Since a few years, Myanmar has found itself in a democratic transition. For the first time Clingendael Academy welcomed diplomats and military officers from Myanmar for a training programme.
Given the rapid developments in Myanmar, democratisation and rule of law were the main themes of this intensive one-week tailor-made programme for this group of mid-level career government officials.
- The participants reinforced their international skills in order to deal adequately with today’s challenges of international relations
- The participants enhanced their knowledge on democratisation and rule of law
- The participants became more aware of the role and perception of non-governmental actors in political transitions.
Learning goals and some takeaways
The objectives of this training programme were specifically targeted on how to deal with the changing political climate and the different stakeholders in the process.
For example, what are the challenges of democratisation for good governance and state capacity? One of the main conclusions participants reached during this session was that democratisation does not automatically lead to good governance and to an enhanced state capacity. They influence each other and are not a constant factor in a country.
Another session focused on transition processes and different forms of transitional governing bodies. Although there is no 'one size fits all' solution for these transition processes, there are some general dilemmas that can be identified. For example, the legitimacy of a transitional governing body can be questioned if there has been a high level of involvement of the international community in the process.
Next to democratisation and transition processes, the role of civil society in democratisation processes was dealt with. The participants were able to discuss this subjectduring an interactive session with experts from NGOs and civil society organisations.
Working visits to the Dutch Senate and MFA
Two working visits: to the Dutch MFA and the Dutch Senate also formed part of the programme. During the first visit the topics international trade promotion and the bilateral relations between Myanmar and The Netherlands were on the agenda.
During the second visit the participants got an in-depth view of the Dutch political system. An in-depth view metaphorically and literally, next to the different sessions, where for example checks and balances were widely discussed, by chance the group saw the Dutch Prime Minister live in action during a debate in the Dutch parliament. The photo shows the participants during a short meeting with the Chair of the Dutch Senate, Mrs. Ankie Broekers-Knol (l.).
Becoming Clingendael alumni
After a week of intense training, a closing ceremony was held. The participants were awarded their certificates and therefore became officially Clingendael alumni. Representatives of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ambassador of Myanmar to the Kingdom of Belgium and Clingendael staff were present during this ceremony.
We are looking forward to the edition in 2017. Do you want to know more about Clingendael’s training methodology or are you interested in a tailor-made training programme please contact one of the course coordinators Mercè Torruella y Mazurel or Lot Schuringa.