For the past two months, I have served on an international panel designed to help the Myanmar government arrive at just and reasonable policies for its conflict in Rakhine state, including its long-suffering Rohingya minority. This week I resigned. The reason: I have little confidence in the body’s ability to address the critical challenges facing the region and the country.
Aung San Suu Kyi, the country’s effective leader, is isolated and unwilling to listen to constructive criticism. Her government is focused on getting things done quickly instead of getting them done right. If Myanmar, also known as Burma, is to have any hope of preventing a further downward spiral to the crisis in Rakhine state and restoring its international reputation, immediate and dramatic changes are required.… Seguir leyendo »
“Nothing poses a bigger threat to our water, our livelihood and our quality of life than a warming climate.” Those are my words from 2006 upon the signing of an executive order on climate change for New Mexico when I was governor.
Almost a decade later, this statement still holds true. But now we have even more information about climate change, both the risks and solutions.
The just-released report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a collection of more than 800 leading climate scientists, reaffirms that climate impacts are already occurring and having a dramatic impact on society. Climate change is driven by our dependence on fossil fuels and is expected to get worse.… Seguir leyendo »
At night at the Kobangsan Guest House in Pyongyang, North Korea, there is not much to do before falling asleep. There is no network for cellphones or Internet for laptops to connect to. North Korean television broadcasts a limited number of hours a day. It airs a loop of propaganda clips and a replay of a speech by Kim Jong Eun, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of his grandfather, Kim Il Sung. The young leader is shown saying now that security has been guaranteed by a successful satellite launch and a nuclear test — a combination that, in his eyes, sets sufficient deterrence from foreign hostilities and invasion, a fear deeply ingrained in North Koreans’ consciousness — the nation’s attention can turn to economic growth.… Seguir leyendo »
The lobby of the Traders Hotel in Yangon is buzzing in the early evening hours. The number of Chinese, Japanese, Europeans and Americans roaming the lobby is surprising. It’s as if they are all here just waiting for the economic boom to happen.
In response to the political and economic reforms undertaken by the government of Myanmar, major U.S. sanctions have been suspended, albeit not removed. The opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has made a triumphant tour of the United States. President Thein Sein, the military ruler credited with ushering in the new reforms, was also appropriately welcomed.
Having lived under house arrest off and on since 1989, the comparisons of Aung San Suu Kyi to Nelson Mandela are fitting.… Seguir leyendo »
Arizona’s attempt to create and enforce its own immigration policy has once again amplified — and politicized — the immigration debate in this country. But the fallout of that debate extends beyond our borders. The anti-immigrant push in Arizona has further alienated our neighbors throughout Latin America, who had been hoping for better relations with the United States after President Obama’s election. We need to turn this opportunity to our advantage and engage with our neighbors throughout the Western Hemisphere.
Latin America has perhaps the greatest impact, in terms of trade and culture, on the daily lives of most Americans. U.S.… Seguir leyendo »