March of the Carriers

Aircraft carriers are finding favour with Indo-Asia-Pacific countries keen on bolstering their defences in an increasingly volatile neighbourhood

By Sarosh Bana
Executive Editor, Business India, and EWCA Mumbai Chapter Leader

China's Liaoning carrier, purchased from Ukraine

China’s Liaoning carrier, purchased from Ukraine

With simmering territorial disputes inflaming the Indo-Asia-Pacific, countries in this fastest growing economic region in the world are making all efforts to buttress their defences.

In their anxiety to batten down the hatches, several of these countries are viewing the aircraft carrier as the preferred platform for sea control and are pulling out all the stops to commit funding for it.

These platforms, at times amphibious ships that are essentially helicopter destroyers with the potential to operate fixed-wing aircraft, including drones, have been gaining favour as the South and East China Seas find themselves in the cross-hairs of territorial ambitions. But this military build-up is raising tensions even higher in the region and will likely provoke an avoidable arms race.

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Marshallese Alumna Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner Opens UN Climate Summit With Poem

Click image for video

Click image for video.

EWC alumna Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, a writer and performance artist from the Marshall Islands, was selected from more than 500 nominees to deliver a poem to world leaders on Sept. 23 at the opening of the UN Climate Summit in New York. Jetnil-Kijiner, who recently completed her EWC degree fellowship in Pacific Islands Studies, recited a new poem written for her daughter, “Dear Matafele Peinem.”

Southeast Asia Youth Leadership Program on Shaping Sustainable Schools and Communities Sows Bumper Crop of Green Action Follow-on Projects

See what sprouted when youth from Southeast Asia came to the United States to learn about leadership, civic engagement, and local sustainability through the lens of “green schools.” Since returning home, the participants have channeled their learning and experiences into positive community action to promote green practices.

SEAYLP-Group-Photo_crop_WEBIn the fall of 2012, the East-WestCenter launched Leading Green: Shaping Sustainable Schools and Communities, a Southeast Asia Youth Leadership Program (SEAYLP) sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. To date, EWC has coordinated two exchanges in the United States for 61 youth and educators from the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The three-week-long exchanges offered took place in schools and communities in Hawai‘i; the San Francisco Bay Area; Washington, DC; and surrounding communities in Virginia.

new compressed pictureThrough hands-on activities focusing on civic education, leadership, diversity, and community engagement, the program provided opportunities for participants to interact with diverse Americans as they examined, through the lens of “green and sustainable schools and communities,” the principles of democracy and civil society. They also created Green Action Projects, described below and on the project website, which they have been implementing since their return home. By focusing on schools and their immediate community, participants have been able to practice leadership as they engage their peers and undertake positive community action to enhance their everyday environment.

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EWC Board of Governors Elects Business Leaders Ratan Tata and Takeshi Niinami as International Members

The East-West Center’s Board of Governors has elected two new international members: Indian business leader Ratan N. Tata, who is returning to the board after serving several terms between 1993 and 2004, and first-time EWC board member Takeshi Niinami, CEO of Japan’s Lawson, Inc.

Newly elected boardmembers Ratan Tata (left) and Takeshi Niinami

Newly elected boardmembers Ratan Tata (left) and Takeshi Niinami

EWC Board of Governors Chairman Brian Tsujimura and the other board members, along with Center President Charles E. Morrison, extended a warm welcome to the new members, who were elected to three-year terms, and expressed their sincere gratitude to outgoing member Tarun Das.

The EWC Board of Governors consists of 18 members, including five appointed by the U.S. secretary of state, five appointed by the governor of Hawai‘i, five members from Asia or the Pacific Islands who are elected by the full board, and three ex-officio members who include the governor of Hawai‘i, the assistant secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs, and the president of the University of Hawai‘i.

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EWC featured in Island Pacific Energy commercial

East-West Center Facilities Manager Kris Thompson stars in this Island Pacific Energy commercial currently airing on prime time Hawai’i TV, which features the solar system the company designed for EWC. Great exposure for the Center, and an added bonus to a terrific system that allows EWC to reduce costs as well as its carbon footprint.

Announcing the New East-West Center Wall of Honor

Honor Someone … Assist Someone … Both with One Donation

Honor an East-West Center person who made a difference in your life by making a $100 donation to the East-West Center Wall of Honor in that person’s name. Honoree contributions go directly into the Alumni Endowment Fund for Student Scholarships so you can honor someone and help a new student embark on an EWC experience at the same time.

For more information go to http://www.eastwestcenter.org/support-the-ewc/giving-opportunities/wall-honor-program.

East-West Center Student Leader Receives Ann Dunham Scholarship

East-West Center Participants’ Association President Micah Fisher has been awarded an Ann Dunham Soetoro Graduate Scholarship, named in honor of President Obama’s mother.

Micah Fisher recieves the Ann Dunham Soetor scholarship from Dunham's UH graduate Anthropology advisor, Alice Dewey

” Micah Fisher recieves the Ann Dunham Soetoro scholarship from Dunham’s UH anthropology advisor, Alice Dewey

Fisher, who is pursuing a Ph.D. in geography at UH Manoa, received $1,000 from the Ann Dunham Soetoro Endowment, a collaborative effort of the university and EWC to support students who “represent Ann Dunham’s values and interests in nurturing understanding, engaging in community service, and promoting empathy to encourage global cooperation.”

“I very much look up to her as somebody that was deeply committed to Indonesia and admire her for her approach in conducting research, as well as her pragmatism in working with communities,” Fisher said of Dunham and her work. “These are all areas I hope to strive for in my studies and my work.”

Dunham, an anthropologist who studied village industries in Indonesia, received her  doctorate degree at UH Manoa on East-West Center grants. Continue reading

Stemming the Rust – The Global Battle Against Wheat Fungus

A battle is being waged in wheat fields across the world to stave off an impending calamity that can ravage global food security

By Sarosh Bana, Executive Editor of Business India magazine and EWCA Mumbai Chapter President

(Note: This article originally appeared in Business India magazine on April 1, 2013.)

South Asian countries, where wheat is a staple cereal for many, is vulnerably poised in the path of an exceptionally virulent fungus that can wipe out entire farmlands.

Farmers and agriculturist scientists in the region are hunkering down to fortify themselves against this peril that can undermine the food security of millions.

Wheat stem rust fungus.

Wheat stem rust fungus.

More than 20 wheat scientists from five South Asian countries – India, Nepal, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bhutan – participated last fortnight in a comprehensive training programme in Kathmandu on wheat rust monitoring and disease management.

Designed to raise a new generation of agro-scientists equipped to identify the more virulent stem, leaf and yellow rusts that can devastate entire farmlands and to create wheat strains that can withstand this scourge, the 2013 SAARC Wheat Rust Surveillance Workshop and Training Programme was the fourth such annual event to be held in South Asia. It was organised by the Durable Rust Resistance in Wheat (DRRW) Project, managed by the US’s Cornell University. Continue reading

East-West Center and East-West Center Association Mourn the Passing of Senator Daniel K. Inouye

Senator Daniel K. Inouye

United States Senator Daniel K. Inouye, World War II veteran, Medal of Honor recipient and Hawaii’s senior Senator, passed away from respiratory complications on December 17th at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. He passed away peacefully with his wife and son beside him.
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