enter into force. However, given the complexity of the situation, it is a great success. If signed, it could pave the way for a more comprehensive political solution. Otherwise, an inevitable loss of momentum in the peace process may lead to an increase in armed clashes and less effective ways of defusing them. Fighting in Shan and Kachin states and in the pockets of Kayin State could escalate and spread, which could bring the process back. Emerging Burmese Buddhist nationalism and the demands of a majority Burman electorate could also make it more difficult for the next government to make so many concessions. The government said other groups could join the ceasefire if peace talks continue.
The agreement sets the conditions for the establishment of a political dialogue steering committee and sets a timetable for the opening of negotiations with the government. This is at least a small victory in itself, some observers say, as it is a starting point for discussions on federalism and resource sharing. The Lahu Democratic Union and the New Mon State Party then joined the ceasefire and signed the agreement on February 13, 2018.     Instead, the ceasefire agreement includes only one large armed ethnic group that was not already linked to the government, the Karen National Union (KNU). Yangon-based independent researcher Kim Jolliffe, who has worked for the Asia Foundation and IHS Jane`s, told the Straits Times that “the NCA requires all parties to inform its ranks of all NCA articles within one week. Then comes the agreement of a code of conduct with a joint monitoring committee within 40 days. In order to participate in this collective agreement, armed groups had to have previously signed a bilateral ceasefire with the government.