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The Role of ASEAN in Political Conflict Resolution in Myanmar
Analysis and Forecasting. IMEMO Journal

The Role of ASEAN in Political Conflict Resolution in Myanmar

DOI: 10.20542/afij-2021-2-28-37
© Natalia G. ROGOZHINA, 2021
Received 29.06.2021.
Accepted 02.07.2021.
Natalia G. Rogozhina (, ORCID: 0000-0002-9924-2493,
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation.
The article analyzes the ASEAN policy to resolve the political crisis in Myanmar, the main means and directions of its implementation. The confrontation in society as a result of the military coup on February 1, 2021 is accompanied by violence and threatens to escalate into a civil war. The threat of losing its central role in the regional security system and the regionalization of the conflict prompts ASEAN to look for ways out of it in accordance with the adopted action plan. However, its implementation is difficult both due to the fact that ASEAN remains hostage to the fundamental principle of its activities, non-interference in the internal affairs of its members, and the unwillingness of all parties to the conflict in Myanmar to seek ways of reconciliation. ASEAN's interaction with the military leadership accused of mass repression is asymmetric, with the success or failure of the ASEAN peacekeeping mission almost entirely dependent on the political will of the military. Nevertheless, ASEAN remains today the only force capable of influencing the development of the political situation in Myanmar. The best option for the international community to participate in resolving the conflict in Myanmar is to assist ASEAN in the implementation of peacekeeping activities. The most realistic ASEAN initiative today is to provide humanitarian assistance to Myanmar, which is on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe. Considering the negative trends in socio-economic development, Myanmar for many years to come will need humanitarian support, in the provision of which ASEAN has advantages over Western states and associations. Giving preference to the methods of soft diplomacy, dictated by the need to observe the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of Myanmar, ASEAN as an institution demonstrates its functional weakness, which the military who seized power use to delay the implementation of the measures proposed by the bloc to resolve the conflict. ASEAN continues to act with great caution, and this may cause it losing the influence on the development of the situation when China, which is not interested in prolonging the conflict, seizes the initiative.

For citation:

Rogozhina N. The Role of ASEAN in Political Conflict Resolution in Myanmar. Analysis & Forecasting. Journal of IMEMO, 2021, no 2, pp. 28-37.

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