ASEAN called to reconsider its five-point consensus on solving the Myanmar crisis

The 24th ASEAN-China Summit via video conference on 26 October 2021. | Photo via ASEAN

Political experts called on ASEAN to reconsider its dialogue with the Myanmar military junta and urged it to get more help from the international community today as some say the bloc’s five-point consensus on solving the Myanmar crisis is “not working.”

During the webinar “Myanmar: Year Zero Plus One” by Asia News Network earlier this week, a retired Thai ambassador, Kobsak Chutikul, said the international community has followed ASEAN’s lead as it played a leading role in attempting to resolve the Myanmar crisis, but it should not be prolonged by repeating the same actions as last year’s plan, which included an immediate halt to violence, engagement between all parties involved, the designation of a special ASEAN envoy, humanitarian aid, and a visit to Myanmar by the special envoy and a group to meet with all relevant parties.

As the bloc has made no progress in putting the strategy into action thus far, Kobsak stated that it has to accept that the current process isn’t working since it didn’t set a deadline, adding that other stakeholders, such as the European Union, Russia, Japan, and the US, should also participate in stepping up the game, while ASEAN should not be left solely to solve the crisis.

He also suggested that the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, must convene international conferences and his visit to Myanmar is what everyone should expect this year. The National Unity Government’s international cooperation minister, Dr Sasa, also called out to the international community not to hide behind ASEAN and to consult on the crisis with unanimity.

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He claimed that the people of Myanmar were losing faith in ASEAN because the agreement had been on the table for several months and that they should be consulted in the planning process for it to be truly effective, and that it should also clarify what approach will be used for humanitarian aid.

“When the ASEAN chair goes to Myanmar, it’s common sense that he needs to talk with other members. ASEAN requires a single concrete voice”.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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