May 2017

On May 10, Professor Trahan interviewed the International Criminal Court Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, for Professor Trahan’s study on the Future of the Field of International Justice.

As Chair of the American Branch of the International Law Association’s International Criminal Court Committee, Professor Trahan sent a letter from the Committee to the US Secretary of State and Acting Legal Adviser for the State Department urging that the US adopted a constructive policy vis-a-vis the Court, and urging that the post of U.S. War Crimes Ambassador be filled.

Poster from the campus of the University of the Philippines protesting the hero’s burial recently given to former president Marcos’s remains in the Philippines.

On Thursday May 25th Anne Marie Goetz was the keynote speaker at a half-day symposium in Manila, The Philippines, at Miriam College, Women and Gender Institute, in cooperation with the Center for Peace Education and the Center for Legislative Development. Her lecture was on the topic of: ‘Gender, Peace and Security: Challenges and Opportunities in Uncertain Times’. The event was attended by Miriam College students, members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Members of various government bodies such as the Elections Commission and the Office of the Presidential Advisor on the Peace Process, sisters of the Mary Knoll order (which founded the all-women Miriam College), peace and human rights activists, and professorial staff of the College.

On Friday May 26th Anne Marie Goetz delivered a lecture at the University of the Philippines, Department of Politics, Quezon City (Diliman). The topic was: ‘Implications of the new Trump Administration for Women’s Rights Worldwide’. In the lecture, Goetz analyzed the shocking electoral success of a crude form of patriarchy that is making would-be authoritarians sit up and take note of the electoral mileage that comes from normalizing sexual assault, slut-shaming and insulting and threatening women. But is not just in American politics that we are seeing a surprise reversion to a default patriarchy. Misogynistic ethno-nationalism is appearing the world over. Goetz analyzed the specific threats to pursuit of women’s rights and empowerment internationally that are posed by ethno-nationalist governments, and in particular the current US administration.

Outside the Western Gate of Shwedagon pagoda, Yangon

From May 14 to 24 Anne Marie Goetz was in Yangon, Myanmar, studying the work of an important non-governmental peace organization.  Nyein Foundation, also known as ‘Shalom’, is a domestic institution founded by a Baptist bishop in the state of Kachin, a state that harbors one of the most powerful of the major Ethnic Armed Organizations (Kachin Independence Army) that is in armed conflict with the national military, known as the Tatmadaw.  Nyein Foundation is committed to building a just and sustainable peace in Myanmar and has worked since 2000 to ensure that civil society organizations around the country have the capacity to advance local reconciliation and contribute to the on-going national peace process.  Its current leader, Ja Nan Lahtaw, is a significant figure in negotiations between a range of Ethnic Armed Organizations and the government, and was one of three facilitators of the latest round of Union Political Dialogues just conducted in the capital, Nay Pyi Daw, in late May.  As part of its work with civil society, Nein Foundation has been instrumental in amplifying the voices of socially excluded groups and notably women from across the country, who experience high levels of violence and who have had a negligible role and presence on ceasefire and peace talks as well as monitoring efforts. Goetz’s work focused on assessing the methods used by Nyein to build women peace networks’ capacities to engage in and influence these processes.

During the second quarter of 2017, Regina Joseph was featured on Vice News Tonight, as well as in Politico and Collective Intelligence. She was a featured Anticipatory Intelligence panelist at the Pentagon’s 10th Annual Strategic Multi-Layer Assessment Conference and was asked to write the first chapter in the forthcoming white paper on conference proceedings; Joseph gave a keynote speech at the European Association of Political Consultants annual conference in Brussels in May; she also was asked to provide a Master Class on Strategic Foresight at Nyenrode Business University in the Netherlands. Joseph is also part of a team–headquartered at the University of Southern California’s Information Science Institute–which was awarded a contract in April by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) for their new 4.5 year HFC (Hybrid Forecasting Competition) research program.

During the month of April, Dr. Waheguru Pal Singh Sidhu penned the following op-eds for the widely circulated Indian business newspaper, Mint: Vasudhaiva kutumbakam (the world is one family) has become the traditional mantra of India’s worldview from Jawaharlal Nehru to Narendra Modi. The article, ‘Vasudhaiva kutumbakam’ for the 21st century, examines whether this idealist slogan of India’s diplomatic orthodoxy is still relevant in today’s uber-realist and rapidly evolving world. Should India Inc. bid for Westinghouse?, argues that India should have the chutzpah to bid for the bankrupt nuclear giant. Such a step would not only enhance the India-US nuclear deal and relations but would also make New Delhi a major global nuclear power while pre-empting China’s efforts to do the same.