Jakarta, The Indonesia Post – Leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) reached a consensus not to allow Myanmar to assume the bloc’s chairmanship in 2026 as originally scheduled so that it would be replaced by the Philippines.
This consensus was reached at the 43rd ASEAN High Level Conference (KTT) 2023 in Jakarta, Tuesday.
The Chair of ASEAN is determined according to the alphabet of the member countries in English. If you follow the schedule, Myanmar should hold the chairmanship of ASEAN in 2026, while the Philippines (in English it is written Philippines) will have its turn in 2027.
“It was agreed that the chairmanship of ASEAN in 2026 would be held by the Philippines and ASEAN is committed to continuing humanitarian assistance (to Myanmar),” said Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi to journalists in Jakarta, Tuesday.
ASEAN has banned Myanmar’s junta leaders from attending the organization’s high-level meetings because they have not implemented the Five-Point Consensus, which is a peace agreement between ASEAN and junta leaders after the military overthrew the elected government through a coup in February 2021.
Special Staff to the Minister of Foreign Affairs for Regional Diplomacy, I Gede Ngurah Swajaya, said that even though the Philippines is confirmed to become chairman of ASEAN in 2026, the next chairmanship will still be determined alphabetically.
Ngurah added that the appointment of the Philippines as chairman of ASEAN 2026 needs to be decided immediately so that Manila can make thorough preparations.
The Five Point Consensus peace plan, which ASEAN agreed to in April 2021, will remain ASEAN’s reference for approaching the resolution of the conflict in Myanmar.
The consensus calls for a cessation of violence, dialogue with all stakeholders, appointing a special envoy to facilitate mediation and dialogue, and providing humanitarian assistance to Myanmar. (mhn/bbs)