A New Approach to Burma

01 November 2007

[Extracted from the article, Michael Green and Derek Mitchell," Asia's Forgotten Crisis", Foreign Affairs, November/December 2007 ]

The international community needs to act now to begin a process of concentrated and coordinated engagement for the benefit of the Burmese people and of broader peace and stability in Asia. As with the six-party talks on North Korea, a multilateral approach will require some compromise by all participants. The United States will need to reconsider its restrictions on engaging the SPDC; ASEAN, China, and India will need to reevaluate their historical commitment to noninterference; Japan will need to consider whether its economics-based approach to Burma undermines its new commitment to values-based diplomacy. But all parties have good reasons to make concessions.

None of them can afford to watch Burma descend further into isolation and desperation and wait to act until another generation of its people is lost. In addition to humanitarian principles, there are strategic grounds for stepping up diplomatic efforts on Burma: it is now the most serious remaining challenge to the security and unity of Southeast Asia. Of course, change will eventually come to Burma. But without the coordinated engagement of the major interested powers today, that change will come at a great cost: to the stability of Southeast Asia, to the conscience of the international community, and, most important, to the long-suffering Burmese people, who languish in the shadows as the rest of the world concentrates its energies elsewhere.


Fabio said...

Go on! Stand with you.

Mg Yin said...

Thanks Fabio. Your kind soladarity with Burmese is appreciated much.