There will be photo ops, gifts, and recitations about the leader of the world's largest democracy sitting with the leader of the world's oldest. But substantive matters are also to be discussed: Business. Weapons deals. Counterterrorism. Human rights and regional security issues will also be on the table.
We could be forgiven for thinking this is a vaguely interesting gewgaw in a world benumbed by technological gadgetry. The iPhone Six is out, for crying out loud... But like those who scoffed at Karl Benz's strange "Motorwagen" in 1900, we'd be overlooking a revolution.
The democratization process in Burma remains very much a work-in-progress, with parliamentary elections slated for next year and the country continuing to adjust to the growing pains associated with opening its economy to the rest of the world.
It's important to not forget how fortunate some of us are. It's equally important to not forget what happened to Atefah and what's happening to a multitude of children in Iran. If we forget, we declare our complacency with the human rights situation in Iran.
Recently, I was discussing with fellow colleagues from Latin America the implications of the decision of the European Union's Court of Justice that establishes the "right to be forgotten." One of them pointed out that the content of this "right" notwithstanding, the name itself was an affront to Latin America; rather than promoting this type of erasure, we have spent the past few decades in search of the truth.
After being transferred to Jordan, Maryam remained in intensive care for a week and endured two operations to remove the shrapnel from her skull, leaving her completely paralyzed on the left side.
Once again, it's time to look at Taiwan. Unfortunately, there is still a need to call for freedom from prison for Chen Shui-bian and a need to call out Ma Ying-jeou (the most unpopular president in Taiwan's history) to stop abusing human rights principles for shameful political hunts.
The Friends of Yemen are in a position to wield significant influence, given their crucial financial support for Yemen's failing economy, but they aren't doing enough to address the human rights abuses that lie at the core of Yemen's problems.
Two amazing American women dominated my life last week. I was devoted to watching the terrific Ken Burns series on the Roosevelts, captivated by how this family changed America and the world, and especially by the strong, progressive and independent voice of Eleanor Roosevelt.
Consider this: Nashiru, a practitioner of female genital mutilation (FGM) in a Maasai community in Kenya, says, "Cutting girls is something our people have done for hundreds of years. No one can convince us that it is wrong."