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AHA Center Conducts Humanitarian Assistance Consultation for Myanmar

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VOInews, Jakarta: Indonesia as Chair of ASEAN has facilitated the reopening of lines of communication and consultation with various parties so that the Asean Coordinating Center For Humanitarian Assistance On Disaster Management (AHA Center) can distribute humanitarian assistance to the people of Myanmar.

According to Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi, assistance will be given to the people of Myanmar who need it, regardless of their ethnic background, religion, and political orientation.

"We need to say that with this Indonesian facilitation, the AHA Center has succeeded in conducting consultations with several stakeholders which previously could not be done. Thus there is a movement regarding the access granted to the AHA Center," she said in a statement regarding Indonesia's achievement in the ASEAN Chair in the first 3 months of 2023, Wednesday (5/4), in Jakarta.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi admitted that consultation efforts were still needed that could reach more of all parties, accompanied by preparing all the necessary humanitarian assistance for the people of Myanmar who were affected by the conflict.

Indonesia, which currently serves as the Chair of ASEAN in 2023, continues to strive to promote peace in Myanmar. According to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi, this effort was pursued by encouraging the implementation of the 5 Consensus Points (5PCs).

5PC is an agreement reached by ASEAN leaders in April 2021 to respond to the crisis in Myanmar after the military coup. The 5PC agreement consists of 5 points, namely constructive dialogue, cessation of violence, mediation between all parties, provision of humanitarian assistance, and sending an ASEAN delegation to Myanmar.

"In the last 3 months, Indonesia has worked hard to push for the implementation of the 5 Point Consensus (5PC)," she said.

According to Retno, a number of efforts have been made by Indonesia so that the implementation of the 5PCs can actually be realized, including by strengthening ASEAN's solidity in dealing with the Myanmar issue.

"The ASEAN Foreign Ministers Retreat Meeting agreed that ASEAN has solidity in approaching or dealing with the Myanmar issue," she said.

She said Indonesia had also established communication with various parties with the aim of encouraging an inclusive national dialogue.

"These engagements, engagement with various stakeholders, are carried out in accordance with the 5PC mandate. In terms of the number of engagements, the engagements carried out during Indonesia's chairmanship have been carried out very intensively," she said.

Furthermore, Retno said, Indonesia as Chair of ASEAN had also held meetings for the first time with a number of Special Envoys, including Special Envoys from the UN Secretary General, Special Envoys from neighboring Myanmar, and also Special Envoys from other countries.

“Why is this being done? The ultimate goal is to promote coordination and synergy while continuing to strengthen ASEAN's centrality. From our engagement with all Special Envoys, it appears that support for Indonesia's chairmanship, ASEAN centrality, and the 5PC seems very strong," she said.

Apart from that, according to Retno, Indonesia has also conveyed developments regarding Myanmar, especially implementing the 5PCs, before the UN Security Council on March 13.

"In the closed meeting of the UN Security Council, it was clear that the strong support for Indonesia's chairmanship, the centrality of ASEAN and the 5PC," she said.

Indonesia, according to Retno, also continues to convey messages regarding the importance of stopping acts of violence and using military force in every communication with various parties.

"This call is based on fears of the increasing use of violence which of course results in increasing civilian casualties," she concluded.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi emphasized that efforts to build trust and bridges are crucial and will continue. In her opinion, a step forward is needed if Myanmar is to achieve sustainable peace.

"Trust is very important, and Indonesia will continue to try to build this trust. Indonesia is trying to continue to build bridges to bring the differences closer together," she said.

She also ensured that Indonesia would continue to try to facilitate conducive conditions to be created in Myanmar. According to her, this condition is necessary so that inclusive dialogue can be carried out.

"So that the use of violence can be stopped, and so that humanitarian assistance can be carried out immediately," she concluded. (VOI/Andy)

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