Myanmar has implemented a wide-ranging set of reforms as it embarks on a remarkable top-down transition from five decades of authoritarian rule, argues this report.
This report examines the real changes that have been taking place during the first year in office of President Thein Sein. Addressing the nation on 1 March, he made clear that the goal is to introduce “genuine democracy” and that there is still much more to be done. This ambitious agenda includes further democratic reform, healing bitter wounds of the past, rebuilding the economy and ensuring the rule of law, as well as respecting ethnic diversity and equality.
To consolidate and build on what has been achieved and increase the likelihood that benefits flow to all its citizens, Myanmar now needs the international community to seek opportunities for greater engagement rather than more reasons why sanctions should be sustained. As the European Union (EU) approaches a key decision point in late April on whether to renew sanctions, the value of the coercive measures must be reconsidered.