ASEAN agrees on new mechanism to address Myanmar crisis

The leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) agreed Tuesday on a new mechanism to tackle unrest in Myanmar comprised of current, past and future chairs of the regional grouping.

A statement on the first day of the three-day ASEAN Summit in Jakarta said the 10-member group agreed to form a troika to handle the crisis in line with the Five-Point Consensus.

The leaders acknowledged there was no significant progress in the implementation of the five-point peace plan, which was adopted shortly after Myanmar’s military coup in February 2021, but said the bloc will maintain it as the main reference to address the crisis.

The plan calls for cessation of violence, initiation of dialogue, appointment of ASEAN envoys, providing humanitarian assistance, and a visit by an ASEAN special envoy to Myanmar.

The bloc urged the Myanmar junta to “de-escalate violence and stop targeted attacks on civilians, houses and public facilities, such as schools, hospitals, markets, churches and monasteries.”

It said it will continue engagements with all relevant stakeholders in Myanmar “to build trust toward convening an inclusive and durable peaceful resolution to the crisis that is Myanmar-owned and led.”

“We reaffirm ASEAN’s commitment to assisting Myanmar in finding a peaceful and durable solution to the ongoing crisis, as Myanmar remains an integral part of ASEAN,” the statement said.

Thousands of people have died and been internally displaced since Myanmar’s military seized power in a coup against the government of Aung San Suu Kyi.

The meeting also decided that Philippines will chair the 2026 ASEAN meeting instead of Myanmar.