UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres has urged for a unified tactic to end the crisis in Myanmar as well as world problems.
Speaking at a press conference on the sidelines of the 43rd ASEAN Summit, Guterres commended ASEAN and its member states for their crucial role “in building bridges of understanding.”
He added that the group has been an “important factor for unity in the divided world.”
“We need this more than ever in a world that is increasingly multipolar and that requires strong multilateral institutions to go with it – based on equity, solidarity, and universality.”Antonio Guterres
However, Guterres noted that the situation in Myanmar has further worsened since he met with ASEAN leaders in a 2022 summit.
He called on Myanmar’s military-installed government to immediately free all political prisoners and “open the door to a return to democratic rule.”
Myanmar’s army seized power on Feb. 1, 2021, from the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi.
The army arrested Aung San Suu Kyi and top members of her governing National League for Democracy party, which had won a landslide victory for a new term in a November 2020 general election.
The nation has been besieged by war since then.
“I remain deeply concerned about the worsening political, humanitarian, and human rights situation in Myanmar, including Rakhine State and the plight of the massive number of refugees living in desperate conditions.”Antonio Guterres
Also, Guterres said declining financial aid should be boosted to previous levels to enable the world body to respond to an “enormous tragedy.”
Moreover, Guterres expressed worry over other issues being aggravated by tense relations among some nations .
He warned that “there is a real risk of fragmentation — of a great fracture in world economic and financial systems with diverging strategies on technology and artificial intelligence and conflicting security frameworks.”
“Our world is stretched to the breaking point by a cascade of crises: from the worsening climate emergency and escalating wars and conflicts, to growing poverty, widening inequalities and rising geopolitical tensions.”Antonio Guterres
“Therefore, we need cooperation on all fronts,” he emphasized.
Guterres Voices Support For ASEAN Peace Plan
The U.N. chief expressed support to a five-point peace plan crafted by ASEAN leaders in 2021.
The five-point consensus is aimed at finding a peaceful solution to the conflict between Myanmar’s ruling junta and its opponents calling for democracy.
It calls for an immediate end to violence in Myanmar and the start of dialogue among contending parties, including the ruling generals and Suu Kyi’s camp.
However, the junta has made little effort to implement the plan and violence has only increased in Myanmar.
Despite the plan’s failure, ASEAN leaders have decided to stick with it and continue to prohibit Myanmar’s generals and their appointed officials from attending ASEAN’s high-level summits.
Meanwhile, U.S. Vice President, Kamala Harris told the ASEAN leaders on Wednesday that Washington supports their peace plan.
Harris flew to Jakarta to join the summit talks in President Joe Biden’s stead.
“We have a shared commitment to international rules and norms and to our partnership on pressing national and regional issues such as the crisis in Myanmar,” Harris said.
“The United States will continue to press the regime to end the horrific violence, to release all those unjustly detained and to reestablish Myanmar’s inclusive democracy,” she added.