Indonesia has made progress in humanitarian aid to Myanmar since becoming ASEAN Chair: Minister of Foreign Affairs
The United Nations says more than 1.4 million people have become internally displaced, and the World Bank estimates that about 40% of Myanmar’s 55 million people live below the poverty line.
Hundreds of thousands of refugees have fled to neighboring ASEAN countries.
Indonesia’s Peace Efforts
Mdm Marsudi said Jakarta was working with Myanmar to implement the five-item agreement, a peace plan agreed to by all leaders of the regional bloc, including Myanmar’s military leaders.
The agreement calls for, among other things, an immediate cessation of violence, constructive dialogue towards a peaceful solution and the provision of humanitarian assistance.
Indonesia also shared the situation related to Myanmar ahead of the UN Security Council meeting last month.
Other efforts described by the Foreign Minister included engaging with various stakeholders to strengthen ASEAN’s strong stance in dealing with Myanmar and to encourage an inclusive national dialogue.
Mdm Retno also explained that Indonesia, as the ASEAN presidency for the first time, held a meeting with several envoys, including the UN Secretary-General, special envoys from Myanmar and other countries. She did not name any countries.
She said Jakarta would continue to bridge the crisis, but Myanmar needed to do more to achieve a sustainable peace.
Indonesia as ASEAN Chair
Indonesia took the lead of the bloc with the theme “ASEAN Issues: The Epicenter of Growth”, which focused on three strategic pillars: rebuilding regional growth, accelerating the digital economy, and promoting sustainability and resilience.
Some areas of focus of the bloc, chaired by Indonesia, include accelerating negotiations on a framework and roadmap for Timor-Leste to fully join the Group for the ASEAN 2045 vision, and signing a treaty to denuclearize Southeast Asia. Free zones where the process stopped in 2012.
Other items on the agenda are regional food and energy security, healthcare architecture strengthening, financial stability, and digitization of the economy and tourism.
Indonesia will also host a flagship event later this year called the ASEAN-Indo-Pacific Forum in Jakarta from September 5-7, which will be held consecutively with the 43rd ASEAN Summit.