Building Peace with North Korea

16 Jun

Reconciling ongoing Korean War trauma, volatile U.S. relations and current events, amid a growing hunger epidemic among the North Korean people

panel 2 photo

PISA 2017

By, Maggie Nelsen, PISA Program Assistant

June 13th, 2017, Partnerships for International Strategies in Asia (PISA), George Washington University’s Institute for Korean Studies, the American Friends Service Committee, and the Korea Peace Network hosted a day-long program considering how to forge “Paths to Building Peace with North Korea”. The event could not have been more timely. The overall theme of the day focused on shifting US foreign policy “off-ramps to war” and working towards diplomatic relations with a humanitarian assistance focus. Only half-way through 2017, North Korea and the U.S. are already on a collision course for the most likely military showdown in years. Unprecedented new leadership in the U.S. decidedly swerving away from previous administration’s approach to North Korea has many in Washington and around the world on edge over imminent confrontation between the two countries.

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China’s Role in the Hydropolitics of the Lancang-Mekong River

20 Apr

By PISA Staff Assistant, Leeann Ji

On April 10, 2017, Dr. Zhifei Li, Associate Research Fellow from the National Institute of International Strategy at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) gave a presentation at the Sigur Center on China’s role and response in the hydropolitics of the Lancang-Mekong River.

The Lancang River feeds into the Mekong River through the Yunnan Province of Southern China and flows into the downstream countries of Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam where more than 30 million people depend on this river for food, water, irrigation, transport, and power. Hydropolitics have become a primary point of both contention and cooperation in the region as China becomes increasingly involved in dam building on the Mekong River. Dr. Zhifei Li presented on China’s role in the Lancang-Mekong River disputes and shared with us her thoughts on the future of Asian hydropolitics. Continue reading

World Water day 2017

22 Mar

Bangladesh 3 - Development Planning Unit University College London

By PISA Staff Assistant, Leeann Ji

In 1993, the United Nations General Assembly designated March 22 as “World Water Day”, a day dedicated to initiating dialogue over the global water crisis. While this year the focus is on wastewater, it is important for the world to continue to address the issues surrounding access to clean water and water security. As the lifeline of humanity, water is a sacred resource, but it is finite. It is imperative that governments and society recognize and take action to ameliorate the current shortage in the global water supply, which threatens national security and our very existence.

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International Women’s Day 2017

8 Mar
PISA Women2

Women attend PISA’s 2014 Myanmar Advanced Leadership Institute on Climate Change (MALICC) in Washington, D.C.

By PISA Staff Assistant, Leeann Ji

As the world becomes increasingly intertwined through trade and politics, the international community has come together to address important global issues such as gender inequality. Every year on March 8 for International Women’s Day, the world commemorates the achievements of women in various disciplinary fields and occupations from around the world. While celebration stands at the forefront of International Women’s Day, this holiday also serves to bring to light issues that continue to face women today. Since the first International Women’s Day in 1909, women’s rights have progressed exponentially, but many communities around the world still have a ways to go.

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Legacies of the Cold War in Asia: China – Part 1

27 Feb

By PISA Staff Assistant, Leeann Ji

In recent years, China has made headlines with its economic growth and prowess. Before the late 1970s, however, China remained a predominately closed economy ruled by a communist government. China’s emergence as a communist nation took place during the Cold War, with China maintaining an important role in both the U.S. and Soviet Union’s foreign policy. During the Cold War, the global ideological divide between communism and democracy transformed Chinese society, with a lasting legacy that is still being felt in the country – and around the world – today.

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Climate Change and Sea Level Rise in Asia: Singapore

24 Feb

Flickr: nathanhayag

By PISA Program Assistant, Dr. Miriam Grinberg

With a population of over 5 million in a country smaller than New York City, Singapore boasts the seventh-largest gross domestic product per capita in the world. The country’s wealth suggests that it has the financial capacity to combat the effects of climate change (unlike previous countries highlighted in this series) and reduce its carbon footprint. Moreover, given the fact that Singapore lies only 15 meters above sea level on average – and that mean sea level in the surrounding Straits has risen at about 1.2 to 1.7 mm per year between 1975 and 2009 – ignoring the consequences of climate change could prove perilous.

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Climate Change and Sea Level Rise in Asia: Thailand

13 Jan

Flickr: dany13

By PISA Program Assistant, Dr. Miriam Grinberg

Where for the other countries in Southeast Asia covered so far in this series sea level rise is a more recent concern, in Thailand, it has long been cited as an important factor behind the oft-discussed “sinking” of its capital, Bangkok. Local data from around the country has shown an increase in sea level of about 5 mm in the last 25 years, a rise that has been accompanied by increased incidents of cyclones, flooding, and deadly storm surges. The country’s devastating 2011 floods, for example, not only impacted over 1.69 million hectares of land, resulting in economic losses of over $2 billion — it also caused global industrial production to decline by 2.5%, as seven major industrial parks and the 800+ companies therein (largely producing automobile parts and electronics) were inundated.

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