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UN Myanmar envoy briefs PM on ‘three-layered solution’

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UN secretary-general's special envoy on Myanmar Noeleen Heyzer pays a courtesy call on Hun Sen on April 1 during a visit to Cambodia. SPM

UN Myanmar envoy briefs PM on ‘three-layered solution’

Noeleen Heyzer, the UN secretary-general’s Special Envoy on Myanmar, has shared with Prime Minister Hun Sen that she had initiated a “three-layered solution” for the ongoing crisis plaguing the bloc’s westernmost country.

Heyzer paid a courtesy call to Hun Sen on April 1 during a visit to Cambodia, the ASEAN chair for 2022, two days after her meeting with ASEAN special envoy on Myanmar Prak Sokhonn, according to a statement posted on the premier’s official Facebook page.

Heyzer said she had initiated a “multi-exit framework based on a three-layered circle”, describing the first layer as the “centre of the circle”, which she said encompasses the facets of the resolution process that are led by, belong to, and reflect the will of the people of Myanmar.

The second layer constitutes the aspects of the process that are led by ASEAN and the countries bordering Myanmar, she said, while the third is the part of the process spearheaded by the international community, which she recognised would mostly comprise Western countries.

“Heyzer said that this framework is not different from ASEAN’s Five Point Consensus [5PC]. Firstly, it focuses on the provision of humanitarian assistance; secondly, protecting the people; and thirdly, the return to a civil administration which is necessary for trust building,” the statement said, noting that Hun Sen thanked Heyzer for her initiative.

“We have common aims: to seek peace, security, and prosperity for the people of Myanmar. Immediate tasks to be done are to put a halt to violence and bring humanitarian assistance to the people in need. We need to build trust to resolve the issue, especially through ASEAN’s 5PC,” the statement added.

Heyzer met with her ASEAN counterpart Sokhonn on March 31. During the meeting, Sokhonn told her that he had broken down into “three steps” his next move in the quest to resolve the “myriad challenges” confronting crisis-hit Myanmar, according to Cambodia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

This will include another virtual meeting between Hun Sen and Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, the chairman of Myanmar’s ruling State Administration Council (SAC), the Kingdom’s foreign ministry affirmed in a press statement on March 31.

It said that the first step would entail the preparation and the convening of the consultative meeting on humanitarian assistance (HA) that is planned in early May to exchange views with different stakeholders on how to effectively deliver HA to those most in need without discrimination.

“The second step will be the planned video conference [between Hun Sen and Min Aung Hlaing] while the third one will be his second visit to Myanmar,” it said, adding that Sokhonn briefed Heyzer during his first visit last week to Myanmar as the ASEAN special envoy.

Touching on the challenges, Sokhonn underscored that different political actors of Myanmar are not ready for talks and are still strongly determined to continue their struggles in all manifestations, especially through armed struggle.

“It is obvious there is no quick fix to problems that are so deeply rooted in the country, in the society, and in the mind of people,” he was quoted as saying.

The ministry said Heyzer acknowledged the difficulties facing Cambodia as the current ASEAN chair and appreciated the endeavours by [Hun Sen and Sokhonn] in paving the way for the process of finding a solution to the Myanmar crisis.

The special envoys also shared the same view to work together in helping Myanmar get out of the crisis through ASEAN’s 5PC and discussed at length the holding of a consultative meeting on HA and the establishment of humanitarian corridors to ensure the smooth and safe process of assistance delivery.

Heng Kimkong, a visiting senior research fellow at the Cambodia Development Centre, said the Myanmar crisis needs to be addressed in an urgent manner.

“Cambodia as ASEAN chair is in a good position to bring solutions to the crisis. Cambodia can achieve this by working with other relevant stakeholders to create peace, stability and prosperity in Myanmar,” he told The Post on April 3.

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