Advancing Myanmar's Transition: A Way Forward for U.S. Policy

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi meet in Yangon, Myanmar, December 1, 2011. (Saul Loeb /AFP/Getty Images)

Advancing Myanmar’s Transition: A Way Forward for U.S. Policy assesses the nature of the changes that are under way in Myanmar and the challenges and vulnerabilities the country faces. Against this backdrop, the report’s co-authors — Priscilla Clapp, former Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Burma (1999–2002), and Suzanne DiMaggio, Asia Society’s Vice President of Global Policy Programs — recommend measures that the United States can undertake at this critical moment to encourage, support, and advance the institutionalization of sustainable democracy in Myanmar. Click here to access the report.

Advancing Myanmar’s Transition is the result of a January 2012 Asia Society delegation visit to Myanmar to engage in a Track II dialogue with the Myanmar Development Resources Institute (MDRI), a newly created, independent think tank based in Yangon. The goal of this informal dialogue is to establish an ongoing channel of communication between experts from both countries and to explore opportunities to advance U.S.–Myanmar relations during a particularly fluid and fragile period of transition in Myanmar.

The Asia Society group participating in the dialogue includes specialists in the areas of political affairs, rule of law, democracy building, economic development, and environmental sustainability. In addition to the Track II meetings, the group held in-depth discussions with senior government officials; business leaders; members of civil society; representatives from the National League for Democracy (NLD), including Aung San Suu Kyi; and a wide array of community activists, including minority nationalities.

This effort builds on the work carried out by Asia Society’s Task Force on U.S. Policy toward Burma/Myanmar, as well as seminal meetings convened by the Society in New York in September 2011 that brought together for the first time policy makers from Myanmar, the United States, and the broader international community to informally discuss prospects for reform in Myanmar.