Indonesia's Ongoing Efforts for Myanmar's Inclusive Dialogue: 'The Door Is Not Closed'

Indonesia's Ongoing Efforts for Myanmar's Inclusive Dialogue: 'The Door Is Not Closed'
People in Yangoon | Photo by Alexander Schimmeck on Unsplash

Indonesia acknowledged on Tuesday at the 7th ASEAN Media Forum that Myanmar remains far from achieving an inclusive national dialogue, despite its ongoing efforts to encourage such talks. This situation has persisted for over three years since Myanmar's military staged a coup, resulting in the loss of many civilian lives.

Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi revealed that Indonesia has been actively involved in mediating the conflict to help alleviate the crisis. Since taking over the ASEAN chairmanship in January, Indonesia has conducted more than 180 engagements with various stakeholders in Myanmar, all with the ultimate goal of facilitating an inclusive national dialogue.

Indonesia has reached out to multiple parties, including Myanmar's government-in-exile, the National Unity Government (NUG), and the junta's State Administration Council (SAC). These engagements have taken various forms, such as virtual meetings, in-person discussions, and even phone contacts. However, it appears that Myanmar is not yet ready for an inclusive national dialogue. As Retno explained during the 2023 ASEAN Media Forum in Jakarta, "Especially for the NUG and SAC, when I offered, 'Do you want to meet without any agenda and preconditions?', I did not hear any positive response. But it does not mean the door is closed."

Retno Marsudi, Foreign Minister of Indonesia |

Retno expressed uncertainty about the timeline for achieving an inclusive national dialogue but stressed the importance of maintaining the necessary process to work towards this goal. Indonesia still has two months left as the ASEAN rotating chair before Laos assumes the position in 2024. Jakarta intends to continue engaging with stakeholders in Myanmar even beyond its chairmanship. Retno affirmed, "So at least until the end of [our] chairmanship, there will be a number of meetings. But we will not stop at the end of the chairmanship," and noted that they have been in close contact with Laos, the upcoming ASEAN chair.

She emphasized that the approach of engaging stakeholders individually is crucial in building trust among them, stating, "Without trust, it is impossible for them to meet, to talk."

In September, ASEAN agreed to establish a troika of ASEAN chairs—Indonesia, Laos, and Malaysia—as an informal consultation mechanism for addressing the Myanmar crisis. This troika consists of the current, previous, and incoming ASEAN chairs. Malaysia is scheduled to take over the rotating ASEAN chairmanship in 2025. ASEAN has also decided to adhere to the "five-point consensus" as the primary framework for addressing the crisis, a peace plan agreed upon by the bloc in 2021, calling for constructive dialogue among all parties involved.

Amidst these diplomatic efforts, a human rights organization, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, reported that since the military coup on February 1, 2021, the junta and pro-military groups have been responsible for the deaths of 4,162 people, including pro-democracy activists and civilians.

Akhyari Hananto

I began my career in the banking industry in 1997, and stayed approx 6 years in it. This industry boost his knowledge about the economic condition in Indonesia, both macro and micro, and how to More understand it. My banking career continued in Yogyakarta when I joined in a program funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB),as the coordinator for a program aimed to help improve the quality of learning and teaching process in private universities in Yogyakarta. When the earthquake stroke Yogyakarta, I chose to join an international NGO working in the area of ?disaster response and management, which allows me to help rebuild the city, as well as other disaster-stricken area in Indonesia. I went on to become the coordinator for emergency response in the Asia Pacific region. Then I was assigned for 1 year in Cambodia, as a country coordinator mostly to deliver developmental programs (water and sanitation, education, livelihood). In 2009, he continued his career as a protocol and HR officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Surabaya, and two years later I joined the Political and Economic Section until now, where i have to deal with extensive range of people and government officials, as well as private and government institution troughout eastern Indonesia. I am the founder and Editor-in-Chief in Good News From Indonesia (GNFI), a growing and influential social media movement, and was selected as one of The Most Influential Netizen 2011 by The Marketeers magazine. I also wrote a book on "Fundamentals of Disaster Management in 2007"?, "Good News From Indonesia : Beragam Prestasi Anak Bangsa di dunia"? which was luanched in August 2013, and "Indonesia Bersyukur"? which is launched in Sept 2013. In 2014, 3 books were released in which i was one of the writer; "Indonesia Pelangi Dunia"?, "Indonesia The Untold Stories"? and "Growing! Meretas Jalan Kejayaan" I give lectures to students in lectures nationwide, sharing on full range of issues, from economy, to diplomacy Less
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