Prasse-Freeman, Elliott, "Policy Memo..."

Title: “Policy Memo: The UN's on-going and (necessarily) evolving role in Burma/Myanmar”
Author: Elliott Prasse-Freeman
Publication Date: 7/15/2010
Abstract: The anticipated 2010 elections may provide opportunity for the United Nations to evolve its Burma programme. Currently, the UN is incapable of addressing the "root causes" of Burma's political-economic challenges. This is primarily due to the UN's forced separation from the state, the key entity creating and exacerbating those challenges. UN programme evolution must recognize this paradox and undermine it by making simultaneous changes in three realms: the policy, the grassroots, and the political. First, advocacy must engage the state to reform damaging institutions and policies, with a focus on proposing solutions which target support for the agrarian economy. Second, pro-poor activities, including direct support, should be maintained and expanded to more areas (especially ethnic ones). Third, the UN must develop a Good Governance program to support opposition parties and facilitate National Reconciliation amongst multiple ethnic groups (Bamar included). Each of these reforms must occur (relatively) simultaneously, thus acting to mutually reinforce one another. The key platform for accomplishing these reforms is through the (re)instatement of a coherent UNDAF. The key commitment required is a realignment of UN organizational goals in Burma.
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