Jakarta ● Wed, October 20, 2021
On Oct. 15, the ASEAN Foreign Ministers (AMM) met virtually to discuss preparations for the 38th and 39th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits.
The AMM made two profound pronouncements. First, that "no consensus was reached for a political representative from Myanmar to attend the 38th and 39th ASEAN Summits and Related Summits in October 2021". Second, the AMM instead decided "to invite a nonpolitical representative from Myanmar to the upcoming Summits, while noting the reservations from the Myanmar representative".
These two-pronged decisions beg myriad questions rather than providing straightforward clarity. For instance, Evan A. Laksmana, a political scientist, immediately asked through Twitter whether as a result of the AMM's rulings the coming summit could be called a summit at all when one member is not politically represented. Additionally, he also pondered who could be deemed a nonpolitical representative but equal to ASEAN leaders?
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