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Abstract: In July 2009, the UN General Assembly held an Interactive Informal Dialogue and plenary session on the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP). The dialogue provided the first opportunity for the UN membership as a whole to discuss implementation of the 2005 World Summit’s commitment to the RtoP and the UN Secretary-General’s report on the matter. Fifteen governments from the Asia-Pacific region, namely Indonesia, the Philippines, Korea, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Japan, China, Vietnam, Solomon Islands, Myanmar, Timor-Leste, DPRK, PNG and Malaysia, participated in the dialogue. This culminated in a resolution co-sponsored by, inter alia, Australia, Fiji, Singapore, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Korea, Timor-Leste and New Zealand that noted the Secretary-General’s report, observed the fruitfulness of the interactive dialogue, and committed the Assembly to further consideration of the RtoP.
According to the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, one of the most significant aspects of the dialogue was the positive transformation of attitudes towards the RtoP within the Asia-Pacific region. Having previously been considered the region most opposed to the RtoP, the region now boasts near unanimity in its endorsement of the principle and the Secretary-General’s efforts towards its implementation (with the exception of North Korea).
Abstract: Internal conflict has become the predominant threat to the security and stability of many of the small island nations of the Southwest Pacific and particularly in the countries of Melanesia.
Since the late 1980s, conflicts of varying causes and degrees of intensity have occurred in Papua New Guinea (Bougainville secession attempt)i, Fiji (coups and attempted coups), Vanuatu (police rebellion) and Solomon Islands (ethnic conflict and coup).
These events have seriously debilitated the already fragile national economies and polities of all countries, so much so in the Solomon Islands that that country is now being described by many analysts as a “failing”, if not “failed”, state.ii
While most of these countries have so far been able (not without difficulty) to maintain a measure of state integrity, the situation in Solomon Islands has become so precarious that Australia and New Zealand (with the support of most Pacific Island governments and anticipating a request from the Solomons’ parliament) are preparing to intervene in an attempt to restore the rule of law and rebuild administrative institutions. The form of that intervention is not yet clear - it is thought likely to include up to 2,000 armed military and police with a large team of civilian technical personnel – nor has a mandate been determined.
In this context a host of questions arises as to how best to resolve, contain, manage and/or transform these internal conflicts in the interest of the security, stability and well-being of the peoples of the countries concerned and of the region as a whole. The purpose of this paper is to consider one form of conflict management undertaken recently in the region; that is, the peace monitoring interventions by Australia, New Zealand and some Pacific Island Countries (PICs) in Bougainville and Solomon Islands. How useful have these exercises been in assisting peace processes and in conflict management/peace construction, and what lessons can be drawn from them for any future such operations - including perhaps for the more vigorous “co-operative intervention” currently in prospect?
Abstract: This paper quantifies the impact of terrorism and conflicts on income per capita growth in Asia for 1970–2004. Our panel estimations show that transnational terrorist attacks had a significant growth-limiting effect. Transnational terrorism reduces growth by crowding in government expenditures. An internal conflict has the greatest growth concern, about twice that of transnational terrorism. For developing Asian countries, intrastate and interstate wars have a much greater impact than terrorism does on the crowding-in of government spending.
Policy recommendations indicate the need for rich Asian countries to assist their poorer neighbors in coping with the negative growth consequences of political violence. Failure to assist may result in region-wide repercussions. Conflict and terrorism in one country can create production bottlenecks with region-wide economic consequences. International and nongovernmental organizations as well as developed Western countries and regions could assist at-risk Asian countries with attack prevention and post-attack recovery.
This study has six purposes. First, and foremost, we present panel estimates for a sample of 42 Asian countries to quantify the impact of terrorism and conflicts on income per capita growth for 1970–2004. Panel estimation methods control for country-specific and timespecific unobserved heterogeneity. Second, we distinguish the influence of terrorism on economic growth from that of internal and external conflicts. Third, these influences are investigated for cohorts of developed and developing countries to ascertain whether development can better allow a country to absorb the impact of political violence. Fourth, econometric estimations relate violence-induced growth reductions to two pathways— reduced investment and increased government expenditures. Fifth, a host of diagnostic and sensitivity tests to support our empirical specifications. Last, we draw some policy conclusions.
Abstract: Edition 2008. Réunis le temps d’un week-end (30 mai– 1er juin) dans le
confort du Shangri-La Hotel de Singapour — un cadre propice à l’étude des
grands enjeux contemporains de sécurité en Asie…—, les représentants des
27 délégations officielles ont honoré de leur présence et enrichi de leurs réflexions
ce 7eme rendez-vous annuel, plus connu sous le vocable informel de
Shangri-La Dialogue. Un forum annuel unique en son genre en Asie, organisé
par le prestigieux International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) londonien,
lequel célébrait au passage son demi-siècle d’existence de fort belle manière.
Evénement sur lequel les médias occidentaux s’arrêtent de coutume fort peu,
ce « sommet » aux atours moins protocolaires concentre deux jours durant
une somme inédite de décideurs politiques (ministres ; parlementaires) et
militaires (officiers d’état-major), d’experts (institutions internationales ; fonctionnaires
; chercheurs), d’hommes d’affaires et de journalistes autour d’une
pléiade de séances plénières, de tables rondes et de débats publics (et de
réunions plus restreintes...). La diversité et le sérieux des thèmes abordés
(voir p.2), la qualité des intervenants et des échanges, les inévitables
« déclarations » collatérales et autres réactions « à chaud », justifient qu’on
lui consacre ci-après quelque attention.
Abstract: Besides imposing smart sanctions, travel advisories to ensure that tourist industry is affected, periodic verbal and economic threats and lobbying international agencies to cut their links with Fiji, both Australia and New Zealand think that by these methods a small country like Fiji could be squeezed into submission. They are mistaken.
Abstract: The Kokoda Foundation has been established as an independent, not-for-profit think tank to research, and foster innovative thinking on, Australia's future security challenges. The Foundation's Priorities: To conduct quality research on security issues commissioned by public and private sector organisations; To foster innovative thinking on Australia's future security challenges; To publish quality papers ( The Kokoda Papers ) on issues relevant to Australia's security challenges; To develop Security Challenges as the leading refereed #journal in the field; To encourage and, where appropriate, mentor a new generation of advanced strategic thinkers; and Encourage research contributions by current and retired senior officials, business people and others with relevant expertise.
Abstract: New Zealand is a destination country for women trafficked from Thailand and other countries in Asia for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Some women smuggled into the country are subjected to commercial sexual exploitation to repay substantial debts to traffickers. No new confirmed cases of internationally trafficked persons have been brought to the attention of the authorities since 2001, although there was evidence that some women from Asia, and more recently the Czech Republic and Brazil, were working illegally in the country as prostitutes. Although prostitution has been decriminalized, it remains illegal for nonresidents to work in the commercial sex industry. Commercial sexual exploitation of children was a problem. A study by the PLRC completed in April 2004 estimated that approximately 200 young persons under the age of 18 were working as prostitutes.
Abstract: The decade since the early 1990s has witnessed the growth of a field of research and practice aimed at resolving and preventing violent conflict. Research on violent conflict has led to a number of different theories on causes of violent conflict, many of them based on the study of large-scale, protracted conflicts in Africa and the Balkans. Advocates of conflict prevention have linked longer-term root causes of violent conflict to aspects of underdevelopment, and tensions inherent in development processes.
Abstract: New Zealand is a parliamentary democracy, with executive authority vested in a 20-member Cabinet led by the Prime Minister. Queen Elizabeth II is Chief of State and is represented by the Governor General. The 120-member Parliament is elected in a mixed-member, proportional representation system, with 7 seats reserved for members of the native Maori population. Citizens periodically choose their representatives in free and fair multiparty elections. The most recent elections were held in 2002. The Labor Party won 52 parliamentary seats and formed a minority coalition government with the Progressive Coalition Party and support from the centrist United Future Party. A parliamentary election was scheduled for 2005. The judiciary is independent.
The Minister of Police oversees the national police. The civilian authorities maintained effective control of the security forces. A few members of the police committed isolated human rights abuses.
Abstract: In March 2005, members of the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) Working Group on Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) issued a questionnaire to states parties regarding ERW and International Humanitarian Law (IHL). This memorandum contains an analysis by Human Rights Watch of the responses provided by states parties to the questionnaire. Human Rights Watch believes that the responses to date lead to the conclusion that national implementation measures, especially with regard to cluster munitions and the submunitions they dispense, are not adequate, and that additional measures are required to ensure adequate protections for civilian populations.
Abstract: The Maori have inhabited New Zealand (particularly the North Island) for over 1000 years. Today, the Maori are mainly found in the urban centers. Compared to the European settlers, the Maori have a unique language, history, and are physically different. However over generations there have been considerable intermixing between the dominant group and the Maori, leading to most Maori becoming Christian. Despite their obvious differences from the dominant group, the Maori have a relatively weak sense of collective identity. While the threats of extremist groups such as the Government of Aotearoa should be taken seriously, it seems unlikely that the Maori will begin or sustain a campaign of militant activity.
Though the Maori have few of the risk factors generally associated with continued or further protest, such as government repression, political or cultural restrictions, and the opportunities associated with regime instability, they do have support from kindred groups abroad.
Abstract: The 15 volcanic islands that make up the Cook Islands are scattered over 770,000 square miles of the south Pacific ocean and lie between American Samoa to the west and French Polynesia to the east.
Abstract: Australia and New Zealand have small, relatively stable HIV epidemics. At the end of 2003, the adult HIV prevalence level in both Australia and New Zealand was 0.1%. In Australia, there were between 6,800 and 22,000 adults and children living with HIV at the end of 2003, while in New Zealand there were 480 to 2,800 people living with HIV.