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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   27 September 2013  

Carter, other leaders visit Myanmar to support democratic transition

Former US President Jimmy Carter and two other members of The Elders - and independent group of global leaders - are on a three-day visit to Myanmar to support peace efforts.

Jimmy Carter, 88, along with Martti Ahtisaari, former president of Finland, and Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland, arrived in Myanmar on September 24.

Their visit is aimed at supporting Myanmar’s democratic transition, encouraging the government’s peace efforts to end decades of civil war and to help to achieve national reconciliation.

The three members of The Elders plan to meet with senior Myanmar officials, political figures, religious leaders and civic organisations during their trip and hope to lay the foundations for a more sustained engagement by the group.

The Elders is an independent group of global leaders who work together for peace and human rights. They were founded in 2007 by Nelson Mandela, Former President of South Africa and Nobel Peace Laureate who along with Archbishop Desmond Tutu remain honorary Elders.

The organisation is currently chaired by Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary-General.

Jimmy Carter already visited Myanmar in April where he met with President Thein Sein, opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, as well as ethnic leaders, political groups and civic organisations in Yangon and in Nay Pyi Taw.

Mutual trust is the most important for the peace process to succeed in Myanmar, Jimmy Carter noted during his last trip to Yangon in April.

Jimmy Carter, 39th President of the United States between 1977 and 1981, and his wife Rosalynn Smith founded the Carter Center in 1982 which seeks to resolve conflicts, enhance freedom and democracy and improve health.

He was awarded Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 for his work to seek peaceful solutions to international conflicts, advancing democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development through The Carter Center.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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