Aug 04, 2021 / 20:16

ASEAN appoints envoy to Myanmar

The special envoy is believed an excellent choice to facilitate mediation of the dialogue process with all parties concerned.

ASEAN foreign ministers agreed on August 4 with the appointment of the bloc’s special envoy to Myanmar over the country’s political crisis, according to a joint communiqué.

 Brunei’s Second Foreign Minister Erywan Yusof. Photo: Straitstime

Brunei’s Second Foreign Minister Erywan Yusof becomes the special envoy who is expected to “facilitate mediation of the dialogue process” with “all parties concerned” to seek a “peaceful solution in the interests of the people.”

The appointment of the envoy is part of the Five-Point Consensus that includes an immediate cessation of violence in Myanmar; constructive dialogue among all parties; the appointment of a special ASEAN envoy to facilitate dialogue; the provision of humanitarian assistance; and a visit by the envoy to Myanmar.

The appointment comes three months after leaders of the member states gathered at an extraordinary ASEAN Summit held in Jakarta on April 24.

The envoy is also expected to build trust and confidence with full access to all parties concerned and provide a clear timeline on the implementation of the Five-Point Consensus.

“Dato Erywan Pehin Yusof is a very experienced ASEAN hand, he is an excellent choice,” Bilahari Kausikan, former permanent secretary of Singapore’s Foreign Ministry, said. “But I hope ASEAN's friends and partners will not burden him with unrealistic expectations and by second-guessing his every move,” Kyodo News cited him.

ASEAN has 10 member countries namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Brunei is the current bloc chair.

Issues of common concerns

The group released the joint statement at the 54th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM), covering issues of common concerns namely ASEAN Community Building, ASEAN Political-Security Community, ASEAN Economic Community, ASEAN Socio-cultural Community,  ASEAN External Relations, and Regional and International Issues.

ASEAN Community Building focuses on ASEAN Community Vision 2025, Response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Review the Implementation of ASEAN Charter, Initiative for ASEAN Integration, Sub-region Cooperation, ASEAN Connectivity, Promoting ASEAN and UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, ASEAN Smart Cities Network, and ASEAN Secretariat.

ASEAN Political-Security Community covers Implementation of the APSC Blueprint 2025, Non-Traditional Security Threats, Peace and Security, Maritime Cooperation, and Human Rights.

ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) includes Priority Economic Deliverables, Tourism, AEC Mid-term Review, Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, Air Transport, Agriculture and Forestry, and Payment Connectivity.

ASEAN Socio-cultural Community emphasized on Social Welfare and Development, Gender Mainstreaming, Education, Human Resource Development, Youth and Sport Development, Environment and Transboundary Haze Pollution, and Disaster Management and Emergency Response.

ASEAN External Relations highlights Dialogue Partners, ASEAN Sectoral Dialogue Partners and ASEAN Development Partners, Regional and International Organizations, ASEAN Plus Three, East Asia Summit, ASEAN Regional Forum, ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific, and Timor-Leste’s Application for ASEAN Membership.

Regional and International Issues attaches importance to South China Sea, Developments in the Korean Peninsula, Situation in the Middle East, and Developments in Myanmar.