Tag Archives: development

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

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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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International Women’s Day 2017

8 Mar
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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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Climate Change and Sea Level Rise in Asia: Singapore

24 Feb
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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
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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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Climate Change and Sea Level Rise in Asia: Myanmar

29 Dec

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By PISA Program Assistant, Dr. Miriam Grinberg

Following Myanmar Ambassador Aung Lynn’s visit to the Elliott School of International Affairs on Monday, December 12, PISA provides critical background information on the country through our blog. Previously, we discussed the country’s challenges in natural resource governance and the continued consequences of the Cold War. This post concludes the series with a focus on the impact of sea level rise and climate change on Myanmar’s future.

In my previous post’s overview of the difficulties that Burmese policymakers face in managing and distributing natural resources equitably, I noted that Myanmar is well-known for its rich biodiversity and wealth of resources, such as natural gas and jade. As the country continues to undergo political and economic transformation – including the development of its energy and industry sectors, urban areas, and agricultural production – the sustainability of its new enterprises has increasingly come into question, not to mention their environmental impact. Combined with its geographical location (sandwiched between two of the world’s largest polluters, China and India), it is no wonder that the country was recently called the second most vulnerable in the world to the impacts of climate change.

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Legacies of the Cold War in Asia: Myanmar

15 Dec

Chinese Troops in Burma

By PISA Staff Assistant, Leeann Ji

Following Myanmar Ambassador Aung Lynn’s visit to the Elliott School of International Affairs on Monday, December 12, PISA provides critical background information on the country through our blog. Previously, we discussed the country’s challenges in natural resource governance. Stay tuned for one more post on Myanmar as part of our ongoing series, Climate Change and Sea Level Rise in Asia.

A country composed of 14 administrative states and more than 135 different ethnic groups, Myanmar currently lags behind its Southeast Asian counterparts in many different aspects of development (according to 2014 data gathered by the United Nations Development Program). After decades of political turmoil, Myanmar saw a push towards democracy when the National League for Democracy, led by Aung San Suu Kyi, won the 2015 elections by a landslide. The election results proved to be a victory for Myanmar, but after the Cold War-era proliferation of communism, years of ideological battles, and an exploding opium and heroin trade, the new Burmese government faces many obstacles on the path to catching up to its ASEAN neighbors.

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The challenge of natural resource governance in Myanmar

9 Dec

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By PISA Program Assistant, Dr. Miriam Grinberg

In the lead-up to Myanmar Ambassador Aung Lynn’s visit to the Elliott School of International Affairs on Monday, December 12, PISA will provide critical background information on the country through our blog. Stay tuned for two more posts on Myanmar as part of our ongoing series, Legacies of the Cold War in Asia and Climate Change and Sea Level Rise in Asia.

The visit of Myanmar’s First State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi to the U.S. in September 2016 was hailed as a milestone in the two countries’ relations, and a sign of how far Myanmar has come since Suu Kyi was a political prisoner. It also came at a challenging point in the country’s history, as it faces not only the difficulty of achieving a permanent peace, but also developing in a sustainable and equitable way. Ranked 148 out of 188 in the 2015 UN Human Development Index and 147 out of 167 in Transparency International’s 2015 Corruption Perceptions Index, it is clear that the central government of Myanmar has a long way to go towards ensuring a higher standard of living for its citizens.

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