11 July 2024

Jakarta—Asean’s leaders have agreed to form a troika to maintain the handling of the Myanmar quagmire due to the current protracted situation, according to the Asean statement released yesterday

During the retreat on Tuesday, the leaders reviewed and discussed the situation in Myanmar and agreed that the Asean Five Point Consensus (5PC) remains relevant as the main reference to bring peace to Myanmar.

The Myanmar situation, according to the leaders’ assessment, is unlikely to change in a one-year timeframe and this, coupled with Asean’s commitment to continue assisting the people of Myanmar, brought agreement on the formation of a troika consisting of the current chair, previous chair and incoming chair.

The idea has been discussed on a few occasions since the military junta seized power in Myanmar in February 2021. The trio formula was deployed during the Cambodian conflict to engage all conflicting parties.

According to the leaders’ decision, the Office of Special Envoy to the Asean chair/special envoy of the Asean chair will continue to engage with all relevant stakeholders in Myanmar to build trust “towards convening an inclusive and durable peaceful resolution to the crisis that is Myanmar-owned and led.”

They further agreed that all approaches, formal and informal, led by the Asean chair and troika as well as any efforts by Asean members in coordination with the Asean chair are in line with the 5PC.

Furthermore, they also agreed that the Philippines will assume the Asean chair in 2026, replacing Myanmar. The chairmanship rotation will continue to be based on alphabetical order until such time as a different decision is made. Myanmar skipped its first chair in 2006 due to its internal crisis and unpreparedness. Naypyidaw resumed the chairmanship in 2014.

The Asean leaders also agreed to enhance cooperation among Asean members and between the bloc and Myanmar’s neighbours to address transnational crimes such as drugs and human trafficking.

by Thai PBS World