July 13, 2023
JAKARTA – The peace plans that Myanmar has established with Asean remain the basis of the bloc’s approach to the crisis there, and the region’s foreign ministers have stressed the importance that these plans be implemented.
At the retreat session of the 56th Asean Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Jakarta on Wednesday, South-east Asia’s foreign ministers affirmed that the Five-Point Consensus remains the bedrock of how Asean deals with Myanmar, said Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).
“They also reaffirmed the Asean Leaders’ Review and Decision on the Implementation of the Five-Point Consensus,” the ministry said in a statement.
Myanmar has been in turmoil since its military staged a coup against the democratically elected government in February 2021.
Asean drew up a five-point peace plan with the military two months later that called for dialogue among all parties, an immediate halt to the violence in Myanmar, the appointment of an Asean special envoy to facilitate mediation, humanitarian assistance, and a visit by an Asean delegation to the country to meet all concerned parties.
But there has been little progress in quelling the post-coup violence that has killed thousands.
Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan highlighted the Republic’s grave concern over the escalation in violence.
“Air strikes with civilian casualties, destruction of public facilities and other acts of violence continue to occur. Minister Balakrishnan called for the cessation of violence and swift implementation of the Five-Point Consensus by the Tatmadaw,” said the MFA, referring to the military in Myanmar.
It added that Dr Balakrishnan also emphasised the need for the Asean chair’s Special Envoy on Myanmar to have access to all Myanmar stakeholders, including ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Singapore will continue to support Asean chair Indonesia’s efforts to stop the violence, facilitate humanitarian assistance and encourage inclusive national dialogue in Myanmar, in line with the Five-Point Consensus, the MFA said.
In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Dr Balakrishnan reiterated the importance of the Five-Point Consensus, and said that Singapore will continue to back Indonesia’s efforts.
“There can only be progress if the violence abates and inclusive national dialogue in Myanmar takes place.”