Cambodian foreign minister and ASEAN special envoy on Myanmar Prak Sokhonn on May 27 announced plans for a second trip to the bloc’s strife-torn westernmost country next month, voicing optimism that there would be positive outcomes.
The timeline for his plans were revealed in Sokhonn’s second briefing to the UN Security Council (UNSC), provided virtually five months after his first – and just over two months after his previous visit to Myanmar.
He underscored that Myanmar faces numerous, multifaceted challenges ranging from the ongoing political and economic turmoil, to the fight against Covid-19 and a severe humanitarian crisis.
“Having said that, not all hope is lost as long as we, both ASEAN and the international community, continue to engage constructively with Myanmar as opposed to isolating them.
“Cambodia fully recognises the complexity of this issue, and while we are doing our best as ASEAN chair this year, we sincerely hope that our contribution would serve as a good foundation for future efforts in attaining peace, stability and prosperity for all of Myanmar,” Sokhonn said on his Facebook page.
Sokhonn said he would approach next month’s trip to Myanmar with five key things in mind – “the cessation of violence, constructive engagement, Covid-19 vaccinations, humanitarian relief, and optimism”.
Early this week, the UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres’ special envoy on Myanmar, Noeleen Heyzer, met Prime Minister Hun Sen – in his capacity as the 2022 ASEAN chairman – at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Heyzer reiterated the importance of aligning regional efforts with realities on the ground, and supporting a Myanmar-led process that reflects the needs and the will of the people, according to Stephane Dujarric, a spokesman for the UN chief.