United Nations calls for accountability measures as ASEAN faces deadlock over Myanmar crisis
JAKARTA – In a press conference held in Jakarta, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar, Thomas Andrews, emphasized the urgent need for Southeast Asian neighbours to take measures to hold Myanmar’s military rulers accountable. Andrews stated that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) should refrain from engaging with military leaders due to the lack of progress in implementing the previously agreed five-point peace plan following the 2021 coup.
Addressing the media, Andrews asserted, “It is time to consider alternative options to break what has become a deadly stalemate.” He called upon ASEAN to contemplate imposing accountability measures on the junta, highlighting their grave human rights violations and blatant disregard for the implementation of the Five-Point Consensus.
The peace plan, which aims to achieve peace in the strife-torn country, includes provisions for an immediate cessation of hostilities, safe humanitarian access, and inclusive dialogue. However, frustration has mounted within ASEAN over the junta’s intensified attacks on its opponents and the lack of tangible progress.
While the Thai media reported that the United States plans to impose fresh sanctions on state-owned Myanmar banks, regional diplomats gathered in Thailand this week in an attempt to re-engage with the junta leaders. The meeting, however, was boycotted by key ASEAN countries, including Indonesia, the chair of the bloc, which has been leading behind-the-scenes efforts to facilitate dialogue between the military and its opponents.
Andrews expressed concern that the Thai-hosted gathering could inadvertently legitimize the junta and undermine ASEAN unity. He stressed the importance of avoiding actions that might provide credibility to the military rulers while advocating for a cohesive stance within ASEAN to address the crisis effectively.
UN Special Rapporteur urges alternative options to break the deadly stalemate
As the conflict in Myanmar persists and the situation deteriorates, the international community looks to ASEAN for decisive action. The region’s neighbours play a critical role in ensuring accountability for the military’s actions and fostering a path towards sustainable peace. The need for alternative strategies to break the current stalemate is evident, as the gravity of the crisis demands a swift response.
Myanmar’s human rights situation remains a pressing concern, and the international community, including ASEAN, must unite to confront these challenges. By imposing accountability measures and recommitting to the peace plan, ASEAN can demonstrate its commitment to protecting human rights, upholding democracy, and resolving the ongoing crisis in Myanmar. The time for action is now, as the stakes are high, and the people of Myanmar continue to suffer the devastating consequences of military rule. – Reuters