JAKARTA – Parliamentarians from Southeast Asia call on fellow lawmakers attending the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) General Assembly in Jakarta to advocate for strong, concrete actions rooted in human rights principles to ensure a proactive and coordinated response to the worsening Myanmar crisis.
“The AIPA General Assembly is an important forum in which lawmakers from across the region can come together and work together on key issues, including the ongoing crisis in Myanmar,” ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights Board Member and Malaysian member of parliament Wong Chen said today. “Representatives joining the assembly can play a key role in pushing their governments to ensure that the suffering and loss of life that occurs daily in Myanmar is not allowed to go on with impunity.”
The AIPA General Assembly is taking place between 5-11 August in Jakarta, Indonesia, with the theme “Responsive Parliaments for a Stable and Prosperous ASEAN.” The first plenary session will be held on 7 August, while committee meetings will be held on 8 August, with the final plenary session on 9 August.
“AIPA representatives must recognize that the Myanmar junta cannot be relied on, as shown by its continued disregard for the Five-Point Consensus. Therefore, they should urge their respective governments to engage with the National Unity Government, ethnic revolution organizations and civil society groups,” said Wong Chen.
In July, Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim stated that he and Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. agreed that Southeast Asian countries should be able to engage bilaterally with the Myanmar junta. Before that, Thailand had initiated Track 1.5 meetings with junta representatives, which were also attended by Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam.
“We reiterate our concerns that an increasing number of ASEAN leaders have indicated their openness to engaging with the junta. This would be a terrible mistake; such ‘engagement’ would only be used as military propaganda and will help the junta paint the pro-democracy movement as an obstacle to peace, when in fact, establishing an inclusive and human rights-respecting democracy, is the only way to ensure lasting solutions in Myanmar,” said Wong Chen. “We, therefore, urge lawmakers to call on their governments to continue to work towards holding the junta accountable for its widespread and systematic crimes against its own people.”
“We also once again call on Indonesian lawmakers to urge Indonesia, as chair of ASEAN, to initiate a thorough and inclusive review of the Five Point Consensus while there is still time remaining in its chairmanship. The Consensus has so far failed to help resolve the Myanmar crisis. Time is running out for Indonesia to make a real impact on the fate of Myanmar and leave a lasting legacy for its chairmanship.”