The International Law Department of the Faculty of Law, Universitas Airlangga (FH UNAIR), again held a focus group discussion which invited Abdul Kadir Jailani, Director General for Asia Pacific and Africa, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia. The discussion agenda, held on Wednesday (15/2/2023) in the PBL Room, Building A FH UNAIR, was entitled “Legal Aspects of the Myanmar Case”.
The overthrow of parliament and coup in Myanmar by the Tatmadaw military regime has been going on for two years. Abdul Kadir responded to the coup as illegal. During the Cold War, there was no obligation to prohibit coups in multilateral conventions explicitly, but there was an obligation to respect democracy and human rights. Then, after the Cold War, the commitment to grant democratic rights became increasingly highlighted, so that failure to comply with democratic principles was considered a violation of international obligations.
“The UN Security Council’s response to the coup will be determined by its assessment based on whether the coup is a threat to peace and security,” said Abdul Kadir.
He explained the legal provisions regarding coups. The ASEAN Charter obliges them to act following the principles of democracy, the rule of law, and constitutionalism, so carrying out a coup violates the ASEAN Charter’s regulations. Meanwhile, according to Article 30 of the Constitutive Act of the African Union, a government that comes to power through unconstitutional means must not be allowed to participate in African Union activities, so this law is also not in favor of carrying out a coup.
“Article 9 of the Charter of the Organization of American States also states, ‘A member of an organization whose government was democratically formed has been overthrown by force may be suspended from exercising the right to participate in meetings’,” said Abdul Kadir.
For the coup settlement mechanism at the United Nations (UN), explained Abdul Kadir, there are at least three councils that oversee coup issues, namely the UN Security Council, the UN General Assembly, and the UN Human Rights Council. The UN Security Council will provide a resolution in the form of R2P (Responsibility to Protect), which contains international principles and agreements aimed at preventing genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and other crimes against humanity. Still, there are better solutions than this resolution. The UN General Assembly adopts the principles of the ASEAN agreement, while the UN Human Rights Council provides answers regarding the situation related to human rights in Myanmar.
In the end, Abdul Kadir presented five points of consensus that must be carried out to overcome the crisis in Myanmar. “An immediate cessation of violence in Myanmar; a constructive dialogue between all interested parties to seek peaceful solutions in the interests of the people; the mediation to be facilitated by the ASEAN Chair’s delegation, with the Secretary-General’s assistance of humanitarian assistance provided by ASEAN; as well as visits by envoys and special delegations to Myanmar to meet with all parties. He concluded that those five points of consensus must be implemented to overcome this problem,” he concluded.