Should Myanmar Be Included At The Next ASEAN Summit?

An ASEAN summit will take place later this month, and delegates are debating whether to include Myanmar or not. ASEAN includes Myanmar, but other nations are debating whether to recognize and invite the leader of the military junta that overthrew the elected government in Myanmar in February to the summit.
As a result of a summit in April to address the political turmoil in Myanmar, the military agreed to a 5-point plan designed to restore peace in the country. After months of stagnation and inaction, the special envoy appointed as part of that plan said that the military junta’s inaction was tantamount to backtracking.
This month, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations will hold a summit, and delegates are debating whether to include Myanmar or not. As a member of ASEAN, Myanmar is in trouble, but other nations are debating whether to recognize and invite the military junta leader who overthrew the elected government there in February to the ASEAN summit.
During a summit in April, the military agreed to work towards restoring peace in Myanmar through a 5-point plan. However, after months of stagnation and inaction, the envoy appointed under that plan said that the military junta’s inaction was “tantamount to backtracking.”
The 6 months since the plan was outlined have seen virtually no progress, and none of the five points have been addressed. The envoy says the military junta has not directly responded to messages, including requests to meet with detained leaders like Aung San Suu Kyi.
The ASEAN plan also called for an open dialogue between the military and the association of nations, the opening of the Burmese borders to humanitarian aid, and an immediate end to all violent clashes. None of those things have happened.
The lack of action by ASEAN challenges its desire to be inclusive but also confronts a dictatorship rife with human rights abuses. As Malaysia’s top diplomat commented, the envoy’s disappointment was echoed by his assessment that, while he was doing everything he could, recognizing Min Aung Hlaing by giving him a seat at the summit this month would be nearly impossible under the circumstances.

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