Jakarta to host ASEAN summit on Myanmar’s political crisis
Although we are in the midst of a global pandemic, ASEAN leaders decided to hold a special summit of the Association Of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on 24th April to discuss Myanmar’s political crisis and the anti-junta uprising. Indonesia will host this summit in its capital city Jakarta.
This is the first ASEAN summit held after the junta seized power from elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi in a coup back in 1 February 2021.
ASEAN leaders to attend the summit in person
The June 2019 ASEAN summit in Bangkok
Image credit: Council on Foreign Relations
It is reported that many ASEAN leaders have confirmed their attendance at the summit, including Myanmar’s junta leader Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, ASEAN chair and Sultan of Brunei Darussalam Hassanal Bolkiah, Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of Malaysia Muhyiddin Yassin, Prime Minister of Cambodia Hun Sen, Prime Minister of Vietnam Phạm Minh Chính, Prime Minister of Laos Phankham Viphavanh, and last but not least, President Joko Widodo who will be hosting and representing Indonesia.
However, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha have opted not to attend the summit due to a surge in COVID-19 cases in their respective countries. Instead, they will be represented by the Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs Tedoro Locsin Jr. and Thailand’s Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai.
The summit will be held in person but the exact time and venue of the summit are yet to be confirmed.
How does the coup in Myanmar affect other ASEAN countries?
Image credit: @_cystalchoi_
According to Indonesian experts of Southeast Asian affairs and as reported by Anandolu Agency, the military coup in Myanmar could have an impact on regional security and destabilize the bloc if its business, travel, and economic links it has to each ASEAN member country are severed during this ongoing political turmoil. Moreover, the coup goes against the ASEAN principle of democracy and liberty.
Although ASEAN believes in a non-interference approach to dealing with internal affairs of each nation and in the settlement of disputes in a peaceful manner, the coup is reported to have violated human rights issues and could even make the Rohingya situation – where members of Myanmar’s Rohingya ethnic minority are currently being forced out of their homeland due to violence – worse.
Leaders aim for peaceful resolutions
While it may take some time to resolve the political crisis in Myanmar, we hope that ASEAN countries can unite to help Myanmar resolve it in a peaceful manner, and become an example to other nations in showing that amicable resolutions to conflict are achievable.
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Cover image adapted from: @andri_said