31st October 2022 – Yangon/London — The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states should scrap the failed ‘Five-Point Consensus’ and implement measures to protect Myanmar’s civilian population, Burma Human Rights Network (BHRN) said today.
Last Thursday, Foreign ministers from member countries of the ASEAN met to discuss the implementation of the bloc’s Five-Point Consensus, a plan brokered with the Myanmar military junta in April 2021 which aimed at putting the nation back on a path to peace following the February 2021 military coup. The consensus plan includes provisions for the “immediate cessation of violence” and a commitment for all parties to exercise “utmost restraint.”
“ASEAN policies are currently emboldening the junta to continue to commit atrocities against the Myanmar people,” said Kyaw Win, Executive Director of BHRN.
In the 18 months since the plan was agreed, the junta has not only failed to abide by any of the provisions laid out in the plan but has intensified its brutality against the civilian population. Junta violations since the coup include mass killings, torture, arbitrary arrests, and indiscriminate attacks on civilians that amount to crimes against humanity and war crimes. Most recently, the junta air force bombed an outdoor concert being held in a village near Hpakant, Kachin State, killing at least 80 men, women, and children.
In the face of the continuing atrocities, the Burma Human Rights Network calls on ASEAN to scrap its failed five-point consensus and immediately adopt a more robust course of action to protect Myanmar’s civilian population. This should include concrete actions to ensure the protection of Myanmar refugees by immediately ceasing forced returns of asylum seekers and ensuring refugees receive access to aid and international protection procedures. ASEAN should facilitate emergency cross-border humanitarian aid. ASEAN should coordinate with other U.N. member states to deprive the Myanmar military junta of weapons, dual-use technology, aviation fuel, revenue, and political recognition. Efforts to develop and implement these actions should be done in coordination with the National Unity Government, Myanmar civil society, and ethnic resistance organizations.
BHRN is based in London and operates across Burma/Myanmar working for human rights, minority rights and religious freedom in the country. BHRN has played a crucial role in advocating for human rights and religious freedom with politicians and world leaders.
Burma Human Rights Network (BHRN)
T: +44(0) 740 345 2378