The Asia Foundation

The Asia Foundation
Addressing the Critical Issues Facing Asia - 60 Years
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Myanmar

We have a long history of work in Myanmar, dating back to the 1950s, and since 2007 we have donated more than 80,000 books valued at $3.2 million. We are now in the process of re-opening our resident office to support the country’s democratic transition and development. Our program will aim to strengthen institutions of democratic governance; enhance the country’s foreign affairs capacities; support the management of subnational conflict; support free, fair, and credible elections; expand access to information and informed public debate; and assist with economic reforms for broad-based growth and opportunities for all. Read country overview.

Since 2007, Books for Asia has been providing up-to-date educational and cutting-edge research material to improve education levels, broaden public access to information, and inform stakeholder and public debate on key national development and reform issues.  Read more about Books for Asia in Myanmar.

THE ASIA FOUNDATION ESTABLISHES A RESIDENT OFFICE

Promoting good governance and rule of law reforms

The Foundation has worked with virtually every Asian country that has undergone a democratic transition, and we are well positioned to make an important contribution in Myanmar. In 2012 we held nearly a dozen in-depth consultations with a wide range of political, academic, and civil society leaders here, including a special delegation to meet President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar the Honorable U Thein Sein. At this meeting, President Thein Sein and Asia Foundation President David Arnold discussed assistance for the country's development and rule of law. 

Also during the week-long visit, Mr. Arnold delivered a special collection of more than 600 volumes to the Myanmar Parliamentary Library. And at our San Francisco, California, headquarters, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Member of Parliament, and Chairperson and General Secretary of the National League of Democracy, made her first Bay Area public remarks after decades of detention. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi spoke to an invitation-only audience of Bay Area political, civic, and business leaders following a private meeting with Mr. Arnold and our Board of Trustees.

Asia Foundation President David D. Arnold Meets Myanmar President U Thein Sein

From October 22-26, 2012, The Asia Foundation President David D. Arnold led an official delegation to Myanmar. During this historic visit, President Arnold called on the President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar U Thein Sein on October 23 in Nay Pyi Taw. At this official meeting held at the Presidential Palace, President Thein Sein and President Arnold conducted substantive discussions on assistance for the country's development and rule of law. Last month, President Thein Sein concluded a landmark official visit to the United States, the first by a Myanmar leader since 1966. Also present were Union Ministers in the President's Office U Soe Thein, U Aung Min, and U Tin Naing Thein. The Asia Foundation delegation included David Steinberg, former Asia Foundation Deputy Representative to Burma; Gordon Hein, Vice President of Programs; and Kim N. B. Ninh, Country Representative to Myanmar. Read more about the event or view a slideshow.

The Asia Foundation Hosts Daw Aung San Suu Kyi

On September 28, 2012, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Member of Parliament, Burma and Chairperson and General Secretary, National League of Democracy, made her first Bay Area public remarks at The Asia Foundation. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi spoke to an exclusive and invitation-only audience of Bay Area political, civic, and business leaders; her remarks immediately followed a private meeting with David D. Arnold, president of The Asia Foundation, and the organization's trustees.

In order to ensure that Myanmar's social, political, and economic reforms are durable, The Asia Foundation is undertaking an expanded program of development assistance. Added Arnold: "The Asia Foundation maintained an office in Myanmar from 1954 to 1962; and since 2007 we have donated more than 80,000 books valued at $3.2 million. Our staff of international and local development experts has worked with virtually every major Asian country that has undergone a democratic transition, such as Mongolia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Korea. The Asia Foundation is well positioned to make an important contribution to the reform agenda introduced by President Thein Sein, and we look forward to partnering with the country's emerging leadership."

Read more about the event or watch the full event video.

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