How Will Cambodia as ASEAN Chair Handle the Myanmar Crisis?

Myanmar’s junta still has nothing to fear from ASEAN.

After months of doing little to respond to the Feb. 1 coup in Myanmar—as well as the Myanmar military’s subsequent crackdown on civil society, murdering of opponents and overall mismanagement of the country—the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) finally took a step toward a more resolute reaction in late October, when it disinvited Myanmar junta leader Min Aung Hlaing from its annual summit as well as the East Asia Summit immediately thereafter. He was also not invited to a meeting between ASEAN and European states in late November.

At the ASEAN summit, several Southeast Asian leaders also offered criticisms of the junta. According to Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, or Jokowi, told other ASEAN leaders that despite the organization’s principle of noninterference in members’ internal affairs, it was “obligated to uphold other principles … like democracy, good governance, respect for human rights, and a constitutional government.”

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