Or, How Non-state Actors Can Help Accelerate
the Pace of the UN Climate Change Process
By Anukriti Hittle
Visiting Scholar, East-West Center, Honolulu
Instructor, Washington University in St Louis
Rising Above National Interest
Most of the time, nations act in their own self-interest. And much of the time, they cooperate only when they are forced to—such as when facing imminent collective danger (nuclear threat, small pox, dictatorships). But in the face of a slow-boil threat like climate change, they seem to drag their national government-level feet. In such cases, pressure from non-state actors may be the key to achieving collective action.
How can non-state actors complement national actors to ratchet up ambition and speed up action in the area of climate change implementation? By using the well-tried resolutions process of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and applying it to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process, Research and Independent Non-Governmental Organizations, or RINGOs, or could maximize collective action at the COP (Conference of the Parties) summits where both government representatives and observer organizations gather every year to address climate change issues. Continue reading
Dear East-West Center Alumni:
The job description for the East-West Center President’s position can be viewed here. As we have mentioned previously, we would appreciate your suggestions about potential candidates for the position, with the following assumptions:
1. You are suggesting potential names in your individual capacity as an alum of the East-West Center.
2. Provide the full name and present position of your nominee(s). You might like to add one or two sentences about the suggested person (s).
3. The suggested names of potential candidates will be forwarded to Boyden, who is overseeing the search, and the Search Committee without mentioning your name.
4. There is no need for you to confirm the availability of the suggested person(s). If shortlisted, Boyden will contact the person(s) directly.
Given the Search Committee’s timeline, I would appreciate receiving your individual suggestions about one or more potential candidates by Friday March 4th . Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions about the position description or the process of search for the new President.
Thank you for your active engagement in the search for the new President of East-West Center.
At the University of Hawaii’s recent spring commencement ceremonies, early EWC alumnus U Than Oo (ISI 1962-63) was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters for his pioneering education and literacy work in Myanmar. Now 88, he journeyed from Myanmar to Hawaii especially for the ceremony, where he was formally recognized for “the instrumental role he played in bringing about overall educational gains to the people of his country.”
“I am proud and delighted to receive this great honor and truly pleased to be at the University of Hawaii, which I regard as my alma mater, once again,” U Than Oo wrote in prepared words of thanks. “Vivid in my memory till today,” he wrote, were his days at the East-West Center while he pursued his master’s degree in education.
“To have this prestigious highest award is not my individual struggle or achievement, but the invaluable intellectual and professional contribution of my colleagues, in the form of their selfless motivation. … I sincerely wish to say that this award belongs to each and every one at the Myanmar Department of Education.”
The East-West Center community expresses its sympathy and deep concern over the loss of life and on-going crisis in Nepal resulting from the devastating earthquake. Our hearts go out to the family members of those who lost their lives and to the thousands who are still trying to locate family and friends, who lost property, or who have had to leave their homes. We know that rebuilding, psychologically and physically, will require enormous leadership, stamina, and resources, and we hope to be able to help.
We encourage all EWC alumni to use this blog site and visit the EWCA Facebook page to connect with the wider EWCA community. We also invite you to share your images, stories or reflections regarding the experience on the EWCA Facebook page and EWCA blog as a central communication point for EWC alumni affected by the earthquake. Please share any news about EWC alumni in the region who may have been affected and any relief activities that the EWCA chapter or individual alumni may be undertaking so that we can share that information with the Center community.
We hope that the international community can effectively help local citizens and authorities in the recovery and rebuilding efforts. Click here for a list of organizations that are dedicated to the relief effort in Nepal.
By Sarosh Bana
Executive Editor, Business India, and EWCA Mumbai Chapter Leader
Looted Indian antiquities handed over by the Honolulu Museum of Art in the investigation of dealer Subhash Kapoor. Photo: artnet.
The global trade in plundered antiquities has expanded so far and wide that an international investigation into artifacts smuggled out of India led the authorities to the Honolulu Museum of Art.
On 1 April, the museum handed over seven rare items – including a 2,000-year-old terra cotta rattle – that it had acquired without realising their clandestine origins. Agents from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)’s Homeland Security Investigations (HIS) department will accompany these items to New York from where they will be eventually returned to the government of India.
Like many other stolen antiquities, these items too had been pilfered from Hindu temples and ancient Buddhist sites and allegedly smuggled to the United States through a network run by Subhash Kapoor, a 66-year-old Indian-born art dealer settled in New York. Kapoor was arrested by immigration officials at Frankfurt airport in Germany in October 2011 and extradited to India in July 2012 to stand trial on charges of trafficking artworks. He is lodged in the Puzhal prison in Chennai, in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.