Thursday 22 Feb 2018 | 05:34 | SYDNEY
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Global Issues

Collaborating with China in Antarctica

In 1912 a team of explorers were stranded for a miserable winter at Inexpressible Island, in Terra Nova Bay, Antarctica. “The road to hell might be paved with good intentions,” the team doctor noted of the experience, “but it seemed probable that hell itself would be paved something after

Syria: a plan to name and shame chemical weapons suspects

Last month, France hosted the launch of the International Partnership against Impunity for the Use of Chemical Weapons. The effort is aimed at holding to account individuals and groups in the Syrian Government responsible for chemical weapons attacks, and to deter any possible further use of

Don’t renegotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Australia was quick to welcome US President Donald Trump's casual comment that the US might be prepared to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership if a "substantially better" deal could be struck. Yet while making it clear that we would welcome US participation on the terms already negotiated,

Behind the Australia–Canada ‘wine war’

Australia has formally lodged a complaint against restrictions some Canadian provinces have placed on the sale of imported wine in grocery stores, in what has been described, somewhat dramatically, as a 'wine war'. Australia's action was described in the Ottawa Sun under the headline&

Finding Australia’s fair share of climate finance

Climate finance was high on the agenda in Paris last month as French President Emmanuel Macron co-hosted the 'One Planet Summit' with the UN and World Bank, preceded by a 'Climate Finance Day' with bankers and major institutional investors. Climate finance has been a central pillar of global

An emerging role for the UN in the North Korean crisis

Last month, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman visited North Korean officials to promote a political solution to heightened tensions over Pyongyang's nuclear program. Feltman's mission has not received the attention it should have. The visit was the first

The Kyoto Protocol 20 years later: Heroes and villains

He was hailed as the ‘hero’ of the Kyoto climate talks 20 years ago, but the diplomat who oversaw negotiations for the world’s first legally binding emission cuts had some remarkably simple approaches to success. The first was to cut back on time. Raul Estrada Oyuela reduced the length of

Does the nuclear weapon ban treaty warrant the Nobel Prize?

This year’s Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) for: Its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of

Leading the prevention of global health threats

Australia's tyranny of distance is no protection from global health threats. In recent months, the government has taken a number of positive steps to reaffirm the importance of international norms and cooperation to protect against threats to global health security. This includes participating in an

Zimbabwe: New crocodile, same teeth

It has been a strange coup. First the army leadership held a press conference two days in advance to warn it might occur. Then when the troops did move, the main targets President Robert Mugabe and his hated and ambitious wife Grace were neither killed, nor held incommunicado, nor put on a

Whoa, Canada: Explaining the TPP deal that wasn’t

The strong expectation of the leaders of many countries involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), including Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, was that an agreement would be concluded in the margins of the APEC Summit at the weekend in Vietnam. This was to be a significant achievement given the

The two Americas at COP23

Before his fall from grace, former Democratic vice-presidential candidate John Edwards used to talk about 'the two Americas' to describe the gap between the poor and the wealthy. But the phrase earned an afterlife, not least to describe the philosophical chasm between the coastal areas that

The future role of international financial institutions

The role of the multilateral development banks (MDBs) and other international financial institutions (IFIs) is back in the policy spotlight. The latest attention comes via the G20 Eminent Persons Group (EPG) on Global Financial Governance, formed by G20 Finance Ministers at their meeting

The Asian Development Bank's unfinished business

In his recent Interpreter post, Richard Moore provides a handy summary of the work of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) over the past 50 years. He also poses questions about the future of the Bank. Moore is a former ADB Board member, so he is thoroughly familiar with debates about the Bank's role in

Trump breathes fire but the UN is safe

Thirteen post-war US presidents have addressed the UN General Assembly, from Truman to Obama, from Kennedy to Reagan, but Tuesday's address from Donald Trump will surely enter the history books as the most hard-hitting speech delivered by an occupant of the White House in front of this global body

Using economic diplomacy to reduce financial risks in Asia

If Australia’s economic future lies in Asia, then managing the risk of financial crises in the region should be a top concern. Especially as any crisis could also have significant geopolitical consequences. In an analysis for the Lowy Institute, Barry Sterland looks at what Australia can do

The Asian Development Bank at 50: A spent force?

In May, the Asian Development Bank celebrated its 50th anniversary with a big bash in Yokohama. Senior ADB figures repeatedly pointed to the record crowd of more than 6000 attendees as evidence of the meeting's success and the ADB's enduring relevance. Not all of the 6000 were convinced. If there

Toward more stable capital flows

Globalisation has received a bad rap lately, being blamed for lost jobs, depressed wages, rising income inequality, Brexit, and the election of Donald Trump. As the European Central Bank's President Mario Draghi observed at this year’s gathering of central bankers at Jackson Hole, the social

How the UN Security Council failed Syria

The UN Security Council has unequivocally failed the Syrian people: over 400,000 of whom have been killed, over 5 million of whom are refugees, and around 6.3 million of whom are internally displaced.  The recent resignation Carla del Ponte from the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria is

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