The Pacific Islands include over a dozen countries and territories spanning an area four times the size of the continental United States. The Pacific Islands see themselves not as small island countries, but as large ocean states forming a “Blue Pacific Continent.” The United States is increasingly focusing its attention on the region, particularly amid China’s growing engagement and the impacts of climate change. In support of U.S. government priorities, USIP is pursuing a range of projects focused on peace and stability in the Pacific Islands and elevating dialogue with the region.

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Why Are Papua New Guinea’s Elections Plagued with Problems?

Why Are Papua New Guinea’s Elections Plagued with Problems?

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

By: Terence Wood

Papua New Guinea’s 2022 elections suffered from a host of problems, following a pattern plaguing the country’s polls for years. At least 50 people died in election-related violence. Post-election fighting in the country’s Highlands region contributed to a rapid rise in internally displaced people. Election observers estimated that in some places as many as half of all voters could not vote owing to problems with the roll. Voting was disrupted and ballot boxes hijacked in places, and violence prevented vote counting from being completed in at least two national electorates. There is now an urgent need for the international community to intensify their work with the government of Papua New Guinea to ensure that future elections improve and that the country’s democracy is preserved.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & GovernanceGlobal Policy

The Role of Women in Myanmar’s Evolving Security Institutions

The Role of Women in Myanmar’s Evolving Security Institutions

Thursday, December 15, 2022

By: Hkawn Htoi;  Gabriela Sagun

Myanmar’s women have assumed an unprecedented leadership role in the pro-democracy resistance since the 2021 coup. From nonviolent protest movements to fighting in People’s Defense Forces (PDF) to the National Unity Government (NUG), women have been instrumental in the fight against the ruling junta’s brutality and oppression. But as Myanmar’s network of resistance groups slowly weakens the junta’s grip, resistance leaders are now faced with a daunting task: How do you re-establish security and stability in a country long plagued by civil conflict?

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & PreventionGenderJustice, Security & Rule of Law

Is the Climate Crisis Leading to ‘Rupture’ in Southeast Asia’s Mekong?

Is the Climate Crisis Leading to ‘Rupture’ in Southeast Asia’s Mekong?

Thursday, December 15, 2022

By: Andrew Wells-Dang, Ph.D.

In natural environments and in human societies, pressure for change can build up gradually for years, then suddenly reach a point of no return. Living in the new “Anthropocene” era of climate crisis, people worldwide are increasingly aware of the linkages between ecological, social and political stability. Stress in one of these domains can contribute to a rupture in others. According to human geographer Sango Mahanty, such a rupture is “a dramatic episode of nature-society disruption that is adverse, intense, and ripples across scales” of space and time. In Southeast Asia, one of the most visible instances of rupture is the explosion of dam construction on the Mekong River and its tributaries.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

EnvironmentFragility & Resilience

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