Clinton announces plan to engage Burma

Hillary Clinton, Sept. 23, 2009 | Hiroko Masuike/Getty Images   Secretary Clinton is in diplomat overdrive at the U.N. General Assembly this week. Yesterday, she announced a new way forward with Burma: engagement. Speaking to the U.N. Group of Friends on Burma, she said: To help achieve democratic reform, we will be engaging directly with ...

580559_090924_ClintonUN2.jpg
580559_090924_ClintonUN2.jpg
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 23: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leaves after speaking to the media about Iranian nuclea program after a security council meeting during the 64th United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters Wednesday, September 23, 2009 in New York City. Over 120 heads of state will converge in New York for the 64th session of the United Nations' General Assembly over the next seven days. (Photo by Hiroko Masuike/Getty Images)

 

Secretary Clinton is in diplomat overdrive at the U.N. General Assembly this week. Yesterday, she announced a new way forward with Burma: engagement. Speaking to the U.N. Group of Friends on Burma, she said:

To help achieve democratic reform, we will be engaging directly with Burmese authorities. … We believe that sanctions remain important as part of our policy, but by themselves, they have not produced the results that had been hoped for on behalf of the people of Burma."

Hillary Clinton, Sept. 23, 2009 | Hiroko Masuike/Getty Images

Hillary Clinton, Sept. 23, 2009 | Hiroko Masuike/Getty Images
 

Secretary Clinton is in diplomat overdrive at the U.N. General Assembly this week. Yesterday, she announced a new way forward with Burma: engagement. Speaking to the U.N. Group of Friends on Burma, she said:

To help achieve democratic reform, we will be engaging directly with Burmese authorities. … We believe that sanctions remain important as part of our policy, but by themselves, they have not produced the results that had been hoped for on behalf of the people of Burma.”

Clinton said that if Burma’s military rulers started behaving better, it could lead to a lifting of sanctions:

We will be willing to discuss the easing of sanctions in response to significant actions on the part of Burma’s generals that address the core human rights and democracy issues that are inhibiting Burma’s progress.”

I suppose if sanctions haven’t worked all these years, then it’s time to add something new. The plan — which got a thumbs-up from pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi — emerges from an almost-complete policy review started in January, so there must be something to it. (And by the way, Clinton has also suggested kicking Burma out of ASEAN if it doesn’t release Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest.)

Photo: Hiroko Masuike/Getty Images

Preeti Aroon was copy chief at Foreign Policy from 2009 to 2016 and was an FP assistant editor from 2007 to 2009. Twitter: @pjaroonFP

More from Foreign Policy

An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.
An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.

Is Cold War Inevitable?

A new biography of George Kennan, the father of containment, raises questions about whether the old Cold War—and the emerging one with China—could have been avoided.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.

So You Want to Buy an Ambassadorship

The United States is the only Western government that routinely rewards mega-donors with top diplomatic posts.

Chinese President Xi jinping  toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.
Chinese President Xi jinping toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.

Can China Pull Off Its Charm Offensive?

Why Beijing’s foreign-policy reset will—or won’t—work out.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.

Turkey’s Problem Isn’t Sweden. It’s the United States.

Erdogan has focused on Stockholm’s stance toward Kurdish exile groups, but Ankara’s real demand is the end of U.S. support for Kurds in Syria.