The United Nations weighs on Myanmar’s merits, amid growing ASEAN frustration over the failure of military rulers to implement the peace plan.
UN chief Antonio Guterres asked to postpone a virtual meeting with Southeast Asian ministers at the last minute to avoid signaling any recognition of Myanmar’s military government by being in the same online room as the military envoy, UN diplomats have said.
The meeting between the UN Secretary-General and Foreign Ministers from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) – including Wunna Maung Lwin, the Foreign Minister appointed by the military – took place on Friday.
But the day before, Guterres asked ASEAN to postpone the meeting “to a time when it can be held in a mutually acceptable format, given the ongoing urgent international and regional issues”, according to a note from October 8 from ASEAN President Brunei – seen by news agency Reuters – notifies members of the delay.
UN diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Guterres did not want to go ahead with a decision by UN member states on who will sit in Myanmar’s seat on the world body after rival allegations were made by the military and Kyaw Moe Tun, the current UN ambassador appointed by the elected government.
The generals seized power on February 1 and arrested Aung San Suu Kyi and other elected government leaders on the day the new parliament convened. The merits of the United Nations give importance to a government.
News of Guterre’s reluctance to appear at the same meeting as a military envoy comes when ASEAN’s foreign ministers hold an extra meeting on Friday to discuss excluding the coup leader and military chief Min Aung Hlaing from an upcoming summit, amid growing frustration. the military’s failure to follow a peace roadmap drawn up six months ago.
ASEAN agreed on one five-point agreement with Min Aung Hlaing in April, but the generals have not made any progress in implementation and have also excluded allows a regional envoy, Brunei’s second foreign minister, Erywan Yusof, to meet with Aung San Suu Kyi.
It also continues to strike at those who oppose its rule, with at least 1,171 people killed since the coup and more than 7,000 people arrested, according to the local monitoring group Assistance Association for Political Prisoners. The army has also been accused of attacks in ethnic minority areas in the country’s border regions that have forced thousands to flee, as well as is aimed at churches and Christian priests.
Some of ASEAN’s ten members, including the Philippines and Malaysia, have said that Min Aung Hlaing should be suspended from the summit, scheduled to launch on October 26, given the military’s lack of cooperation.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed Myanmar with Erywan in a conversation on Thursday.
The two “expressed concern about the violence and the worsening crisis” in the country and the need for the military to stop the violence, release the unjustly imprisoned and restore the country’s transition to democracy.
“They also reaffirmed the need to hold the Burmese regime accountable for the ASEAN five-point agreement and to facilitate a meaningful visit by Erywan to Burma to include negotiations with all stakeholders,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement released after the talks.
Friday’s previously unplanned virtual meeting will host Brunei, the current ASEAN president, and several sources based in ASEAN member states, including diplomats and government officials, told Reuters.
A UN committee, which includes Russia, China and the United States, will meet next month to consider Myanmar’s competing credentials.
The military has put forward Aung Thurein as its candidate for Myanmar’s UN headquarters.