Webinar: Myanmar in the spotlight

Myanmar and its rocky road to democracy, the 2021 coup and the country's struggles with Covid were the focus of two webinars the Foundation hosted recently.

Myanmar webinar: Coup and Covid

Myanmar webinar: coup and Covid

As part of its Asia-outreach, the Asia New Zealand Foundation convened a panel discussion on Myanmar as part of the Council for International Development (CID) Annual Conference on 26 October.
The panel explored how Myanmar is coping with the double crisis of military coup and covid-19 and what more New Zealand could be doing to support the people of Myanmar and to bring about a peaceful transition back to democratic rule.
The panel was moderated by the Foundation’s Director of Research and Engagement, Suzannah Jessep, and included the Rt Hon Helen Clark (former Administrator of the UNDP; former PM of NZ), HE Steve Marshall (NZ Ambassador to Myanmar), Dr Nyunt Naing Thein (technical consultant, refugee/migrant specialist) and Mr Ross Wilson (Chair and founder of UnionAid).

Webinar: Strategies to Democracy

Watch the webinar

On 21 September, the Asia New Zealand Foundation hosted a dialogue with Kia Kaha Myanmar to look at what steps can be taken to move Myanmar back to democratic rule and what New Zealand can do in support of this critical transition?

The exchange brought together a range of discussants speaking to key themes of interest, including:

  • The regional and international responses to the military coup and its repercussions and possible pathways forward.
  • The role of sanctions and their effectiveness.
  • Accountability and human rights mechanisms in the form of a “Three Cuts” strategy (cutting weapons, cash and impunity).
  • The role of armed ethnic groups and the declaration of a ‘People’s War’.
  • The humanitarian challenge in an age of COVID.

The dialogue was headed by former New Zealand prime minister and United Nations Sustainable Development administrator Helen Clark and included the Minister of International Cooperation and spokesperson for the National Unity Government of Myanmar, HE Dr Sasa, and Mr Chris Sidoti, human rights lawyer, Commissioner and member of the Special Advisory Council for Myanmar.

The dialogue was moderated by Professor David Capie, director of the Centre for Strategic Studies at VUW.