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After School Kids Club Art Session Fall. 2022 Grp

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Ashley Smith
Ashley Smith


U.S. policy toward Cambodia is conflicted, contradictory, and unsustainable. Is Cambodia an authoritarian pariah to be punished until it undergoes systemic political change? Or is it a necessary partner on the front lines of great-power competition? The U.S. government has spent the last decade torn between righteous indignation over democratic backsliding and pragmatic engagement given U.S. interests in the region.


Largely cut off from international banking systems, export markets, and foreign resources and technologies, they have strengthened their own trade relations while building economic ties with pariah states such as North Korea and Belarus, and others such as Venezuela and Burma that have been sanctioned by the United States and the European Union for human rights and other abuses.

The people of Burma/Myanmar have suffered for two generations under military dictatorships. Their economy, legal and social orders, cultural diversity and political freedoms have all steadily declined during that time. The country's human rights record is considered by many to be one of the worst world-wide. In the West, responses have ranged from diplomatic condemnation, to the imposition of economic sanctions, and to the withdrawal of aid and international co-operation. Countries in the region, on the other hand, have been typically less robust, more accepting of assertions of sovereign rights and concerned to promote engagement and dialogue rather than isolation and punishment. Neither approach appears to have had any discernable impact on the attitude of Myanmar's military Government or on the plight of its people. Aung San Suu Kyi remains under house arrest, her pro-democracy party banned and its members persecuted; the rule of law is non existent, and the once flourishing economy is in terminal decline. New strategies to break the impasse are now being contemplated in both the West (more conditional engagement) and the East (more strident conditionality). This article analyses a controversial Australian human rights initiative that ran in Myanmar from 2000 to 2003, which might be considered a forerunner to these new 'third way' approaches. The article describes the objectives, nature, composition and implementation of the program; it assesses its advantages and disadvantages, its risks and potential, and explores some of the criticisms and praise the program engendered. It also provides a detailed backdrop against which one might draw some tentative lessons in terms of the protection and promotion of human rights in both the specific context of Myanmar, and also, by implication, in the global community's approach to intransigent, pariah states.

"President Biden said he would make the kingdom of Saudi Arabia a pariah state. That was an enormous mistake," Pompeo said on "Fox & Friends." "But let's look at the facts. They are an important security partner for the United States."

Following their ICC indictments, al-Bashir and Gaddafi became international pariahs. Putin and his regime are not likely to fare any better. After this indictment, no serious politician or public figure will want to meet with or even talk to Putin. He cannot travel abroad without considering the possibility of arrest and extradition to The Hague. 041b061a72


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