ASEAN Chairman Statement on Myanmar


  1. The ASEAN Leaders had a full and open discussion on the Myanmar issue at their informal Working Dinner.
  2. Prime Minister Thein Sein made clear that the situation in Myanmar was a domestic Myanmar affair and that Myanmar was fully capable of handling the situation by itself.
  3. Prime Minister Thein Sein explained that UN Secretary-General Special Advisor Ibrahim Gambari had visited Myanmar four times, and that Myanmar had implemented many of his proposals. He emphasized that Professor Gambari should only report to the UN Secretary-General and not to ASEAN or the East Asia Summit (EAS). Myanmar had every confidence in managing Professor Gambari's mission and the good offices of the UN.
  4. In view of Myanmar's position, Professor Gambari will not brief the ASEAN or EAS Leaders. However, Singapore, as ASEAN Chair, will facilitate Professor Gambari's meetings with interested parties.
  5. The ASEAN Leaders agreed that ASEAN would respect Myanmar's wishes and make way for Myanmar to deal directly with the UN and the international community on its own. ASEAN stands ready to play a role whenever Myanmar wants it to do so.
  6. The Leaders noted that the recent visits by Professor Gambari had resulted in several steps in the right direction.
  7. Most Leaders expressed the view that Myanmar could not go back or stay put. The process of national reconciliation had to move forward, and the UN played a vital role in this process.
  8. As had been stated in the statement issued by the ASEAN Chair in New York in September, the Leaders reiterated that the Myanmar Government should continue to work with the UN in order to:

    Open up a meaningful dialogue with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy (NLD);

    Make full use of the good offices of the UN Secretary-General and Professor Gambari in this process;

    Lift restrictions on Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and release all political detainees;

    Work towards a peaceful transition to democracy; and

    Address the economic difficulties faced by the people of Myanmar.
  9. The Leaders emphasized that they will strive to prevent the Myanmar issue from obstructing ASEAN's integration efforts, especially the ASEAN Charter and the establishment of the ASEAN Community.