ASEAN Turns 56 as Myanmar’s Violent Conflicts Still Linger
ASEAN is turning 56 today while its member state Myanmar remains trapped in a conflict. The Myanmar crisis has become a mammoth task for Indonesia to carry this year as the ASEAN chair. The 10-member grouping to this day still sticks to the five-point peace plan which called for an immediate end to violence in Myanmar, among others.
“We are aware of how the situation in Myanmar is still full of challenges. ASEAN’s efforts in helping Myanmar abide by the five-point consensus. This situation can only be dealt with if there is a political will from all parties in Myanmar,” President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said on Tuesday at the 56th ASEAN Day anniversary in Jakarta on Tuesday.
Jokowi also ended his speech by likening the ASEAN bloc to a giant ship.
“This giant ship must continue to sail forward and shall not sink. It is our responsibility to the hundreds of millions of people living in this region. Let us work together to make ASEAN matter and an epicentrum of growth,” Jokowi said.
On the sidelines of the ceremony, Jokowi admitted addressing the Myanmar conflict would take time.
“It is a very complex matter. It is not a conflict between two conflicting parties, but involves three to five parties. It is something that takes time. We need all the stakeholders in Myanmar to have the will to resolve this problem,” Jokowi told reporters.
Indonesia as chair over the past months has been trying to engage with the stakeholders in Myanmar. As of early July, Indonesia reported that it had made 110 engagements with the key stakeholders in Myanmar, including the military junta and the government-in-exile National Unity Government (NUG).