The military council rejected the ASEAN decisions; Will the efforts of ASEAN and the UN be decisive in the Myanmar issue?

Myanmar Spring Chronicle – November 12 Scenes
MoeMaKa, November 13 2022

The military council rejected the ASEAN decisions; Will the efforts of ASEAN and the UN be decisive in the Myanmar issue?

On November 11th, after the meeting of the ASEAN countries, the military council responded immediately to the decision of the ASEAN group regarding the Myanmar issue.

It seems that the military council is prepared for what may be decided in ASEAN and a few hours later, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Military Council issued a response saying clearly that it did not accept and reject the ASEAN’s decision to implement the 5-Point Consensus within a limited time frame.

The current ASEAN meeting is not only about Myanmar, but also about regional strategy, with the goal of determining whether ASEAN countries should provide support when relations between China and the US deteriorate regarding Taiwan, as well as in the case of the European Ukraine-Russia wars.

As the military council has rejected ASEAN’s decision regarding Myanmar, it is expected that there will not be much cooperation. Before the end of 2022, there is a possibility that the Foreign Minister of Cambodia may try again as the rotating chairman, but when Indonesia takes over next year, the relationship with the military council will not be very close, so it can be said that ASEAN’s efforts will not cause any major changes in Myanmar’s affairs.

What makes it possible to change the situation within the country is whether to provide weapons or financial support to the ethnic resistance armed groups and PDFs in the fighting with the military council. If ASEAN or other countries take different steps from where they are now, the outcome of the domestic armed conflict may change. On the other hand, the civil war will rage more rapidly, and there is a possibility that more refugees will reach neighboring countries.

On the other hand, as for China’s role, there may be a counterbalance depending on which country directly supports Myanmar’s armed struggle. The possibility of this is still very low and there are no signs of it. Since the coup in Myanmar, powerful countries such as the United States, China, and India have been cautiously monitoring the possibility of military support and intervention and they are keeping not to include in it with great caution.

As for the military council, it has been spreading accusations and propaganda that some foreign countries are funding PDF activities, but they cannot show any evidence. The accusation of support from some foreign countries may have been made knowing that the information is incorrect. The military council may have deliberately told the story of armed attacks with foreign support. If not, it would seem to admit the fact that PDF’s armed attacks are being supported by the public.

At the ASEAN meeting, the UN Secretary-General also admitted that the international community has been weak in helping Myanmar, according to news reports. He admitted that the international community was weak, including the United Nations. It can be interpreted to mean humanitarian aid and politically effective assistance. It may be referring to the fact that although the countries of the world actively supported the Ukraine-Russia war that broke out a year after the military coup in Myanmar, Myanmar, which has been facing the difficulties of the humanitarian crisis and refugees, was not effectively received in terms of adequate aid, or that political intervention and pressure could not be effectively carried out.

It can be said that in the Phnom Penh meeting in connection with the ASEAN annual meeting, attended by the United States, Japan, the UN and China, though there is no sign of a major policy change for Myanmar, the existing policy positions have been slightly modified and approved.