JHU SAIS Hosts Weeklong Governance Trainings for Multi-Party Myanmar Parliamentary Delegation

NEWS RELEASE
Contact: Felisa Neuringer Klubes
202.663.5626
fklubes@jhu.edu

JHU SAIS Hosts Weeklong Governance Trainings for Multi-Party Myanmar Parliamentary Delegation

Washington, D.C. – September 11, 2012 – The Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Senator Jim Webb (D-Va.) and Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.) this week are hosting eight parliamentarians from Myanmar in the first multi-party parliamentary delegation to the United States in nearly 60 years.

Karl Jackson, director of Asian Studies and the Southeast Asia Studies Program at SAIS, is overseeing this week of training sessions for the delegates as they participate in a variety of lectures, roundtable discussions and events to enhance their knowledge of the United States government. SAIS is hosting the trainings through the support of the Ford Foundation. The members of the delegation are visiting Capitol Hill at the invitation of Webb and Inhofe, who serve as chair and ranking member, respectively, of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee East Asian and Pacific Affairs Subcommittee.

“Since 2010, the Union of Myanmar is undergoing a dramatic transition from a relatively isolated economy and a political system dominated by a military junta to an emerging democracy that is pursuing wide ranging economic and political reforms,” said Jackson. “However, institutional knowledge of legislative systems remains extremely limited. The goal of this program is to expose the delegation to numerous aspects of the U.S. system of governance, and how non-government entities interact within it, and discuss how this applies to Myanmar’s own political development.”

The members of the delegation include four parliamentarians each from Myanmar’s Upper and Lower Houses. The delegates from the Pyithu Hluttaw (Lower House) are U Ti Khun Myat, chairman of the Bill Committee; U Maung Toe, secretary of the Public Account Committee; U Stephen, member of the Bill Committee; and U Zaw Myint Maung, member of the Rule of Law, Peace and Stability Committee. The delegates from the Amyotha Hluttaw (Upper House) are U Tin Mya, member of parliament; U Hla Tun, military representative of the Bill Drafting Committee; U Steven Tha Bik, member of the Public Account Committee; and U Htun Kyaw, member of the Government Guarantee, Pledges and Venture Vetting Committee. U Ti Khun Myat is the leader of the delegation.

Throughout the week, the delegates are meeting with various representatives from the U.S. government, including Webb and Inhofe, and Congressmen David Dreier (R-Calif.), David Price (D-N.C.) and Pete Sessions (R-Texas). The delegates will also meet with numerous congressional staff members on various aspects of analyzing, informing and carrying out the legislative process in the U.S. Congress.

A series of roundtable discussions to be held at SAIS and elsewhere in Washington include participants from the National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute, and staff and members from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council, Inc. Participants will discuss how organizations and businesses that are either affiliated with the U.S. government or work closely with it manage their relationship with the legislative branch of government, and the role they play in advising on and advancing legislation.

The delegates will also travel to Annapolis, Md., to discuss state-level policy and its relationship with the federal government. They will meet with committee staffers from Maryland’s Committee on Federal Relations, and with budget analysts to discuss how states distribute and manage funds. Myanmar also has state governments which must negotiate their relationship with the central government, and the visit will provide insight into how this system functions in the United States. 

Reporters who are interested in speaking to or meeting with the delegates, or have any additional questions should contact Felisa Neuringer Klubes at SAIS at 202.663.5626 or fklubes@jhu.edu.

Date: 
Monday, September 10, 2012
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Felisa Neuringer Klubes
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(202) 663.5626