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ANU Philippine Update Conference 2016

The conference is organized by the College of Asia and the Pacific of Australian National University and specifically convened by Dr. Imelda Deinla, Dr. Bjoern Dressel, Dr. Paul D’Arcy, and Ms. Teresa Jopson. For further details, click here.

Abstract submissions are invited for the following topics on the Philippines that fit broadly with the conference theme such as: political economy, trade and investment, poverty and social protection, electoral politics, judicial politics, gender, health and policy, conflict and peacebuilding, governance and accountability, bilateral and regional relations, democratization and human rights, media and politics, climate change and policy responses, security and terrorism.  Proposals for specific panels may also be submitted for consideration.  Submission for abstracts is now open and closes on 15 February 2016. Abstract proposals should be between 250-300 words only.

Themes

Political Update: ‘Taking Stock of the Aquino Administration and Looking Ahead’ – The panel talks about the conduct and results of the May 2015 national elections and policy implications of the change in administration.  It will assess the performance of the past administration, specifically on whether it has fulfilled its promise of ‘Straight Path to Governance’ (Daang Matuwid), that is, in fostering an accountable and effective government. What is the trend in multi-party politics and liberal democracy in the Philippines, and whether there have been changes in party and elite politics as reflected in the last elections?

Economic Update: ‘Is the Philippine Growth Path Sustainable and Inclusive?’ –   This is an assessment of both the economic achievements of the last administration and economic policy change or policy continuity that might be expected with the change in national leadership.  What are the drivers – and constraints, to sustained growth and whether this kind of growth can bring about development in the regions and in conflict areas in Mindanao?  What is the state of poverty and inequality in the Philippines and whether economic development is also addressing the gender gap?

Conflict and Security Update: ‘Prospects of Peacebuilding in Mindanao and Resolving other Insurgencies’ – Will the Muslim Mindanao question remain the football field of politicians or will the peacebuilding initiatives began in the Aquino administration, particularly the grant of greater autonomy, lead toward lasting peace in Southern Philippines?  This panel talks about developments in peacebuilding processes and initiatives to address justice issues in the Bangsamoro as well as the role of women in peacebuilding.  What are other conflict and security issues that the new administration need to address – persistence of other old conflicts such as the communist insurgency, contemporary problems of terrorism or terror groups operating in Mindanao, as well as conflicts affecting the Indigenous peoples.

The Philippine Environment, Climate Change and Policy Responses – The occurrence of national disasters such as typhoons and earthquakes is identified as one of key challenges for the Philippines in the coming years, affecting all regions and broad spectrum of society.  How has the government tackled the problem, as a critical domestic policy concern and its role and advocacy on climate change at the international level?  There have been innovative responses by local governments towards environment protection, climate change adaptation and management as well as the role of civil society and corporate sector in addressing the country’s vulnerability to disasters.

The Philippines in the Region: The South China Sea/ West Philippine Sea Dispute – The Philippines is one of the key claimants in the area with China and is the country that brought the issue for international arbitration under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.  What are the prospects of the arbitration case and its impact towards resolution of the competing claims and of broader implications on regional peace and cooperation?  What is the role of other countries, such as the United States and Australia, and other regional or international organizations in mediating or facilitating mediation among the countries involved in the dispute?

Australia-Philippines Bilateral Relations – Both countries have long historical and bilateral ties and 2016 marks the 70th year of Philippine-Australia relations.  The panel will discuss how to forge enhanced cooperation in the areas of trade, business, development assistance, tourism and culture.  The discussion will also explore people-to-people linkages in fostering greater awareness between Australia and the Philippines and their peoples.

Gender in Development – The gender panel discusses gender equity issues in development in the Philippines.  It assesses persisting challenges to, and the state and non-state contributions towards the goals of gender equality, improved maternal health and sexual reproductive health rights, and the measures taken against gender-based violence. The gender dimensions of migration, conflict and peace, and disasters and resilience are also interrogated in theory with the lived experiences of Filipino women and men.


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