Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has called on ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) on the importance to resolve the Myanmar crisis without allowing the crisis to “hostage” the 10-member states’ agenda.
Speaking during a meeting with ASEAN Foreign Ministers on January 3, 2023, the Indonesian president also emphasized the 5-point peace plan for Myanmar as well as the negotiations for the Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea.
“The President emphasized the importance of respecting the democratic principles of international law, human rights in accordance with what is in the ASEAN Charter,” said Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi, as quoted by the presidential official website presidenri.go.id.
Many parties expect that Indonesia, as the 2023 chair of ASEAN, will make progress in resolving the Myanmar political crisis after the February 2021 coup.
“Regarding the issue of Myanmar, the ASEAN foreign ministers reaffirmed a common approach in the implementation of the Five-Point Consensus,” Marsudi said as quoted by antaranews.com, dismissing to doubts on ASEAN’s capability and credibility in responding to challenges in the region.
The 5 strategies
Marsudi said Indonesia would present three strategies based on the five points of agreement reached in April 2021 as well as the points made by the president during the meeting with ASEAN foreign ministers.
- ASEAN must not be a proxy for any party
Jokowi emphasized that the centrality and solidarity of ASEAN must be upheld and maintained as the primary mode of operation.
- The importance of upholding the principles of democracy, law and human rights in line with the ASEAN Charter
The president also emphasized that the 5 Point Consensus would remain ASEAN’s main mechanism in addressing issues or developments in Myanmar. It was also in line with Marsudi’s previous statement that the 5 point consensus was ASEAN’s only approach to help Myanmar.
“We always convey messages to the military junta that the implementation of the five-point consensus is an ASEAN approach, the only ASEAN approach to help Myanmar,” she said. “Unfortunately, until now there has been no significant progress. We will keep trying to invite all parties in Myanmar to implement a five-point consensus.”
The consensus was devised by ASEAN leaders after a special meeting, which was also attended by Myanmar junta leader General Min Aung Hlaing, to help the country overcome its political crisis.
- Facilitating an inclusive national dialogue
Marsudi said that ASEAN would “engage all relevant parties as a first step towards creating opportunities for a nationwide dialogue that includes everyone”.
- Create an environment that facilitates the establishment of inclusive national dialogue
There are two crucial aspects to create a supportive environment:
- Diminishing violence and maintain humanitarian support.
- Fostering trust and belief in this crucial situation.
- Aligning ASEAN’s efforts with supportive neighboring countries and special envoys from the United Nations (UN) from other nations
Marsudi reported that all state members fully backed Indonesia’s strategy in handling the situation in Myanmar.
According to the foreign minister’s special staff for regional diplomacy, Ngurah Swajaya, Indonesia has established a special envoy’s office that would allow ASEAN foreign ministers to carry out internal coordination. This has been done to reach a solution to create a national dialogue with all parties in Myanmar.