In February 2021, Myanmar has been facing a transforming a period of political unrest and widespread human rights violations, creating an urgent need for peace. In response to this crisis, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has taken an active role. By adoption of the Five-Point Consensus and the establishment of the Trioka Mechanism ASEAN involving to address the Myanmar crisis.
The ASEAN Five-Point Consensus for Myanmar’s stability:
This is a strategic framework of ASEAN Five-Point Consensus with five key elements, including an immediate end to violence, constructive dialogue, the appointment of a special envoy, humanitarian assistance, and engagement with relevant stakeholders. The primary goal of this consensus is to stop the violence and bring stability to Myanmar by fostering constructive discussions, offering humanitarian aid, and engaging with Myanmar’s stakeholders. However, despite initial optimism, there have been significant challenges. Not all relevant stakeholders were included in the discussions, raising concerns about representation. Some critics argue that there was not enough pressure on Myanmar’s military junta to comply with the proposed solutions and engage in meaningful dialogue. Overall, ASEAN’s approach emphasizes constructive dialogue over punitive measures, aiming to restore stability to Myanmar’s complex political landscape.
Uprising the informal dialogues to address Myanmar’s issue: “Trioka”
Unfortunately, even though people were hopeful when they first tried to make the Five-Point Consensus work, there were big problems that made it not work so well. Some people said that there wasn’t enough pressure put on Myanmar’s military leaders to follow the ideas that were suggested and have real conversations. The consensus wanted everyone to talk nicely and work together instead of punishing Myanmar. Following the difficulties encountered in implementing the Five-Point Consensus, ASEAN initiated the establishment of the Trioka mechanism as an informal means to address the complex regional issues, particularly the situation in Myanmar. The Trioka Mechanism consists of three key figures within ASEAN: the Current Chair, the Incoming Chair, and the Secretary-General. It serves as a platform for dialogues and coordination among ASEAN member states concerning critical regional security issues. The mechanism aimed to facilitate dialogue between conflicting parties while upholding the principle of non-interference in each other’s affairs. Furthermore, it sought to work towards national reconciliation and democratization processes that would ultimately lead to lasting peace and stability in Myanmar.
ASEAN’s Success, Challenges and Evolving approach in addressing previous decade Through “Trioka”
This mechanism reflects ASEAN’s commitment to peaceful conflict resolution and was initially formed during Cambodia’s chairmanship in 2012-2013. The Trioka Mechanism has achieved successes, such as facilitating humanitarian assistance during natural disasters. However, it faces challenges, including ensuring inclusivity and representation of all stakeholders, particularly marginalized ethnic minorities. Balancing non-interference principles with addressing human rights concerns in Myanmar remains a challenge.
One critical challenge is ensuring inclusivity and representation in its engagement efforts. While commendable progress has been made in engaging various stakeholders within Myanmar, concerns persist regarding whether all voices, especially those belonging to marginalized ethnic minorities, are adequately heard. Another challenge lies in striking a balance between upholding the non-interference principles enshrined within ASEAN’s foundational documents and effectively addressing human rights concerns in Myanmar.
Moreover, ASEAN’s approach to Myanmar has evolved beyond merely establishing the Trioka Mechanism. The bloc has issued statements strongly condemning violence against civilians while urging all involved parties to exercise restraint and engage in dialogue (Shukri, 2021). Notably, external actors such as the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN) have played a significant role in shaping ASEAN response to the Myanmar crisiss. The EU activity promoted security cooperation between ASEAN and Myanmar through technical assistance and capacity-building program. This external support has reinforced ASEAN’s efforts in addressing the crisis.
Is it the right way the “Trioka Mechanism” to address for Myanmar Issues?
To effectively address the ongoing Myanmar crisis and foster a sustainable path towards stability and democratic transition, ASEAN should formulate a comprehensive strategy. It is crucial for ASEAN to maintain active engagement with all pertinent stakeholders in Myanmar, encompassing ethnic minority groups, civil society organizations, and a spectrum of political entities representing diverse interests. Nevertheless, the “Trioka Mechanism,” while historically effective, has recently encountered challenges considering the military regime unwillingness to engage constructively with ASEAN leadership. Regrettably, the military government has not shown the expected commitment to the dialogue process as previously agreed upon, hindering its overall effectiveness.
As point of my view, ASEAN’s significant role in addressing the Myanmar crisis, focusing on its adoption of the Five-Point Consensus and the establishment of the Trioka Mechanism. While the Five-Point Consensus aimed to address the crisis by promoting dialogue and humanitarian assistance, challenges like inclusivity and insufficient pressure on the military junta have limited its effectiveness. Let’s considering this dialogue ends with this question “Is the “Trioka Mechanism” truly effective in resolving the complex issues facing Myanmar?” The Trioka Mechanism, on the other hand, demonstrated ASEAN’s commitment to peaceful conflict resolution but also faces challenges related to inclusivity and balancing non-interference principles with human rights concerns. In the future, ASEAN must develop thorough plans that include ongoing dialogue with all relevant groups like EROs, NUG, and CRPH. It’s crucial for member states to work together and build agreement to establish lasting peace in Myanmar. Most importantly, it’s essential to heed the wishes of the public to ensure a more enduring peace in Myanmar.