Interview to the consul of Bhutan

A few days ago I had the pleasure to interview Ian Patrick Guerrero Triay the consul of Bhutan and the first representative in Spain of this mystical country situated in the Himalayas.

We must stress that Mr Ian has been a very important person in terms of establishing diplomatic relations between these two countries, for example in 2010 the Prime Minister of Bhutan made his official visit to Spain and thanks to him  this Prime Minister had the opportunity  to achieve meetings with important figures of the Spanish scene as the King of Spain, strengthening the diplomatic ties between Bhutan and Spain.

We can say that the major target of Bhutan towards Spain is the tourism, as Mr Ian said “the percentage of Spaniards who travel to Bhutan are usually a few hundred, then one of the short-term objectives between both countries would be to increase tourism from Spain towards Bhutan, improving the country’s development”.

Speaking of tourism I asked to him why in the past the Government of Bhutan restricted the entrance of tourists and if there is any type of restriction now a days, in this issue he remarked ” the only thing that wanted and want now a days the government of Bhutan is to achieve a high quality and environmentally friendly tourism, also, we have to say that today there is not any restriction but what the government want to do is to avoid mass tourism like happened in Nepal “.

We have to say that Bhutan is a very Small state with less than 700.000 inhabitants and its between two major states of the world that are China and India, in words of Mr Ian Bhutan is ” the meat between two slices of a sandwich” and he said “Bhutan is one of the smallest countries in the world and because of this economically depends heavily of India, this country also, is the major financier of Bhutan, with  Indian finance of long-term soft loans Bhutan is  building dams to generate electricity with the fall of water from the Himalayas, thus supplying the north of India creating strong ties between these countries and improving development”

When I was with him I also asked about the diplomatic relations between China and Bhutan, he told me that they are not as strong as the relations with  India, but Mr Ian said to me that they maintain cordial relations. ” one of the reasons why China and Bhutan do not maintain great relationships is because these countries are divided by the Himalayas and this means that they are very badly connected and also we have to say that the boundaries between them are no well defined, because of this sometimes tensions are created” he remarked.

The international organization  Freedom of house gave to Bhutan in 2005 the status of a not free country and in 2015 they have given to this country the status of a partly free state,  because of this I asked him  what happened during this years  and he answered me “the former King of Bhutan abdicated in favor of his son to modernize the country and get a totally free and democratic country, in 2008 the first constitution was introduced to achieve this goal, based on more than 50 constitutions and one of them being the Spanish constitution and after this first elections were held”.

It is known that the Bhutanese Government cares more about the happiness of the inhabitants than the country’s economy.  “the government believes that the economic indicators are not the determinants of the welfare and happiness of the inhabitants because of this the actual king of Bhutan Jigme Singye Wangchuck had created a index that is called Gross National Happiness an index that measures the happiness of the inhabitants” he remarked.

The organization Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) has just published its World Giving Index and places Bhutan as one of the most supportive countries in the place 17 of 134 countries. About this issue he told me: “in my opinion this is because the majority of Bhutanese are Buddhists and have the sense of helping others very involved, in my travels I have observed this and I think that in our country we have to recover this idea”

Oihan Iglesias Lamuedra.

IMG_3630

The Consul of Bhutan and Oihan Iglesias in Intercontinental Hotel (Madrid) 

 

 

Having a Look of an Experience of a Global Work

network_0_banner_en-us_6

source: Cathay Pacific

Alfredo Pardo is a man of 46 years old, whom  has devoted ten years of his life to the field of freighter aircraft (In general it refers to the loading and unloading of air cargo in the aircraft can be operated by airlines charge for private individuals or armed forces. However most of the cargo transported by air goes in the holds of commercial airliners), serving as operations manager and safety consultant also functions in aviation operations. I have the pleasure to meet him on 15th of September and know a bit of his work, I would say that I get very interested on it and I had the honor of interview him on 16th of November.

Mr. Pardo said in his interview that much of his experience on the field was being one of the member of Bgs Cargo S.A.  (Mexican cargo company), a company that makes international partnerships that pushes its workers to have more global views and experiences with different cultures in the workplace. One such case is the case of Mr. Pardo who has lived very closely social cultural, political and work environment in different countries.

During 2013 the companies Bgs Cargo S.A. and Cathay Pacific (an Asian company located in Hong Kong, China. Currently operates as a scheduled airline passenger and cargo) started making negotiations in which Mr. Pardo was involved and because of that he have to travel to that country to see if what was required were really handle and if it was like in the company in Mexico.

cathaypacificterminal2-big

source: Cathay Pacific (Cathay warehouse)

 He emphasizes the following during his interview about his stay: “something you feel different from them (Cathay Pacific)than in other countries where I worked and other airlines from other parts of the world, is that they are very organized and have very high standards in terms of safety and operations; that is why they can decide not to work  in a country if they are not given the guarantee that the operations will be handled as they want“. Because of that he consider that Asiatic counties needs to trust to its partner before making business and it is difficult for a foreigner company to reach it, also it may take more time than expected for a negotiation. He also said the differences of customs restrictions on Hong Kong, where trust and managed systems are much faster in shipments of loads.

Also is described the experience of working in Hong Kong full of knowledge and states that this Asian society is very different in culture, business structures and especially cordiality in different social spheres, at different levels relative chief employee, a person with a position or position within the company treat with great respect, for example the cards are honoured to receive them and received with respect and appreciation in contrast with Latin American that deliver them to all people.

Finally, he says according to his experience that there are many restricted things and someone can clearly see that there is much difference between social environments. In addition to that he mentions that it is common to see very poor and very rich people in the same city and it is very common for a working person to live in a very small space, also to have a property is very complicated because the society has ideals of communism and there are other factors such as limited private property.

Cathay Dinner and Delivery

source: Cathay Pacific (Crew members of the Cathay Pacific Cargo)

Written by Denisse Salazar, student of International Business

The most basic human rights continue being violated in increasing numbers

IMG_20151116_125121

Catalina Echevarri at the Anesvad Foundation office in Madrid. Credits: Zanete Asmane

On 16th of November I had the honor to meet Catalina Echevarri in Madrid; a person who has devoted herself to charity work for the past 20 years. For Catalina it has been a dream job to be able to help those in need and to make the world better. She strongly believes that this has been her calling the same way some feel that a career in law, medicine or engineering is their calling.  She has worked for charities such as Red Cross, Intermon Oxfam and Unicef, however for the past 7 years she has been committed to Anesvad Foundation developing different functions in the Asia region and in the field of Human Trafficking. Currently she is leading the founding team and is part of the Anesvad gender team. However, the conversation mostly evolved around the issue of human-trafficking.

Regarding this, one must clarify what exactly is the definition of human trafficking as many of do not actually know and refer to it as a grey area. Nevertheless, Mrs. Catalina explained the definition perfectly as it is defined in the Palermo Protocol, stating that:

”It is an act of transportation or transfer of a person, by means of the threat or use of violence. Meaning, it is against their will. Also, the definition compromise three different elements. That is, the act, the means and the purpose.”

Once we discussed the out-most basic of our topic, we went on discussing the current situation in Asia. However, the numbers are terrifying.  While Mrs. Catalina made it clear that, ”the exact number is unknown as it is an illegal phenomenal that cannot be easily tracked,” the numbers show that around 20 million world-wide are in the situation of human trafficking and half of them come from the Asia region.

One of the reasons is because of the high number of people being in the low-income class. While the number of the low class representatives is decreasing, nevertheless, is still one of the causes. This leads us to the second reason- money. Because there is such high number of individuals who are in need for financial aid, they do start to look for different means in order to survive. This is one of the underlying reasons why a huge number of individuals find themselves being trafficked because of a family members or close acquaintance betrayal. The percentage goes as high as 26, 5 %.

Despite all the above, the situation has improved over the past decade. Mrs. Catalina stated that this is because of the higher awareness that has been provided to the public and through this has put the Governments under pressure to improve the current situation. Additionally, the existence of the Palermo Protocol, which was adopted and opened for accession in 2000, puts the countries under obligations to take action in order to abolish human trafficking.

In the ”Health and Human Trafficking in the Mekong Region” study different facts about the actual patterns of risks, abuse and occupational hazards were collected and has brought higher awareness to the population. As of this, let’s consider the statistics in more detail.

About 57, 5 % are women and over one third of the participants, that is, 35,1 % were below 18 years old.

And sadly, the main reason is for sex work, while for men it was fishing work and similar work.

To make matters worse, 47, 7 % of participants in the questioner admitted that some type of violence was used. Here, I am adding a more detailed table of what type of violence has been used:

In conclusion, it is easy to say and argue that none of the genders or age groups are completely protected. And while these statistics are related to Asia, Mrs. Catalina stated that, ”it is a world-wide problem that must be conquered and this can be reached best if all of us work together.”

Despite all the negativity these statistics bring, Mrs. Catalina has not lost faith and takes rather positive outlook. What she has observed in all the survivors is their most magnificent strength  and added, ”that it makes you try harder to become a better person against any odds the world brings. Moreover, all this experience has brought me to understand how exactly I want the world to be and to do something about it to make it that way.”

 

And if you, the reader, are interested to help out, evolve as a person and connect with other people experiences, then there is always a way and many charity organizations that will welcome you with open arms! For example, a good start would be the Haces Falta website that is basically a database of all the possible charities, nationally and world-wide. However, if your interest is related to promoting the right to health and wish to help out, feel free to contact Anesvad through eduardouribe@anesvad.org.

 

Written by Zanete Asmane

An approach towards the diplomatic world

On 12th of November, I had the pleasure to get to know and interview a very important member of South Korea diplomatic system whose name is Sung Hee. She is well known for being the second diplomat of South Korea assigned in Madrid, Spain.

20140527182913277_S9EFJD7N

                                                                                    A talk with the Advinsory Council of National Unification and the Consular Assistance

One of the most important and unforgettable phrases that she claimed during the interview was “the greatest virtue of a diplomat is for the country’s sake”. She has been active in the world of  diplomacy for almost 10 years.

As we were starting our interview, she began answering me with an affable humour, she said that South Korea has emerged as one of the major middle powers in the world. Moreover,  our country is also in the process of entering the club of the most developed countries, wishing that South Korea will have a very active role in the international community as a medium-sized power to coordinate its interests.

Sung Hee: “The greatest virtue of a diplomat is the love for the country’s sake”

In addition, I would like to add that in the case of Spain, since we established a diplomatic relationship between these two States, both have expanded on the exchanges and cooperation as traditional allies in diverse areas such as policy, economy and culture.

“It is noteworthy that our countries [Spain and South Korea] are similar in terms of population, to its economic scale, to the experience of having suffered a fratricidal civil war and to have achieved economic growth and democratisation in very little time. For this reason, we can say that in the future there is a large potential for progress in the bilateral relations between Korea and Spain.”says Hee.

Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 17.29.48

Talking about climate change, she insisted that despite South Korea was not obligated to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, South Korea  under the approval of its government has voluntarily announced its plan for the reduction of these gases.

“It is a problem that we need to resolve all together” she said with a serious face.

Regarding this, she mentioned that they have a global institute of green growth, as well as, an Intergovernmental organisation called “Green Climate Fund” which is located in the new Songdo district of Incheon in which it accepts to contribute not only economically but also with its political will to reduce the greenhouse gases.

Having changed the subject with a bit of tension, she responded me that South Korea has gone through many difficult situations with huge tensions. Its aim is to seek, prolongate, maintain the peace, apart from trying the reunification Korea.

“ For example, we have separated families in the North and the South, one of the priorities of our government is to maintain regular meetings between these families from the humanitarian point of view. Furthermore, we want to maintain the homogeneity between the both sides. With that in mind, we can reunite the two states, as well as, we are trying to strengthen the unity among the citizens of north and south.” says Hee.

Suddenly, Sung Hee suggested to continue our interview walking through the Embassy. As we were walking, I was too thrilled to visit for the first time in an embassy, and she started showing us the main place that she used to work.

Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 18.26.41.png

South Korea´s embassy in Madrid, Spain

“This is the place where I work on expediting some documents, certificates or sending new passports or even accidental events” says Hee

“Apart from those jobs, I also contributed doing drafts on speeches that Park Hee-Kwon, better known as the ambassador of South Korea in Spain, uses for his special events and activities” says proudly.

“Some of our readers, who are very interesting in Korean music or dramas, better known as “Korean wave” want to ask to our pretty and friendly ambassador how far is going to reach this popularity.”

“Well, who knows what is going to happen in the future, however, we are sure that nowadays especially K-pop is increasingly becoming more popular among different nationalities” says cheerfully.

I would like to continue saying that this positively affects to our public image and it is easier to get them to know our culture. Nevertheless, some people might think that the government is involved in improving the public image but it is not true, the ones who are immersed on this, being well known as the biggest private companies in South Korea such as S.M. Entertainment, Starship Entertainment, Woolim Entertainment or YG Entertainment.

 

Written by Anna Wu Yang

Student of International Relations at UEM

Leer más de esta entrada

It is strongly possible that the newly elected Democratic party will change the lives of Myanmar people?

It is doubtful whether the newly elected NLD party is as democratic as it claims.

The Myanmar’s national elections for almost two decades have been internationally criticized for being fraudulent and the lack of transparency. For example, in 2010 The National League for Democracy (NLD), Myanmar’s main opposition party, boycotted the elections. This allowed the regime-backed up party, the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) to win almost 80% of the contested seats.

However, the election held in 2012 met a higher standard of credibility. The NLD participated that year and won 43 out of the 44 seats it contested. And among the victors was Aung San Suu Kyi, founder of the NLD and Nobel Peace Prize winner.

9320

Source: Gokunming

In the most recent election thought, Aung San Suu Kyi’s party won a landslide victory in Myanmar after the general elections on 8 November. This year’s election has been referred to as ‘’the first truly free general election” in 25 years. Meaning that this was the first time the votes were conducted without “manipulating” the votes. Nonetheless, such statement is controversial as no one has the actual information about how many votes exactly the NLD party received.

Observers said that the election was reasonably fair but when the voter lists started to be published there seemed to have some inadequacies. That is, names of already deceased people appeared in the list. Furthermore, and in some violent areas voting was not taken place at all. Meanwhile, people in some rural areas were not allowed to vote and also Muslim Rohingyas in a largely Buddhist country have been considered stateless, non-persons ineligible to vote.

_84315243_hi028073978.jpg

Source: BBC

Furthermore, not all the seats of the parliament of Myanmar are up for grabs. The military-drafted constitution guarantees that 25% of the seats will be taken up by unelected military representatives and will be given the veto power if any changes will be presented in the constitution.  This draft has been named as the “disciplined democracy” by the Senior General, Min Aung Hlaing.

The first immediate question that comes into mind: How much power do Myanmar’s armed forces yield?

Let’s not forget though that the military force has been in charge since the 1962 and makes it doubtful whether they are willing to cede. If this turns out to be the case, then the NLD seems to be holding much less power than it may look from the distance. The fact that the Government does not have a complete power over the selected ministers in the Defense and the Home Affairs and Boarder Affairs cabinets is a huge flaw.

And while the NLD has such objectives in mind as to create more equal financial distributions between citizens, to end the war the wars that sapped Myanmar since the independence with the United Kingdom and to improve the infrastructure within the country. It is still questionable whether all these goals will be met.

Such conclusion comes to mind for two apparent reasons that have been mentioned above; either because of the military-drafted constitution, or because the Democratic Party is not all they seem to be. Nonetheless, the judgement of the possible outcomes should be withheld for now. But one thing is for sure, the Myanmar citizen lives are about to change id the NLD is successful and turns out to be as democratic as they declare.

China’s one-child policy has come to an end but it is debatable whether it will reshape the demographics

During the last week China has made a big decision by abolishing one of the most controversial law in China called “One child policy”.

China has decided on 29 of October to end-up with the one child policy Xinhua news agencies reported. It is well known to everyone that China has had a one-child policy since the 1980’s. Such regulation was forced upon the citizens in order to control the growth of the population below 1.2 billion and in order to abolish famine.

tumblr_inline_mtlz974NV71s40bop

Source: Architect T@work China

Data from the United Nations shows that population growth, has gone from about 15 per 1,000 people in 1980 to below 5.5 per 1,000 people todayFurthermore, the one-child policy is that it has led to a substantial gender imbalance in China. UN data reveals that there are currently 106 males for every 100 females in China – above the world total for the same measure (102) and well above nearly every other country in the world

While, to some extent, the communist parties decision to enforce such laws did make sense at the time, it did not change the fact that it restricted their fundamental rights to make their own decision. Furthermore, there were few cases reported where the women, in the most obvious way were tortured. For example, a 23-year old woman was forced to make abortion while being 7 months pregnant. While the involved parties were punished for their crime, it did not make the actual issue to disappear. That is, that such policy is extremely outdated, goes beyond the human rights and generates issues regarding the demographics of China.

In reality, the fertility rate has gone so low that the government of China has decided to abandon the one-child policy because it has affected the China’s economic growth to the point it has become immobile.

Captura de pantalla 2015-11-03 a las 10.41.39

However, even if the couples now are allowed to have two children, it seems unlikely there will be ‘’baby-boom’’ simply because it is expensive to raise a child in China. The reasoning behind this is that the cost of the maintenance of one child is more expensive than 35 years ago, as well as, the currency. If the currency is compared with the one 5 years ago, it can be seen that  the yuan currency is worth less in euros. For example, 100 yuan was worth 10 euros but now it is worth only 6.5€.

Another reason is the fact that nowadays families don’t have enough time to raise children. As Mrs Xia who works for US firm GE Healthcare stated :

 “We would need to spend a lot of time on another baby, and I don’t think I have this kind of patience anymore“.

The society in general is more fixed on their quality of life and the fact that the cities are overcrowded and polluted does have an impact on making the decision.

Will this “new” friendship improve China´s economic situation?

The China’s president Xi Jinping arrived on 19th of October at Heathrow Airport in London for a four day visit to uphold their economic situation and to establish bilateral relations between China and the United Kingdom.
Source en.people. com

Source: en.people.com

It is the first time the president of China is visiting Britain since 2005 when Hu Jintao, the previous Chinese head of state, attended the Britain. However, Hu Jintao visit was met with such strident strikes, that it seems he swore off from the UK. Nevertheless, the Xi Jinping seems to have broken the silence between both nations and is trying to affirm a friendship with the UK in order to benefit the China’s economy and growth.

As we all are aware China hold great power when it comes to economy and trading business. This being said, it does not mean that China has not met its’ own downfall. According to BBC news, China’s economic growth has slowed down to 6.9 %. This evidently explains why on the 21st of October China signed multi-billion pound business deal with Britain.

Indicating the China’s need for establishing new connections because through such action their own population will uphold its’ power and even enhance it. And, of course, improve their statistics and lead them on reaching their own announced target.
It goes without the saying that the Britain’s representatives are not aware of this. Even the Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond stated that ‘’ it’s very much in our national interest to engage with China but we do so with our eyes wide open,” and that they are planning on‘’ developing a mature relationship with the Chinese and that they know that we are looking not just to China but to many other countries for infrastructure investment in the UK.’

Furthermore, others experts from Chinese government said that China will grow 6.9 %this year even if it will have it´s own ´´ups and downs´´. The reason why is this happening is that some companies and individuals have failed investing in China´s economy, the Shanghai Securities News reported.

To achieve these aims, China and Britain is following a specific schedule:

Source The guardian

Source: The guardian

Tuesday 20 October

During the morning, The Prince Charles and Duchess of Cornwall have planned to greet them, after they will proceed to go to Buckingham Palace and at the same time, it will hold a protest because of the violation of human rights. Formerly, he will meet Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader to discuss about it. At late night, it will host by The Queen a banquet with some others illustrious people.

Wednesday 21 October

During the morning, Xi Jinping is scheduled to visit the Imperial College of London with the chancellor of UK and the Prince Andrew.

Afterwards, Xi will meet William and Kate to celebrate the partnership of this two nations, and at the afternoon, The President of China will be attending at the UK-China business summit that it will be focus on investment, infrastructure and innovation.

Finally, at the end of the day, Xi will visit Huawei Technologies followed by a banquet hosted by the Lord Mayor.

Thursday 22 October

During the following day, Xi will received a formal farewell from The Queen and Philip at Buckingham Palace. Later, he will visit a British satellite telecommunications company called Inmarsat following with a conference of the Confucius Institute done by University College London’s Institute of Education. Conclusively, they will attend a formal dinner with David Cameron and his wife before flying to Manchester City.

Friday 23 October

On his final day of state visit, Xi is scheduled to visit the Manchester City’s stadium with the company of the prime minister, this visit is going to be followed by a lunch at the Manchester town hall hosted by prestigious business representatives and the Mayor of Manchester. Afterwards, both leaders will attend an event at Manchester airport before the departure of the first Lady and president of China.