Two Years After the Myanmar Coup: Regional Perspectives on Human Security
Special Seminar with the University of Tokyo (Hybrid Event) 21 March 2023, 15:00-17:30 (Tokyo)
On February 1, 2021, the Myanmar military—known as the Tatmadaw—orchestrated a coup d’état that overthrew Myanmar’s civilian government and plunged the country into an economic and political crisis. The coup reversed many of the positive policy changes that had resulted from Myanmar’s post-2011 political re-opening, and significantly set-back the Myanmar people’s long-fought struggle for democracy. Since the coup, Myanmar’s economy has shrunk by more than fifteen-percent, more civilians than ever-before have been internally displaced or become refugees, and the country’s long-standing civil war continues to expand into traditionally unimpacted areas.
In recognition of the 2nd anniversary of the coup and its disastrous impacts on the people of Myanmar, the Research Center for Sustainable Peace at University of Tokyo (RCSP) in partnership with the Yokosuka Council on Asia-Pacific Studies (YCAPS) will host a panel of experts from different countries within the Indo-Pacific to discuss the prolonged impact of the coup on Myanmar and the regional stability of surrounding countries. Invited experts will provide remarks, and participate in a panel discussion where they will propose policy recommendations on how regional countries can cooperate to improve the situation before we transition to Q&A.
Please use this link to register for the event via Google Forms.
Zin Mar Aung (pre-recorded keynote address) is the Foreign Minister of the National Unity Government of Myanmar (NUG). Prior to assuming this role, she worked to co-found RAINFALL, a Yangon-based organization that empowers women in Burma through human-rights trainings and awareness-building at the community level. A former prisoner of conscience, she was arrested in 1998 for participating in the student-led democratic uprisings against Burma’s military regime and released eleven years later. For her efforts to strengthen women’s rights, democratic values, and conflict resolution in Burma, she was awarded the International Women of Courage Award in 2012 by then–Secretary of State Hilary Clinton.
Moe Zaw Oo (remote) is the Deputy Foreign Minister of the National Unity Government of Myanmar (NUG). As a student during the 1988 protests, he actively participated in demonstrations and later nationwide uprisings when he studied at the Rangoon Arts and Science University. He was arrested in 1990 for his involvement in political activities and released in 1999. He received a master’s degree after studying at the Chulalongkorn University in Thailand while he was in exile. Upon return to Myanmar in 2012, he served as a deputy Chief of Staff to the office of the NLD Chairperson – Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and then became the Chief of Staff of the office in February 2016. He received a degree from post-graduate course of international strategic studies at the Royal College of Defence Studies in London in 2017. He served as an advisor to the Union Peace Commission up to the end of 2020.
Scot Marciel (remote) is the Oksenberg-Rohlen Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University. A retired diplomat, Mr. Marciel served as the U.S. Ambassador to Myanmar from March 2016 through May 2020, leading a mission of 500 employees during the difficult Rohingya crisis and a challenging time for both Myanmar’s democratic transition and the United States-Myanmar relationship. Prior to serving in Myanmar, Ambassador Marciel served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Asia and the Pacific at the U.S. State Department, where he oversaw U.S. relations with Southeast Asia.
Kasit Piromya (remote) is a Thai diplomat, Democrat Party politician, and former People's Alliance for Democracy activist. He was the Foreign Minister of Thailand under Abhisit Vejjajiva from 2008 to 2011, and prior to that, served as the Thai Ambassador to the Soviet Union and Mongolia, Russia, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea, Germany, Japan, and the United States.
Gautam Mukhopadhaya (remote) is the former Indian Ambassador to Myanmar, where he served from 2013 to 2016. After retiring from the Indian Foreign Service, Ambassador Mukhopadhaya joined the Centre for Policy Research as a Senior Visiting Fellow in June 2019, where he currently conducts research on issues including Myanmar, India’s Act East policy, and regional cooperation involving South and South East Asia with a focus on the North East of India.
Adelina Kamal (remote) is a humanitarian and a disaster management professional with more than a quarter-century of experience with the ASEAN Secretariat. Most recently, Adelina led the ASEAN AHA Centre as its Executive Director for almost five years. After leaving the ASEAN Secretariat in 2021, Adelina was affiliated with Singapore-based ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute as Associate Senior Fellow where she advocated for out-of-the box approaches to humanitarian crises in Myanmar. She has also written and advocated on issues such as localizing humanitarian action and managing crises.
Thomas Daniel (remote) is a senior fellow in the Foreign Policy and Security Studies programme at the International Institute of Strategic Studies (ISIS) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. His interests lie in the strategic-security challenges of Southeast Asia, including the impacts of major power dynamics on ASEAN. He writes and speaks of these issues in local and regional forums and has commented on them in local and international media.
Yasunobu Sato (in-person) is a special advisor at Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu, a Professor at Waseda University, and the former Director of the Research Center for Sustainable Peace at The University of Tokyo. Dr. Sato has worked for refugee protection, peace keeping/building and law & judicial reform as a legal official with a variety of international organizations including: UNHCR as legal officer in Australia, UNTAC as human rights officer in Cambodia and EBRD as counsel in London. His main area of focus is human security in Myanmar and Southeast Asia.
Teppei Kasai (in-person) is a Program Officer for the Asia Division of Human Rights Watch based in Tokyo, Japan. He primarily works to encourage the Japanese government to take a more human-rights based foreign policy towards countries including but not limited to Cambodia and Myanmar. He also works on domestic issues involving women's rights, and violence and harassment in the workplace. Prior to joining Human Rights Watch, Teppei was a multimedia journalist for Reuters, covering a wide range of news including the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, relative poverty among children in Japan, and the murder of two Japanese nationals by ISIS. Teppei studied at Waseda University and the University of California Berkeley, and is fluent in Japanese and English.
Event Cost: Free of charge
Moderator: Mr. Sam Baron, YCAPS Research Fellow
Format: This hybrid event will be on-the-record. Questions from the media and audience are particularly welcome and encouraged. It will be recorded.
Location: Building 18, the University of Tokyo Komaba Campus & Online
Registration: Required via this link.
Co-Sponsor: Research Center for Sustainable Peace (RCSP), The University of Tokyo
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