Fellow Spotlight

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Shwe Yee Oo (MMR) is a resident Non-Proliferation Research Fellow at Pacific Forum. She accomplished her master studies in Public Policy (Energy, Resources and Sustainable Development) at Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po Paris). She is also a young researcher of Myanmar Institute of Strategic and International Studies (MISIS) in Yangon. Graduated from Yangon University of Foreign Languages in 2011, she continued her post-graduate studies in social work and political science until 2016. At the same time, she worked at Institut Français de Birmanie, Co-opération culturelle de l’Ambassade de France, in Myanmar from 2013 to 2017. Picking up her student life again, she started her master studies in September 2017. While doing her studies in Paris, Shwe contributed her efforts in data verification on Myanmar’s export restrictions as an external consultant at OECD Headquarter. Meanwhile, Shwe is not only participating in Pacific Forum Resident Fellowship Program but also working as a policy analyst (external) for local think-tanks in Myanmar.

We asked Shwe a few questions about herself and her fellowship experience.

What are your research interests?

Security, Energy, Transport, Conflicts and Natural Resources Management, Sustainable Development.

How did you hear about Pacific Forum and why did you apply to become a fellow?

I know Pacific Forum since a long time ago as it is one of the prestigious think-tanks that many young people from Myanmar dream of joining it. At the beginning of 2020, after my studies in Paris, I was working as a junior researcher at MISIS and trying to figure out how I can do more research that I am passionate. My supervisor there knows it very well and he suggested me to apply for a fellowship at the Pacific Forum. Luckily, I was selected and offered a fellowship. Pacific Forum is an excellent ground where I can realize my dream of conducting researches and it will be one of my unforgettable experiences.

Briefly describe the research project you are undertaking as a Pacific Forum fellow:

I am currently working on the transportation of strategic goods in ASEAN region. Transportation, by its nature, is loosely secured. In ASEAN, most of the member States are still in the stage of drafting STC laws, which means that the security of the transportation of strategic goods in the region is relatively weak. In addition, China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which is in process of making lands and seas connected, can become a more convenient route not only for legal trades but also for illegal ones. (Most of the ASEAN member States are partner countries in the realization of BRI project.) All in all, ASEAN as a whole is a strategic point that has access to the Indian Ocean, the South China Sea, the Philippines Sea and further the Pacific Ocean and thus, ASEAN has to consider the transportation security of strategic goods. The objective of the research is to highlight the importance of the transportation of strategic goods in strategic trade control and to remind ASEAN member States to create initiatives for better cooperation toward STC through transportation security.

Describe a Pacific Forum conference you attended and how it helped you in your career:

I am participating in the STC virtual conference which is currently taking place (July 27-28 & August 5-6, 2020). It is an opportunity for me to learn different ideas, views and opinions of experts on strategic trade control, which help me to develop my current and further researches. It is also an opportunity to meet people around the world during the pandemic.

Share something you read recently that you enjoyed:

A book I read last summer but I still have in mind is “Life of Pi” by Yann Martel. Life is the struggle that you fall in love.

What are your future plans?

I want to invest myself in research and contribute to the society I am living in. I believe that “research” is the cause of innovation and the source of development.

What is a fun fact about you?

I look like a gangster if I don’t smile.

Recent publications:

1) https://pacforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/The-Role-of-Transportation-in-the-Export-and-Import-of-COVID-19-Shwe-Yee-Oo.pdf

2) https://www.isis.org.my/2020/05/26/myanmar-the-covid-19-situation-report/


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Fellows previously featured in Fellow Spotlight:

Daniel Mitchum

Su Hyun Lee

Jennifer Howe

Eugenio Benincasa

Shwe Yee Oo

Elliot Silverberg

Dong-hyeon Kim