H.E. Mr. Chang Jae-bok, Ambassador for Public Diplomacy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, South Korea and delegation paid a visit to MISIS on 5 November 2019. The Korean delegation shared insights and experiences on Public Diplomacy and Soft Power. Public Diplomacy is a diplomatic tool which is used to influence public abroad in projecting the foreign policy and image of a nation. It is being increasingly used nowadays by many countries in addition to the traditional diplomacy. South Korea Foreign Ministry established a Department for Public Diplomacy only a few years ago. In their case not only the public abroad is involved but also the people at home are also allowed to take part in Foreign Policy formulation. This field is relatively new to Myanmar. Upon Myanmar’s request South Korea Foreign Ministry is ready to cooperate with us in this area of diplomacy through experience sharing and specific projects that will enhance capacity development of Myanmar diplomats.
After visiting Seoul, Chairman U Nyunt Maung Shein and delegation flew to Niigata, Japan at the invitation of IR Professor Dr. Zhang Yun of Niigata University from 26 to 29 October 2019. At Niigata University Chairman attended a workshop discussing ILO-Myanmar relations in the past and present on 27 October at the Satellite Campus of Niigata University. On 28 October, he gave a lecture to Master and Ph.D students of IR on Myanmar’s transition: Challenges and Opportunities, while Professor Carole gave a lecture on Myanmar-Japan relations and Public Diplomacy. The talk was followed by a lively round of discussions between the speakers and the students. In the afternoon of 28 October, Chairman and party called on the President of Niigata University Dr. Tatsuo USHIKI. He has visited Myanmar twice before to collaborate with the Ministry of Health on research regarding influenza. He used to be formerly Dean of Medical Faculty of Niigata University which is a prestigious School of Medicine in Japan. It was learnt that there are around ten students from Myanmar doing their Masters and Ph.D course at the University.
Dr. Chen Dongxiao, President of Shanghai Institutes for International Studies (SIIS) and his colleagues paid a visit to MISIS to have bilateral exchange of views on Climate Change, US-China Trade War, Indo-Pacific Strategy, RCEP, CMEC and the Rakhine Issue. MISIS has a long standing relation with SIIS. However due to changes in the leadership of SIIS now both sides have renewed contacts and the extension of MoU was signed between MISIS Chairman and President SIIS this morning. The Chinese delegation prior to coming Myanmar also visited India and Nepal.
H.E. Mr. Saurabh Kumar, Ambassador of India to Myanmar delivered a talk on “Contemporary India-Myanmar Relations: Challenges and Initiatives” at MISIS this morning. He is a diplomat specializing on China and has served as Desk Officer and Desk Director of China at the Indian Foreign Ministry and also as the DCM in Beijing. Before coming to Myanmar, he was Indian Ambassador to Iran. As in the past, MISIS members, Professors and Lectures from the Universities, IR students and interested persons attended the presentation. This is the third time that MISIS hosted an Indian Ambassador to give a lecture.
Professor Dr. Li Chenyang, Pro Rector of Yunnan University led a delegation from Yunnan University to visit MISIS and exchange views on China-US trade war, its impact on Myanmar’s economy; Indo-Pacific concept; Rakhine issue and CEMEC. In attendance from MISIS are its Chairman and most of the members. Professor Li also informed MISIS that the book on China-Myanmar relations which will be published in Chinese, Myanmar and English will be ready by end of this year. It may be recalled that ten scholars from Chinese Scholars and equal number of Myanmar Scholars contributed to the writing of this book. Next year China and Myanmar celebrate 70th years of establishment of Diplomatic Relations and a commemorative event is scheduled to be to be held in China and Myanmar. On that occasion the aforementioned book will be launched. The Professor invited one MISIS member to Yunnan University to conduct research on a topic to be mutually agreed upon for a period of three months. It may be mentioned here that MISIS Chairman, member Daw Than Than Htay, the former Secretary DG Daw Kay Thi Soe and Joint Secretary -1 U Khin Maung Lynn authored a chapter each in the book.
The 7th Meeting between Myanmar and Bangladesh Experts (Think Tanks and Scholars) convened in Singapore from 8-9 July 2019. The meeting was facilitated by HD Centre Geneva and took place at the Swissotel. It was attended by the following think tanks and scholars - Myanmar Side MISIS a) Chairman U Nyunt Maung Shein Member U Wynn Lwin Member Daw Carole Ann Chit Tha b) U Kyaw Myaing UEHRD, Director of Information and Communications c) Commodore (Retd) Aung Thaw Secretary, Myanmar War Veteran Organization d) Dr. Naing Swe Oo Founder and Executive Director (Thayninga Institute) e) Daw Moe Thuzar Researcher, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) f) U Yan Naing Khant Second Secretary, Myanmar Embassy in Singapore Bangladesh Side a) Major - General A.K.M Abdur Rahman DG, Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) b) Ambassador (Retd) Humayun Kabir President, Bangladesh Enterprise Institute c) Major - General (Retd) Muniruzzaman President, Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies (BIPSS) d) Professor Dr. Shamsul Bari Chairman, Research Initiatives Bangladesh (RIB) e) Lt. General (Retd) A T M Zahirul Alam Former, Commandant of NDC Bangladesh f) Dr. Amena Mohsin Professor, IR Department, Dhaka University g) Ms. Morioum Begum Shorna Third Secretary, Bangladesh High Commission to Singapore The meeting exchanged views on the following topics - 1. Current situational analysis 2. Update on (humanitarian) situation in Cox’s Bazar and Rakhine State 3. Discussion on repatriation process and preparations on the ground 4. Addressing mutual security issues 5. The role of the region in addressing the current crisis 6. Discussion on next steps and outcome document The 7th meeting was significant. From now on China will play facilitating / mediating role between Myanmar and Bangladesh Experts. Both Myanmar and Bangladesh agreed to invite China for this role as they are both close and friendly neighbors of China. Moreover, China is already playing this role between the Governments of Myanmar and Bangladesh. From China the following two representatives of China Institute of International Studies (CIIS) Beijing attended the meeting - a) Dr. Tang Qifang Associate Research Fellow, CIIS b) Dr. Zhang Jian Assistant Research Fellow, CIIS The Chinese side observed the proceedings of the meeting and stated that they will report back to headquarters and added that China may host the ninth meeting in Beijing towards the end of the year.
1. BIMSTEC Workshop on Climate Change and Disaster Management (Yangon, 17-18 June 2019) 2. Bilateral with Bangladesh Institute of Policy and Security Studies (Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw, 24 to 28 June 2019) 3. Bilateral with Islamabad Policy Research Institute (Yangon 3 to 5 July 2019) 4. Quarterly Meeting between Myanmar and Bangladesh Scholars in Singapore from 8 to 10 July 2019 The first event an initiative taken by MISIS and co-organized with FES Yangon was held at Melia Hotel beginning with a welcome dinner on 17 June 2019. This is the first time in the history of MISIS that a Track 2 workshop with think tanks under the umbrella of the BIMSTEC Network of Think Tanks (BNTT) took place. All seven BIMSTEC member countries were representated at the workshop. In attendance were also two Directors from BIMSTEC Secretariat, Dhaka. The inaugural ceremony kicked off with a keynote speech by H.E. U Myint Thu, Permanent Secretary of MOFA. Welcome remarks were delivered by Chairman of MISIS, Director-in-Charge of Climate Change and Disaster Management in the BIMSTEC Secretariat, Mr. Pankaj Hazarika and Project Manager of FES, Yangon U Kaung Myat Soe. It was also attended by the Ambassadors of Sri Lanka, Thailand and the DCM of the Indian Embassy. Representatives made country presentations and experiences and knowledge among the participants were shared. The outcome of the workshop will be submitted through the BNTT of which Bhutan is the incumbent chair to the SOM of BIMSTEC for their consideration and appropriate action. The topic chosen for the workshop is timely and most appropriate as the world is facing serious challenges due to climate change and the voice of regional groupings such as BIMSTEC should be heard by the global community.
Co-hosted by MISIS, Yunnan Academy of Social Science, Dehong County Autonomous Government, Chinese Embassy in Yangon and the Institute of Myanmar Studies, Yunnan University, the 3rd Myanmar-China Think Tank Forum was held at the NRPC building in Yangon on 21 May 2019. It was attended by 50 Chinese scholars and around 40 Myanmar scholars. The theme of this year’s forum is “The BRI and the CMEC”. Opening remarks were delivered by MISIS Chairman, Minister Counsellor of Chinese Embassy, President of the YASS and the Vice-President of Dehong County Autonomous Government. The meeting will run for two full days. The first and second forums were held in Mangshi, Dehong County in May 2017 and 2018. It is the largest assembly of Myanmar and Chinese Think Tanks and independent scholars and researchers. The outcomes of the meeting will be reported to the respective governments of the two countries.
Chinese Ambassador to Myanmar H.E. Mr. Hong Liang, gave a talk to MISIS audience at MISIS meeting room yesterday, 20 May 2019. He spoke on the “Reflection of Chinese Ambassador’s experience in Myanmar”. He focused his talk on (a) the significance and importance of Pauk Phaw friendship (b) the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence in the conduct of International Relations (c) The BRI and the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor-Socioeconomic Development of Myanmar.
Ba Hla Aye's presentation at the Roundtable on the Korean Peninsula
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