ASEAN Urges Myanmar Junta to Implement Peace Plan

By AFP 4 February 2023

Jakarta — Southeast Asian ministers at the end of two-day talks in Indonesia on Saturday urged Myanmar’s junta to implement a five-point peace plan agreed two years ago to create a path towards ending the country’s crisis.

Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s biggest economy, is the chair of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for 2023 and will host the leaders’ meetings later this year.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said Jakarta proposed an implementation plan to ASEAN members for the “five-point consensus” agreed with the junta in April 2021 that called for an end to violence and dialogue between the military and representatives of the deposed government.

“Broad support was received from all member states to this plan,” she told reporters. “This plan is very important for ASEAN, in particular the chair, as guidance to address the situation in Myanmar in a united manner. It shows a strong unity of ASEAN members to implement the 5PC.”

The junta remains an ASEAN member but the bloc barred it from summits over its failure to implement the plan.

Myanmar’s foreign minister Than Swe, who was appointed this week, was not invited to Friday’s talks after the junta rejected an invite for a “non-political representative”.

Indonesia says the lack of progress by the junta tests the bloc’s credibility and that it is still working to find solutions to the crisis.

Jakarta has announced plans to set up a special envoy’s office under the foreign ministry to establish low-level dialogue with the junta.