In the wake of strong criticism and pressure from the international community over the Rohingya crisis, the Myanmar civilian government on October 12 created the Union Enterprise for Humanitarian Assistance, Resettlement and Development (UEHRD) with the objective of implementing three major tasks: to repatriate those who have crossed over to Bangladesh and provide humanitarian assistance effectively; to resettle and rehabilitate; and to bring development to the region and establish a durable peace. This initiative aims to bring together the Myanmar government, the people, private sector, local and international non-government organizations and partner countries in the efforts of multi-sector development of the ravaged Rakhine state. As its first major development, which was in response to the State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi’s call, private business pledged 17.7 billion kyats (approximately US$12.8 million) at an event in the capital Naypyidaw on October 20 to support the enterprise. While the UEHRD initiative brings a promising opportunity to address the Rohingya conundrum, there remains certain lingering challenges. This talk will focus on the short-term and long-term opportunities, as well as the potential problems, including peace and reconciliation, identity and citizenship issues. The talk will also examine the role of the international community, including the United Nations and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
About the Speaker
Dr. Nehginpao Kipgen is an Assistant Professor and Executive Director of the Centre for Southeast Asian Studies, JindaI School of International Affairs (JSIA), O.P. Jindal Global University (JGU), National Capital Region of Delhi, India. JGU was established in 2009 in memory of Mr. Om Prakash Jindal as a philanthropic initiative of Mr. Naveen Jindal, the Founding Chancellor. The vision of JGU is to promote global courses, global programmes, global curriculum, global research, global collaborations, and global interaction through a global faculty. JSIA aims to place India on the global map as a provider of knowledge that is internationally relevant and of the highest standards. Dr Nehginpao Kipgen is a Political Scientist whose concentration is in Comparative Politics and International Relations. Since 2013, Dr. Kipgen has served as a “country expert” on Myanmar for Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem), a collaborative academic research project of the Department of Political Science, University of Gothenburg (Sweden), and the Kellogg Institute, University of Notre Dame (USA). He is the author of 3 books and several peer-reviewed academic articles. He has also published over 160 articles in various leading international newspapers and magazines in five continents – Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, and North America – including the Washington Post, Washington Times, Foreign Policy Journal, Nikkei Asian Review, The Guardian, The Straits Times, The Star, New Straits Times, Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, New Zealand Herald, Jerusalem Post, The Hindu, Hindustan Times, China Post, China Daily, Global Times, Japan Times, Korea Times, South China Morning Post, The Indian Express, The National, Bangkok Post, Jakarta Post, Manila Times, Brunei Times. Dr. Kipgen has appeared on several radio and television programs.