United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says the world has failed Myanmar, and is expressing hope the Association of Southeast Asian Nations will be able to pressure the member state to comply with its plan for peace over the next year
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Saturday that the world had failed Myanmar, and expressed hope the Association of Southeast Asian Nations would be able to pressure the member state to comply with its plan for peace over the next year.
ASEAN leaders at the group’s ongoing summit in Phnom Penh agreed on a plan Friday that largely puts the onus on Indonesia when it takes over the group’s rotating chair in 2023 to develop measurable indicators and a timeline for Myanmar to implement the so-called five-point consensus for peace.
Indonesia has been one of the ASEAN countries most outspoken about the need to do more to address the situation in Myanmar, and Guterres told reporters he felt “the Indonesian government will be able to push forward the agenda in a positive way.”
The ASEAN decision announced Friday includes asking the U.N. and other “external partners” for assistance in supporting the group’s efforts. Guterres said he hoped the U.N. special envoy for Myanmar, Noeleen Heyzer, would cooperate closely with her ASEAN counterpart to bring about an end to the “dramatic violations of human rights” in the country.
“Everybody has failed in relation to Myanmar,” Guterres said. “The international community as a whole has failed, and the U.N. is part of the international community.”
ASEAN’s peace plan calls for the immediate cessation of violence, a dialogue among all parties, mediation by an ASEAN special envoy, provision of humanitarian aid and a visit to Myanmar by the special envoy to meet all sides.
Myanmar’s government initially agreed to the plan but has made little effort to implement it.