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ASEAN’s Five-Point Failure

April 22nd, 2022  •  Author:   Special Advisory Council for Myanmar  •  4 minute read
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22 April 2022: The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Five-Point Consensus reached between ASEAN leaders and the leader of the Myanmar military is a failure, with no significant progress made towards its implementation after twelve months, says the Special Advisory Council for Myanmar (SAC-M).

The Five-Point Consensus was reached in Jakarta on 24 April 2021, two months after the Myanmar military attempted an illegal coup and launched a subsequent attack on the population of Myanmar in response to their ongoing resistance.

The points agreed to by the leader of the military, Min Aung Hlaing, were for the immediate cessation of violence; constructive dialogue among all parties concerned; the appointment of a special envoy of the ASEAN Chair to facilitate mediation of the dialogue; provision of humanitarian assistance through the AHA Centre, and a visit of the special envoy to Myanmar to meet all parties.

Since joining the consensus, Min Aung Hlaing has escalated the military’s attack on the people of Myanmar, continued to target and detain political opponents, obstructed the provision of humanitarian assistance to areas most in need and prevented the special envoy of the ASEAN Chair from meeting Myanmar’s elected representatives and other stakeholders.

“The junta has not held to a single point of the Five-Point Consensus. The agreement has failed and a change of course from ASEAN is needed,” said Marzuki Darusman of SAC-M. “The people of Myanmar who are striving for liberation are under relentless siege from an internal occupying force that is being propped up by Russia and China. That is an unacceptable threat to the very purposes of ASEAN and the stability of the entire region.”

The junta’s forces have launched airstrikes against civilian targets, burned down villages, massacred, beaten, abducted and tortured civilians and caused the intentional deprivation of food and medical supplies to entire communities. Almost half a million people have been displaced as a result. 

At the same time, the ongoing massive scale of resistance to the military demonstrates the strength of commitment amongst the peoples of Myanmar to the democratic revolution that seeks to remove the military from politics entirely and establish a federal democratic union. 

Institutions established by and representing the peoples of Myanmar including the legitimate National Unity Government (NUG), the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH), the National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC), state-level consultative councils and Ethnic Revolutionary Organisations (EROs) are already working to shape this future. 

“The ASEAN Five-Point Consensus failed because ASEAN engaged with the wrong party,” said Yanghee Lee of SAC-M. “The NUG represents Myanmar and is the proper party to lead engagement with ASEAN. The NUG has demonstrated that it is the constructive partner that ASEAN needs to make any progress towards resolving the crisis.”

SAC-M calls on ASEAN to maintain permanently its rejection of the military junta from participation in ASEAN meetings as a consequence of its abrogation of the Five-Point Consensus. SAC-M calls on ASEAN to work with the NUG to develop a new roadmap towards resolving the crisis, beginning with the urgent provision of cross-border humanitarian assistance. Finally, SAC-M calls on the United Nations (UN) Security Council to take responsibility for international action in response to the growing crisis in Myanmar. 

“The UN Security Council backed ASEAN and its Five-Point Consensus, but ASEAN and its consensus have failed. There is now no alternative but for the Security Council itself to take the lead and take the responsibility for meaningful action on Myanmar,” said Chris Sidoti of SAC-M. “The Security Council cannot continue to ignore the cries of the people of Myanmar for international action to end the military’s violence.”  


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