On November 11, in Phnom Penh, the High Level Summit of the ASEANbeing the second year in which Myanmar does not participate with a political representative after the crisis and the February 2021 coup. five points.”
The Five Point Consensus (which states the following: 1) Immediate cessation of violence in Myanmar and all parties will exercise maximum restraint, 2) Initiate a constructive dialogue among all parties concerned to seek a peaceful solution in the interest of the people , 3) A Special Envoy of the President of ASEAN will facilitate the mediation of the dialogue process, with the assistance of the ASEAN Secretary General, 4) ASEAN will provide humanitarian assistance through the ASEAN Humanitarian Assistance Coordination Center -Center AHA-, 5) The Special Envoy and the delegation will visit Myanmar to meet with all interested parties -ASEAN, 2021-), the guide document to address the crisis in Myanmar from the association, had been drafted in April 2021 at the Emergency Summit. However, since then, little has changed in the country, the situation has even become more critical and the level of violence has reached its highest points.
It has only been possible to send a special delegate from ASEAN twice, during the Brunei presidency and this year, from Cambodia. Among the relevant points of the mentioned statement, once again, the leaders have reaffirmed Myanmar’s membership as an integral part of ASEAN. On the one hand, they recognized the little progress made by the bloc’s efforts, either due to a lack of consensus within it on how to act, as well as the lack of will and commitment of the Myanmar Armed Forces to comply with the consensus that was initially had agreed.
On the other hand, ASEAN entrusted the task to the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of developing a plan for the implementation of the Consensus. Likewise, the final declaration emphasizes the need for help from external forces, since ASEAN has recognized that this task cannot be done alone, it requires both the UN and its external partners to contribute to the implementation of the Five Point Consensus.
Although this is not the first crisis that ASEAN has had to face with Myanmar, perhaps this is the most serious. The year 2006 marked the precedent in which Myanmar voluntarily resigned from the ASEAN presidency in the face of pressure from external partners, as well as from within the bloc itself. Even, as on other previous occasions, the impact of isolation and economic-commercial sanctions by Western actors against the army, such as the embargoes directed at companies of Tatmadaw generals, has been zero. While the sanctions directly affect the country’s economy, they further aggravate the economic situation of the people and the de facto government shows little interest in this regard.
Rather, violence against the civilian population and against armed ethnic groups has deepened. The Gen. Min Aung HlainWith its ultra-nationalist position and isolationist profile, it has come closer to Russia (also internationally isolated) and further strengthened its relations with China, its important regional ally.
in the final declaration the need for help from external forces is emphasized, since ASEAN has recognized that this task cannot be done alone
Internationally, however, the situation in Myanmar has been overshadowed by the Russian-Ukrainian War. During previous crises, external actors and ASEAN dialogue partners have urged the military government of the day to cease violence, release Aung San Suu Kyi and political activists. However, today, international pressure is focused on human rights complaints and sanctions and embargoes on the military leadership. On the one hand, the lack of international support seems to be related to the loss of Suu Kyi’s positive image, since 2019, with the case that Gambia brought to the International Court, due to its lack of action in the face of the Rohingya crisis. , Muslim ethnic minority.
Since the late 1980s, Aung San Suu Kyi has stood out for her efforts to achieve the democratic transition, being recognized with the Nobel Peace Prize (1990) and for being the leader of the Pardo of the National Democratic League. , which finally managed to form a government in the 2015 democratic general elections. Today, the 77-year-old leader is in jail and facing the most unusual charges.
These accusations appear to be aimed at ending her political activity and discrediting her both internally and externally. The truth is that Aung San Suu Kyi never named his successor, therefore, without a strong political opposition to the military, little is expected of a change in the situation that would lead to a new process of democratic transition.
These conditions present a great challenge both for Myanmar, a country mired in civil war, and for ASEAN. The block, among its principles set forth in the ASEAN charter they proclaim their commitment to democracy, the rule of law, good governance and the protection and promotion of human rights, values that are lacking today.
Therefore, what is happening today in Myanmar also undermines the image, credibility and centrality of ASEAN with regard to the resolution of internal conflicts, as well as human security. In the same way, the crisis and its impact on the association set back the “ASEAN Community Building Efforts”. A community, that has taken time to build its vision; and that it has faced great challenges since its inception but, as in other opportunities, it has managed to overcome them in the “ASEAN Way”.
Article republished from the Bulletin of the Asian Affairs Committee of the Argentine Council for International Relations (CARI) with the authorization of the corresponding authorities. Link to the newsletter: http://cari.org.ar/pdf/boletin_asia8.pdf
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The ASEAN Summit and the unresolved crisis in Myanmar – Asia News – ReportAsia