BRUNEI MINISTRY: The emergency ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting was held on 15 October 2021 via videoconference to discuss preparations for the 38th and 39th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits, which will take place on 26-28 October 2021 via videoconference.

The Meeting was presented with the report of the Special Envoy of the ASEAN Chair on Myanmar on his work to facilitate Myanmar’s implementation of the Five-Point Consensus, which was adopted by the ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting held on 24 April 2021, at the ASEAN Secretariat, in Jakarta, Republic of Indonesia. The ASEAN Foreign Ministers expressed appreciation for the continued work of the Special Envoy, and while noting the importance of a visit of the Special Envoy to Myanmar, they also emphasised the importance of access to all parties concerned and upholding the FivePoint Consensus.

The ASEAN Foreign Ministers listened carefully to Myanmar’s explanation of its implementation of the Five-Point Consensus, including its views that the Special Envoy should avoid engagement with parties currently undergoing legal proceedings, such as Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and U Win Myint, as well as those declared as illegal and unlawful entities, such as the Committee Representing the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH), National Unity Government (NUG) and People’s Defence Forces (PDF). The ASEAN Foreign Ministers welcomed Myanmar’s continued readiness to work closely with the Special Envoy, while emphasising the need to exercise flexibility to build trust and confidence as well as the importance of access to all parties concerned.

The ASEAN Foreign Ministers noted the importance of upholding the principles enshrined in the ASEAN Charter while at the same time acknowledging that the situation in Myanmar was having an impact on regional security as well as the unity, credibility and centrality of ASEAN, as a rules-based organisation. The ASEAN Foreign Ministers reiterated that Myanmar is an important member of the ASEAN family.

As there had been insufficient progress in the implementation of the Five-Point Consensus by Myanmar as well as concerns over Myanmar’s commitment, in particular on establishing constructive dialogue among all concerned parties, some ASEAN Member States recommended that ASEAN give space to Myanmar to restore its internal affairs and return to normalcy in accordance with the will of the people of Myanmar.

ASEAN Member States considered the question of Myanmar’s representation at the 38th and 39th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits. It was also noted that some ASEAN Member States had received correspondence from the NUG requesting to be invited to the 38th and 39th ASEAN Summits and Related Summits. Following extensive discussions, there was no consensus reached for a political representative from Myanmar to attend the 38th and 39th ASEAN Summits and Related Summits in October 2021.

Therefore, in view of the competing claims to attend the 38th and 39th ASEAN Summits and Related Summits, while reaffirming the principle of non-interference in internal affairs of another Member State, and to allow Myanmar the space to restore its internal affairs and return to normalcy, the Meeting accepted the decision to invite a non-political representative from Myanmar to the upcoming Summits, while noting the reservations from the Myanmar representative.

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