Will the ASEAN council be able to come to a total consensus?
Discussion of Malaysia. Indonesia, China, and other state members during an unmoderated caucus
09 June 2022
Despite the many days of committee sessions, the ASEAN council still has not come to a total consensus. It seems clear that some member states will not change their stance in the foreseeable future, the delegate of Indonesia wished for the council to acknowledge the need to “move forward and eliminate all divides”. Moving forward, the council has taken this into account. Through later discussions they agreed on the start of the production of the Draft Declaration starting off with topics they have formed an agreement on and chose to, later on, continue the discussion of other certain topics where they are quite divided.
One subject brought in was non-interference versus interference. The interference side stated that it was the most effective solution, rather than having non-interference. However, they failed to acknowledge the precedence of the solution. Malaysia wanted to remove and amend the non-interference policy of ASEAN because they believe that it would be the best way to solve the internal conflict in Myanmar. China and their working bloc opposed this stance stating the harmful precedence this sets to the international community being that it allows countries to put in and maliciously rectify any part of the ASEAN Charter once it opens up for amendment.
Considering the differences in thought and stances of the members of the state, they were still able to propose their Draft Declaration for the first main topic, majority of the council was in consensus on the articles of the need for humanitarian aid provisions for the citizens of Myanmar. The entirety of the council recognizes the urgent need for humanitarian aid for the citizens of Myanmar. In line with this, they also agreed to infrastructure and capacity-building measures proposed by the delegates of China that would cater to helping Myanmar build their economy in hopes of them being able to sustainably provide for themselves.
Concerns build up for the continuation of ASEAN as they move onto the last day of committee sessions and move on. Will countries be able to merge and form solutions together that will satisfy every state member’s individual stances or opinions instead of moving on? Or will they rather stand firm in their own stances, delay the discussion of the different topics through this, and might it possibly be too late by the time they finally come to a consensus?