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As Myanmar crisis deepens, Five-Point Consensus should remain ASEAN's focus: Indonesia foreign minister

As Myanmar crisis deepens, Five-Point Consensus should remain ASEAN's focus: Indonesia foreign minister
Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi delivers her remarks during the plenary session of the 56th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia on Jul 11, 2023. (Photo: Pool Photo via AP/Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana)

JAKARTA: The implementation of the Five-Point Consensus (5PC) should remain the focus of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), said Indonesia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi on Wednesday (Jul 12) even as the political crisis in Myanmar continues. 

Opening the second day of ASEAN’s foreign ministers’ meeting, Mdm Marsudi said that in April 2021, the bloc’s leaders met in Jakarta to help Myanmar exit its political crisis. The meeting agreed then on the 5PC. 

“Therefore, 5PC is the main reference, and the implementation of 5PC should remain the focus of ASEAN. 

“ASEAN leaders in Phnom Penh (last year) stated that any other effort must support the implementation of 5PC,” she said. 

What is the Five-Point Consensus?

During a meeting in April 2021, all ASEAN leaders reached a consensus about the situation in Myanmar.

The five points are:

First, there shall be immediate cessation of violence in Myanmar and all parties shall exercise utmost restraint.

Second, constructive dialogue among all parties concerned shall commence to seek a peaceful solution in the interests of the people.

Third, a special envoy of the ASEAN chair shall facilitate mediation of the dialogue process, with the assistance of the secretary-general of ASEAN.

Fourth, ASEAN shall provide humanitarian assistance through the AHA Centre.

Fifth, the special envoy and delegation shall visit Myanmar to meet with all parties concerned.


Mdm Marsudi said she would brief her counterparts on what Indonesia has done during the last seven months as chairman of the ASEAN bloc, especially on the engagements with all stakeholders involved in the crisis in Myanmar. 

She said Indonesia has very intensive and broad engagements with all stakeholders and has held 110 engagements so far.  

“This is a very complex exercise, and it is not easy at all,” she said. 

The top diplomat also said that engagements and dialogues will pave the way to political solutions. 

“We are still very much concerned to see the continuing and increasing violence in Myanmar. 

“Indonesia strongly condemned the use of force and violence.”  

She added: “We strongly urge all stakeholders to denounce violence as this is paramount to build trust, and this is also paramount to deliver humanitarian assistance and for dialogue.”  

Mdm Marsudi said that under Indonesia’s chairmanship, there were a number of steps made towards humanitarian assistance. 

She hopes the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre) will be granted further access to Myanmar.

The meeting of ASEAN’s foreign ministers in Jakarta comes as critics have questioned the group’s effectiveness and unity while the conflict in Myanmar deepens. 

The foreign ministers will also hold several meetings this week, including the East Asia Summit (EAS) and the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) which US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov are scheduled to attend.

“On ASEAN centrality, ASEAN must remain in the driver’s seat in navigating the current and future geopolitical challenges, including through EAS and ARF. 

“EAS and ARF are very important inclusive platforms where all players in the region sit and talk. ASEAN believes in inclusivity, ASEAN believes in dialogue, and ASEAN believes in win-win collaboration,” said Mdm Marsudi.

Source: CNA/ks(as)


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