RESEARCH & DIALOGUE PROGRAMME
Our Dialogue & Dialogue Programme aims to transform public debate around key issues facing the country and identify creative solutions through seminars and discussions hosted in the neutral space of U Thant House and attended by leading politicians, policy-makers, and civil society figures as well as young people and emerging leaders.
As a centre for learning and dialogue, U Thant House has hosted dozens of seminars and workshops annually with the aim of transforming public debate in Myanmar by providing a window onto global debates to enable new thinking about local challenges and new ways to reimagine the future.
Over the past two years we've begun work to raise awareness on climate change, as one of the great threats Myanmar will face over the coming decades. This has included the convening of roundtable discussions and seminars at U Thant House, including with the Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme. Going forward, we will examine the relationships between climate change and future economic development. We will also work to bring knowledge and fresh thinking about Myanmar and climate change, both to policy-makers as well as to the wider public over social media.
Over 2020 we've started new work aimed at helping reimagine development in Myanmar. We believe that Myanmar is facing a special set of economic choices, given its history and its peacebuilding and reconciliation challenges, at a time when the world economy, after the pandemic, will also be at a crossroads. Over the coming 18 months we will prepare discussion papers, undertake research, organize discussions at U Thant House, and make new ideas available over social media. We will bring fresh perspectives on development as well as lessons-learned from comparative experiences to what we hope will be a new conversation on future development paths.
Over 2013-17, the Beyond Ceasefires Initiative, founded by Sofia Busch and Dr Thant Myint-U, brought high-level advisors involved in peace processes from around the world to meet directly with key peace process actors on all sides of the conflict in Myanmar in order to share tested approaches for resolving conflict and building peace.
Symposiums, roundtable discussions, and workshops were specifically tailored to support Myanmar decision-makers, from government ministers and lead negotiators to Tatmadaw generals and other senior army personnel as well as leaders of ethnic armed organizations and political parties.
International advisors included mediators, chief negotiators, senior advisors, retired army generals, and rebel leaders from Aceh, Burundi, Colombia, East Timor, Indonesia, Liberia, Nepal, North East India, and Philippines. U Thant House was a host venue for many of these closed-door discussions, providing a neutral space that proved conducive to constructive exchange outside of the formal peace negotiations.