Inclusive national dialogue key to peaceful resolution in Myanmar: Indonesian foreign minister
The ASEAN Coordinating Council Meeting comes shortly after the second anniversary of the military coup in Myanmar.
JAKARTA: Foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have agreed that inclusive national dialogue is key to finding a peaceful resolution to the situation in Myanmar, said Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi on Friday (Feb 3).
She was speaking to journalists after the ASEAN foreign ministers met in Jakarta for the grouping’s 32nd coordinating council meeting.
They started the meeting with a working lunch on addressing the situation in Myanmar which has been in a crisis since the military coup two years ago, she said.
“During the working lunch, we discussed and agreed to urge significant progress in the implementation of Five-Point Consensus to pave the way for inclusive national dialogue in Myanmar.
“That inclusive dialogue is key to finding a peaceful resolution to the situation in Myanmar. And, a conducive environment should be created for an inclusive dialogue by reducing violence and ensuring a timely and unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance."
They reiterated the united approach in addressing the situation in Myanmar through the Five-Point Consensus, said Mdm Marsudi.
Mdm Marsudi added that she took the opportunity to brief the members on Indonesia’s approaches to Myanmar as chair.
Indonesia will put forward three approaches, she said. Indonesia is the rotating chair of ASEAN this year.
“First, engage all stakeholders as a first step to facilitate a possibility of an inclusive national dialogue. I also shared my initial engagement with all stakeholders.
“Second, build conducive conditions to pave the way for an inclusive dialogue. Two important issues for conducive conditions: Reducing violence and continuation of humanitarian assistance for all needed.”
She said that these two conditions are paramount to building trust and confidence.
Thirdly, Indonesia wants to synergise ASEAN efforts with neighbouring, concerned countries and the United Nations special envoys of Myanmar as well as other countries.
“All members during the working lunch, rendered their full support to the approaches of Indonesia in addressing the situation in Myanmar,” she stated.
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.
The meeting comes shortly after the second anniversary of a military coup where the junta seized power from the elected government of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.
Since then, more than 2,000 pro-democracy Myanmar civilians have been killed and 1.4 million people internally displaced.
Myanmar was invited to the Friday meeting but at a non-political level. However, no delegate was present.
On Wednesday, Indonesian President Joko Widodo said his country plans to send a top general to Myanmar to talk to its junta leaders in the hope of showing Myanmar's military rulers how Indonesia made a successful transition to democracy.
But a senior official with the foreign ministry told reporters on Friday that this was not discussed during the foreign ministers’ lunch.
ASEAN members also welcomed Timor Leste’s foreign minister Adaljiza Magno to the coordinating council meeting.
This was Timor Leste’s first participation at the meeting after being granted observer status last year. It was invited as an observer.
The meeting adopted the guidelines for the implementation of the observer status granted to Timor Leste in ASEAN.
It also tasked the ASEAN coordinating council’s working group on Timor Leste to work on the draft roadmap for Timor Leste’s full membership.
ASEAN’s new secretary general Kao Kim Hourn was also present at the meeting.
The meeting will continue on Saturday with the foreign ministers’ retreat where they are expected to discuss regional as well as global issues such as food and energy security and cooperation in finance and health.