Getting Downtown: International Affairs Events in DC 04/15 – 04/19

Getting Downtown: International Affairs Events in DC 04/15 – 04/19

Monday, April 15th

U.S. Engagement in Asia: A conversation with Singapore’s Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat

Time: 3:00pm – 4:00pm

Location: Brookings Institution, Saul/Zilkha Room, 1775 Massachusetts Avenue N.W., Washington, DC 20036

Information: On April 15, the Center for East Asia Policy Studies at Brookings will host Singapore’s Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat for an address on U.S. engagement in Asia, covering both economic and strategic dimensions. Following Minister Heng’s address, Brookings Senior Fellow and Lee Kuan Yew Chair Jonathan Stromseth will join him for a conversation on this topic. Brookings President John R. Allen will open the program with welcoming remarks and introductions. Heng Swee Keat has been Singapore’s minister for finance since 2015. He was appointed first assistant secretary-general of the People’s Action Party in November 2018, and previously served as minister for education from 2011 to 2015. Prior to entering politics, Minister Heng served as the managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore from 2005 to 2011. He has served in various other public service positions, including as the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the chief executive officer of the Trade Development Board, and the principal private secretary to then-Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew. After the conversation, Minister Heng will take questions from the audience.

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Towards a Disaster-Resilient Asia

Time: 4:30pm – 6:00pm

Location: Rome Auditorium, 1619 Massachusetts Avenue NW

Information: Chief Economist of the Asian Development Bank Dr. Yasuyuki Sawada will discuss the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) flagship economic publication Asian Development Outlook 2019 (ADO) which provides a comprehensive analysis of macroeconomic issues in developing Asia, including growth projections for 45 economies. Dr. Sawada’s presentation will address the economic prospects for developing Asia and the Pacific, implications of the trade conflict, and policies to improve disaster resilience.

Mr. Sawada previously served as a Professor in the Faculty of Economics at the University of Tokyo, Japan. He also performed research at a variety of institutions, including the Japan International Cooperation Agency Research Institute, the World Bank, and the Economic Research Institute of ASEAN and East Asia. He has published more than 60 peer-reviewed research articles on diversified topics pertaining to Asia and other developing countries ranging from macro development issues, such as long-term economic growth and structural change, sovereign debt sustainability, foreign aid, trade, aging, and social security, and natural and man-made disasters to micro issues of poverty, education, infrastructure, microenterprises, microfinance, health, and disabilities.

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China’s Climate and Energy Policy

Time: 5:00pm – 7:00pm

Location: Room 500, 1717 Massachusetts Avenue NW

Information: In 2006 China became the world’s leading emitter of greenhouse gases. Its policies for limiting emissions will have significant impact on the global climate for decades to come. China was an active participant in the Paris accord and has adopted climate goals including the peaking of CO2 emissions by 2030, lowering the carbon intensity of GDP, increasing the share of renewable and nuclear energy, and increasing its stock of forests. However, China consumes over half of the world’s coal. While it seeks to reduce the role of coal, it is still building new coal power plants. What are the other climate policies China is pursuing and how successful are they? Join us for the discussion.

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Tuesday, April 16th

Africa in Transition: Investing in Youth for Economic Prosperity

Time: 9:30am – 11:00am

Location: Woodrow Wilson Center, 6th Floor – 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004

Information: Africa is at a crossroads—and which road its leaders take will shape the lives of billions of people, not only in Africa but also beyond its borders. Often overlooked, population trends play a significant role in Sub-Saharan Africa’s chances for prosperity. Between 15 and 20 million young people are expected to join the African workforce every year for the next three decades. Investing in the health and education of these young people, and providing opportunities for employment, will be essential to ensuring a positive future marked by economic prosperity and stability in the region. Please join the Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program and Maternal Health Initiative, in partnership with Population Institute, for a discussion about impactful investments that country leaders can make to empower their countries’ youth.

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Maritime Security Dialogue: A Conversation with ADM William Moran, USN, Vice Chief of Naval Operations

Time: 10:00am – 11:00am

Location: CSIS Headquarters – 1616 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036

Information: Please join CSIS and the United States Naval Institute (USNI) for a Maritime Security Dialogue event featuring a discussion with ADM William Moran, USN, Vice Chief of Naval Operations. This event will be webcast live.

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Global Governance and Local Peace: Accountability and Performance in International Peacebuilding

Time: 11:00am – 12:30pm

Location: Room 500, 1717 Massachusetts Avenue NW

Information: Book discussion by author Susanna Campbell: Global Governance and Local Peace: Accountability and Performance in International Peacebuilding. Discussion moderated by Professor Sinisa Vukovic

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Caught in the Crossfire: Balancing EU relations with the U.S. and China

Time: 11:45am – 1:30pm

Location: Hudson Institute, Washington, D.C. Headquarters, 1201 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Suite 400, Washington, DC 20004

Information: Hudson Institute will host a discussion on the future of the European Union’s relationship with the U.S. and China. The European Union is increasingly facing challenges from both within and without. Complications from Brexit, growing populism, and migration have tested the strength of the European Union. Meanwhile, the U.S. has opened trade disputes with the EU, taken steps to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, and raised concerns regarding Europe’s financial commitment to NATO. And as mounting tensions test the resolve of European politics and EU alliances, Beijing continues to expand its presence in the region through its Belt and Road Initiative and proposed high-tech partnerships. Panelists will include Jeppe Tranholm-Mikkelsen, secretary-general of the European Council of Ministers; Ashley Tellis, senior fellow and Tata Chair at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; Randall Schriver, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs; and Hudson Institute Senior Fellows Thomas J. Duesterberg and Liselotte Odgaard. Hudson President and CEO KenWeinstein will introduce the panelists.

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Mongolia’s Foreign Policy: Navigating a Changing World

Time: 4:30pm – 6:00pm

Location: Rome Auditorium, 1619 Massachusetts Avenue NW

Information: The Edwin O. Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies is pleased to invite you to attend Dr. Alicia Campi’s highly anticipated book launch. Published by Lynne Rienner Publishers, her book, “Mongolia’s Foreign Policy: Navigating a Changing World,” focuses on Mongolia’s strategic location and its role in the development of Mongolia’s foreign policy. She elaborates on how Mongolia has navigated the attention of major world powers, including China and Russia, and forged a path of its own in the modern world.

Dr. Alicia Campi was President Emerita of the Mongolia Society for 12 years. A lecturer on North East Asia at the Foreign Service Institute, she is also a Senior Visiting Scholar at the Edwin O. Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and an Adjunct Professor involved in SAIS’ Asia Programs. She received her Ph.D. in Mongolian Studies from Indiana University. In 2004 she was awarded the “Friendship” Medal by Mongolian President N. Bagabandi and in 2007 she was awarded an honorary doctorate from the National University of Mongolia. In 2011 Dr. Campi received the “Polar Star” (Mongolia’s highest medal) for contributions to US-Mongolian bilateral relations from Mongolian President Ts. Elbegdorj.

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Wednesday, April 17th

“Leading While Muslim” Panel Discussion with Dr. Debbie Almontaser

Time: 12:00pm – 1:30pm

Location: ACMCU Boardroom ICC 270

Information: This event will showcase a book discussion on Dr. Debbie Almontaser’s new book, Leading While Muslim (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, November 6, 2018), followed by a brief overview of the topics covered within the book. The event and presentation will be followed by a brief moderated Q&A.

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The Social Organization of the Unspoken: Informal Organizations in Tajik/Afghan Badakhshan

Time: 12:30pm – 1:45pm

Location: Lindner Commons, 6th floor, Elliott School of International Affairs, 1957 E St, Washington, DC 20052

Information: This book explores the relationship of informal organizations to the state, civil society, and kinship networks along the Tajik/Afghan frontier. The fieldwork spanned six years on and off along both sides of the Tajik/Afghan border in Badakhshan doing ethnographic fieldwork, interviewing informal leaders, state officials, civil society leaders, and activists.

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 Local Control and Worldwide Access: How Russian Elites Have Come to Use the Global Financial System to Defend Their Wealth

Time: 12:30pm – 1:45pm

Location: Room 505, Fifth Floor The Elliot School of International Affairs 1957 E St. NW

Information: Despite the Western sanctions, Russia is currently more integrated into the global financial system than at any point in the previous one hundred years. Meanwhile, its domestic economic and political systems continue to suffer from traditional Russian ailments: widespread corruption, weak rule of law, and an increasingly overbearing state. Igor Logvinenko argues that Russia’s post-Soviet re-entry into the global capital markets has been deeply entangled with the unruly competition for asset control in an environment of insecure property rights. The country’s unusual path towards financial integration, with its emphasis on the internationalization of the stock market, has allowed local elites to raise capital from foreign investors and to legitimize their wealth without improving the local business environment. This research points to a somber lesson for the advocates of integrating emerging markets into the global financial system. Without strong domestic rule-of-law protections, financial internationalization only further fortifies oligarchic capitalism. 

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Climate Change and Economic Diversification in the Gulf Arab States: Integrity, Challenges and Opportunities

Time: 12:30pm – 2:00pm

Location: Mortara Center, Georgetown University

Information: The Energy and Climate Policy Seminar series is proud to host Aisha Al-Sahiri, a visiting post-doctoral research scholar at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, for a discussion on climate change and economic diversification within the Gulf Arab states.

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Thursday, April 18th

Results of the Indonesian Elections: New Directions or More of the Same?

Time: 10:00am – 11:30am

Location: CSIS Headquarters, 2nd Floor – 1616 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036

Information: The CSIS Southeast Asia Program is pleased to present “Results of the Indonesian Elections: New Directions or More of the Same?” a panel discussion featuring Dr. Ann Marie Murphy (Professor, Seton Hall University) and Adam Schwarz (Founder and CEO, Asia Group Advisors). An estimated 193 million eligible voters in Indonesia will head to the polls on April 17 to cast their vote for president, vice president, and members of the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR).The “Results of the Indonesian Elections: New Directions or More of the Same?” event will assess the outcomes of these elections, and what they mean for Indonesian domestic politics, economic policy, foreign policy, and U.S.-Indonesia relations.

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Not Giving Up on Peace: A Conversation with Amb. Husam Zomlot

Time: 10:30am -12:00pm

Location: The Middle East Institute, 1319 18th St NW, Washington D.C

Information: The Middle East Institute (MEI) and Foundation for Middle East Peace (FMEP) are pleased to host a one-on-one conversation with the former head of the Palestinian Liberation Organization to the U.S. and current head of the Palestinian Mission to the UK Ambassador Husam Zomlot. 

 Since taking office, the Trump Administration, in tandem with the government of Israel and some in Congress, has worked to systematically delegitimize and marginalize the Palestinian leadership, undermine the premises on which the peace process was based, and normalize occupation. Yet, the PLO and PA continue to remain publicly committed to negotiated peace, non-violence, and the two-state solution. Does the Palestinian leadership truly still believe that peace is possible? And if so, how? 

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Crisis in Yemen: A Strategic Threat to U.S. Interests and Allies?

Time: 11:45am – 1:30pm

Location: Hudson Institute, Washington, D.C. Headquarters, 1201 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Suite 400, Washington, DC 20004

Information: Hudson Institute will host a panel to explore the strategic implications of the conflict in Yemen. In 2014, the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels overthrew the government of Yemen and seized the capital. With U.S. logistical support, Saudi Arabia mustered a coalition to restore the government. In response, the Houthis waged war on Riyadh, firing ballistic missiles at civilian areas, including airports. Though the Houthis have been successful in portraying themselves as defenders of Yemen and Saudi Arabia as the aggressors, they have violated countless internationally brokered ceasefires and the conflict continues today. In the U.S., Congress has voted to withdraw support from the Saudi-led campaign and the White House has turned up the pressure on Tehran, recently imposing sanctions on the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps—the Houthis’ patron. Can the Trump administration afford to let the Islamic Republic implant a Hezbollah-clone on the border of a key U.S. ally, thereby creating a failed state, and threatening international trade through Bab al-Mandeb? The discussion will be moderated by Hudson Senior Fellow Lee Smith. Speakers will include Bernard Haykel, Near Eastern studies director at Princeton University’s Institute for Transregional Study of the Contemporary Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia; Fatima Abo Alasrar, senior analyst at the Arabia Foundation; and Michael Doran, senior fellow at Hudson.

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Red Sea rivalries: The Gulf, the Horn, and the new geopolitics of the Red Sea

Time: 2:00pm – 3:30pm

Location: Brookings Institution, Falk Auditorium, 1775 Massachusetts Avenue N.W., Washington, DC 20036

Information: The Red Sea has fast become an arena of new geopolitical intrigue, as engagement between Gulf and African states challenges old assumptions and erases boundaries. Expanding economic and strategic interests are driving unprecedented activity on both shores, while great powers pay increasing attention to the Bab al Mandab, a strategic chokepoint and gateway to one of the world’s most heavily-trafficked trade waterways: the Red Sea. The emergence of the Red Sea as a common political and economic arena offers opportunities for development and integration, but it also poses considerable risks. As Gulf countries seek to expand their influence in the Horn of Africa, they risk exporting Middle Eastern rivalries to a region that has plenty of its own; and they aren’t the only outside powers now paying attention. China recently established its first-ever overseas military base in Djibouti, just six miles from the only U.S. base in Africa. Amid historic changes in the Horn and a rapidly-changing landscape in the Red Sea, states with different cultures, models of government, and styles of diplomacy are shaping a new frontier where the rules of the game are yet to be written. On April 18, The Brookings Institution will host an event on this issue, framed by Brookings’ new Red Sea web interactive and Brookings Doha Center Fellow Zach Vertin’s Foreign Affairs article titled “Red Sea Rivalries.” This event will unpack the changing geopolitics of the Red Sea and consider the role of the United States and other foreign actors in this emerging theater. Questions from the audience will follow the panelists’ conversation.

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Deliering Prosperity to the Indo-Pacific

Time: 2:30pm – 4:00pm

Location: CSIS Headquarters – 1616 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036

Information: Please join us on April 18th for a lively discussion of U.S.-Australia economic partnership. Participants will receive the CSIS Simon Chair in Political Economy’s latest brief, “Delivering Prosperity in the Indo-Pacific,” a wide-ranging look at opportunities for U.S.-Australia coordination in the Indo-Pacific across five sectors (infrastructure, investment facilitation, energy, digital economy, and financial systems).

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Combating Cultural Crimes: Where Are We Now?

Time: 3:30pm – 5:00pm

Location: The Middle East Institute, 1319 18th St NW, Washington D.C

Information: Three years ago, the Middle East’s cultural heritage faced a grave threat as ISIS and extremist organizations transformed archaeological, historic, and religious sites into a weapon of war, destroying sites from Palmyra to Mosul. In response to this growing emergency, a multidisciplinary group of experts convened by the Antiquities Coalition, the Middle East Institute (MEI), and the Asia Society came together to explore solutions and serve as an ongoing resource to policymakers. The resulting 2016 report, #CultureUnderThreat: Recommendations for the U.S. Government, called for new policies, practices, and priorities to reduce heritage destruction and looting, end impunity for the illicit trade in cultural patrimony, and sever this key source of funding for violent extremist groups. In celebration of World Heritage Day, please join MEI and the Antiquities Coalition for the release of #CultureUnderThreat: Three Years Later, a report on the present status of each of these original recommendations.

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Friday, April 19th

Is U.S.-North Korea Normalization Possible? A Russian Perspective

Time: 10:00am – 11:30am

Location: CSIS Headquarters, 2nd Floor – 1616 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036

Information: Following decades of confrontation between Washington and Pyongyang, chances for at least a partial normalization appeared to increase last year. However, two summits between Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump failed to produce substantive policy changes on either side, and mutual distrust remains high. What are the main factors preventing the two countries from achieving a lasting agreement? Is continued bilateral dialogue useful? What are the positions and goals of the parties concerned? Is normalization U.S.-North Korea relations even possible? What role can third parties, such as China and Russia, play in U.S.-North Korean diplomacy? Please join us as Anastasia Barannikova, a visiting fellow with the Russia and Eurasia Program at CSIS, provides a view from Vladivostok on these questions and others.

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Netanyahu’s Reelection: Implications for Israeli Politics and Palestinian Statehood

Time: 12:00pm – 1:30pm

Location: The Middle East Institute, 1319 18th St NW, Washington D.C

Information: The reelection of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for a fifth term was widely perceived as a blow to the prospects for peace and protection of Palestinian rights. Netanyahu’s pledge to annex parts of occupied Palestinian territories in the West Bank, as well as the ongoing marginalization of Palestinians inside Israel, make Palestinian statehood and the possibility of a peace plan seem ever more distant. To assess the consequences of this vote, The Middle East Institute (MEI) and The Institute for Palestine Studies (IPS) invite you to a timely conversation with Raef Zreik, a prominent Palestinian lawyer and academic. Zreik will discuss what the elections say about the Israeli body politic, and the implications for Israel’s domestic and foreign policy. Amb. Gerald Feierstein, MEI’s senior vice president, will moderate the conversation. This panel is an event in the George and Rhonda Salem Family Foundation Lecture Series.

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