November 18, 2011

Media Release from the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus (AIPMC)

JAKARTA – In light of the decision to hand Myanmar the chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2014, the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus (AIPMC) today called on the regional grouping to ensure it closely monitors Myanmar’s self-declared reform process and take critical measures against its member state should it fail to follow through on fundamental democratic advances.

AIPMC respects any decision made by ASEAN, particularly on agreeing Myanmar’s chairmanship of ASEAN in 2014. We understand the decision stems from the belief that offering incentives to Myanmar will encourage the government to take further steps towards democratization and the improvement of human rights there.

Considering this, ASEAN has a responsibility to take very seriously its role of monitoring further progress in Myanmar. AIPMC urges ASEAN to uphold its duty to ensure member states meet with basic human rights and democratic standards as outlined in both the ASEAN Charter and international law. ASEAN must undertake critical evaluation of and enact strong measures against Myanmar if no significant progress is made in regard to the release of all political prisoners and the cessation of hostilities with ethnic minorities.

AIPMC urges ASEAN to take concrete steps towards ensuring: all political prisoners in Myanmar are released soon; an end to state violence and human rights violations against its own civilians, especially ethnic minorities and other vulnerable peoples; and that inclusive dialog between the government, ethnic leaders and the political opposition is held soon.

“ASEAN needs to set a benchmark on the progress of reform and human rights improvements in Myanmar. It should also set a timetable for these advancements and not to depend on pressures from outside to take a firm position,” suggested Eva Sundari, AIPMC President and Member of Indonesian Parliament.

“As the regional grouping it should take the initiative to draw up a progress plan and set up an official monitoring team to oversee Myanmar’s progress and ensure it meets these basic requirements before it takes ASEAN chairmanship in 2014,” she added.

AIPMC calls on ASEAN to be firm on these demands and be prepared, if necessary, to review its decision to hand Myanmar the ASEAN chair in 2014.

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The ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus (AIPMC) is a network formed in an inaugural meeting in Kuala Lumpur, on 26-28 November 2004 by and for Parliamentarians from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries. The aim is advocating for human rights and democratic reform in Myanmar/Burma. Its members represent both the ruling and non-ruling political parties of countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines and Cambodia.

For more information/ interview with AIPMC MPs, please contact AIPMC
Secretariat: Agung Putri Astrid +62 81514006416

 


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