Myanmar, After the Coup, In the World


About the Webinar

Days after the Myanmar military seized power from the re-elected National League for Democracy (NLD) government on 1 February 2021, several elected lawmakers established the Committee on Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) announcing their intention to continue performing their duties, including “communicating with the international community, including the United Nations, and forming the government”. This threw into stark relief the foreign policy/external relations dimensions of the coup and the legitimacy stakes for the military’s State Administration Council (SAC) regime. The CRPH’s appointment of the National Unity Government (NUG) on 16 April upped the stakes for the SAC, occurring just before the leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) convened a special meeting on Myanmar. On 18 June, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly adopted a resolution condemning lethal violence by Myanmar’s armed forces, with a recorded vote of 119 in favour, 1 against and 36 abstentions. Myanmar’s seat and voice at the UN and at the ASEAN table are the focus of diplomatic efforts by the SAC and the NUG. At this webinar, two seasoned experts on Myanmar’s external relations will share their perspectives on how different external interlocutors are navigating their interactions with Myanmar, and the bilateral and multilateral implications of Myanmar’s engagement with major powers and regional actors, whether by the SAC or the NUG.

About the Speakers

Priscilla Clapp is a Senior Advisor to the U.S. Institute of Peace and the Asia Society. She is a retired minister-counsellor in the U.S. Foreign Service. In her 30-year career with the U.S. Government, Clapp served as chief of mission and permanent charge d’affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Myanmar (1999-2002), and in various capacities in US Embassies in South Africa, Moscow, and Japan. At the State Department, Clapp has served as principal deputy assistant secretary of state for Refugee Programs, Policy Planning Staff, in the East Asian, Political Military and International Organizations bureaus, and with the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. Prior to government service, Clapp spent ten years in foreign policy and arms control research with the MIT Center for International Studies, and the Brookings Institution. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the International Institute for Strategic Studies. Clapp’s books include: with Morton Halperin, “Bureaucratic Politics and Foreign Policy” (Brookings, 2006), with I.M. Destler et al., “Managing an Alliance: the Politics of U.S.-Japanese Relations” (Brookings, 1976), with Morton Halperin, “U.S.-Japanese Relations in the 1970’s” (Harvard, 1974). She is a frequent media commentator and the author of numerous publications on Myanmar and US Myanmar policy.

Morten B. Pedersen is Senior Lecturer in International and Political Studies at the University of New South Wales Canberra (Australian Defence Force Academy) and a former senior analyst for the International Crisis Group in Myanmar. He has published extensively on Myanmar politics and development affairs over the past 20 years, and has served as a policy advisor for a number of governments and international organisations, including the United Nations, the European Commission, the Australian government, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Martti Ahtisaari. His major publications include: Promoting Human Rights in Burma: A Critique of Western Sanctions Policies (Rowman & Littlefield, 2008); A Good Office: Twenty Years of UN Mediation in Myanmar (International Peace Institute, 2012); and Principled Engagement: Negotiating Human Rights in Pariah States (Ashgate, 2013). His paper, “How to promote human rights in the world’s most repressive states: Lessons from Myanmar” won the Boyer Prize for the best original article in the Australian Journal of International Affairs in 2013. His current research focuses on the 2021 military coup, the evolution of the anti-coup resistance, and the role of international actors.


This webinar will be delivered online entirely. You can join the webinar at the specified date and time using devices (computer, phone, or tablet) with internet connection.

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If you have questions for the speakers, please key in your questions via the Q&A, stating your name and affiliation. The moderator will field them to the speakers during the Q&A session.


Sep 23 2021


10:00 am - 11:15 am