On Tuesday evening, the House of Representatives passed a bill supporting the transfer of asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru to Australia for urgent medical care. The bill, initially put forward by independent MP Kerryn Phelps in late 2018, provides expanded capacities that allow two doctors
After Jim Yong Kim resigned last month, President Donald Trump indicated he intends to nominate senior US Treasury official David Malpass to lead the World Bank. Under an unofficial agreement, the World Bank President always comes from the United States. Although the multilateral development
The case of Saudi teen Rahaf Al-Qunun dramatically demonstrates the difficulties many refugees face when attempting to escape the risk of harm at home and find safety elsewhere – whether they travel by leaky boat, or through international airports surrounded by business travellers and holiday-
Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook post, marking 15 years since he hatched the social network in his Harvard dorm, claims Facebook has the potential to be “profoundly positive” for years. Certainly, Facebook has changed diplomacy by changing the way people connect and communicate.
How do you get a policymaker who has professed their scepticism about the value of global health programs to support them?
The US government is responsible for roughly one-third of all global health aid, significant cuts could have effects on the entire global health system.
In the case of the
The dramatic bid for asylum by Saudi Arabian teenager Rahaf al-Qanun became the focus of international attention this month when she barricaded herself into a hotel room in Bangkok airport after officials had told her that she would be deported to Kuwait. Al-Qanun took to social media, tweeting that
A recording of an alleged “sonic attack” on US diplomats in Cuba has been analysed by scientists and found to be … crickets.
Rumours of a mysterious attack on staff at the US embassy in Havana first surfaced in 2016 after diplomats reported hearing loud, piercing noises at night and
The political cracks are widening in Washington, as US President Donald Trump struggles to fulfill his 2016 presidential campaign pledge to build a wall at the US southern border and have Mexico pay for it.
Distancing himself from the original promise, with customary chicanery, Trump announced
Book review: America vs the West, by Kori Schake (Lowy Institute Paper, Penguin, 2018)
In a chaotic spectacle that is shaking the world, the Trump administration is putting a wrecking ball to the American-led international order. For 70 years, the United States has been the leader and
“Climate change is the greatest health challenge of the 21st century”. Such is the conclusion of the latest report by the World Health Organization (WHO), released last month to coincide with the COP24 climate conference in Katowice, Poland. The report makes clear that immediate action on
A worrying recent trend of violence outside of war zones, some of it state-sanctioned, has captured the attention of governments and, increasingly, the public. The Interpreter covered some of the best-known instances, and some sadly overlooked ones.
On 4 March, former Russian
These are the articles that were most popular among our readers in 2018.
10. Turkey must be thinking of the Bomb, by Wayne McLean
There are strong incentives for a nuclear pathway given Turkey’s vulnerabilities and strategic position. Turkey has historically eschewed a nuclear program because
Renewable energy is high on the development agenda for the Pacific. The Lowy Institute’s Pacific Aid Map showed that donors and Pacific Island Countries are making a concerted effort to implement ambitious renewable energy goals. For example, the Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa, Tonga, and Tuvalu aim to
This truce is by no means the end of trade tensions between China and the US.
Over what was undoubtedly a delicious dinner last Saturday night on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Buenos Aires, US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to extend the deadline for the
Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan, high ranking officials of the Pol Pot regime, have been sentenced to life imprisonment twice over for their role in the genocide of the Cham Muslim and ethnic Vietnamese minorities during the Khmer Rouge era.
The landmark judgment delivered this month by the
A Chinese rover on the Moon. An Indian satellite at Mars. A Japanese commander of the International Space Station. An imminent launch of a Chinese lander to the far side of the Moon. Future Chinese plans for robot missions to Mars and Indian plans for Venus.
Spaceflight across Asia has advanced
Last month, Tencent Chairman and Chief Executive Pony Ma (马化腾) sent out an open letter, announcing a major strategic shift in direction for one of Asia’s most valuable technology firms.
“We believe that the first stage of the mobile internet, the consumer internet, is drawing to a close
With a series of state elections due and the federal election looming, there are important lessons that Australia needs to learn from the tone of US politics. In particular, there is a responsibility for Australia’s political leaders to act in ways that ensure, and do not undermine, the integrity
In a bid to promote its palm oil-free products for the looming Christmas consumption frenzy, British supermarket chain Iceland recently sought to repurpose a moving Greenpeace campaign ad. The Disney-like cartoon shows a baby orangutan in a British child’s bedroom, disturbed by chocolate and
A New York Times article this month revealed a new tactic in the US war against election disinformation. US election officials had notified Russians suspected of involvement in online disinformation campaigns in the lead up to the mid-term elections that they were “on notice”, and that their
The TPP, the biggest and most controversial trade deal in recent decades, has just passed the Senate in Australia with bipartisan support. Despite its speedy confirmation, the TPP warranted more serious scrutiny than it was afforded.
While for its proponents, the TPP is a “gold standard” “
Successive federal governments have declared Australia to be an “energy superpower”. The 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper is the most recent example, highlighting the size of Australia’s exports of coal and liquefied natural gas.
Yet Australian foreign policy has often overlooked energy
When a gang robs a bank, it’s a crime. When a nation launches an attack on another state’s territory, it’s an act of war. But what is it when a nation state robs another state’s banks, without ever setting foot on their soil?
While political leaders and policymakers are increasingly aware
At first glance, it appears a sea change is underway in how Japanese banks and financial firms treat fossil fuels. According to a comprehensive study released by 350.org in September – Energy Finance in Japan 2018 – Japanese financial institutions underwrote over US$80 billion in loans for
In mid-September, rumours swirled that Huawei Technologies, the world’s largest telecommunications firm, would be acquired by an unnamed Chinese state-owned enterprise (SOE), effectively nationalising the company, which operates in 170 countries.
The rumours were substantial enough to warrant a
It is near impossible to find any mention of the Chinese chip hacking story in Bloomberg Businessweek that does not use the words “bombshell” or “explosive” to describe the piece. These descriptions have become cliché. But the cliché is fitting because even if the story unravels amid
Gender advocates cheered around the world last week, despite events in Washington and elsewhere putting a dampener on hope for gender equality.
Nadia Murad and Dr Denis Mukwege were announced as the joint winners of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize “for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence
The US appointed its first openly gay ambassador in 1999. President Bill Clinton gave James Hormel a recess appointment as US Ambassador to Luxembourg after two years of a blocked Senate campaign. Since then, an additional six openly gay male ambassadors have been appointed by the US, including
As the world’s eyes are focused on the unfolding Rohingya refugee crisis Bangladesh, to the east in India another danger may be brewing for the Rohingya Muslim community.
Over the past year since the latest wave of state-backed violence and displacement began in northern Myanmar, almost a
As it happens, the United States holds the presidency of the United Nations Security Council during the annual diplomatic gabfest at the UN General Assembly.
Traditionally, that means the president of the US can choose to chair a Security Council meeting if he or she desires to spotlight a
A new report co-authored by Lord Nicholas Stern made headlines earlier this month with the projection that efforts to transition to a low carbon economy within the next 15 years could add $26 trillion to the global economy. The report is underpinned by the concept of “green growth”, an
In the four decades that have followed China’s initial stage of post-Mao “Reform and Opening Up”, the world has learned to expect great things from the Middle Kingdom’s centrally-planned economy. It has established itself as the low-end “factory of the world” and orchestrated an
It says much about the UN Secretary-General that the two men widely regarded as the greatest to hold the office went in with the lowest expectations.
Dag Hammarskjöld was an unknown Swedish civil servant who found out he was a candidate for the position when he received the telegram offering it
Imagine living on a low–lying atoll island in the Pacific and having just survived a severe cyclone. Your island is in ruins and you have lost everything. Humanitarian help is insufficient, your children need urgent medical care, but hospitals are not functioning, and your only hope is to join
Those concerned with global peace and justice are grieving the death of Kofi Annan.
Annan was elected UN Secretary-General in 1996 after a vigorously contested election campaign. Boutros Boutros-Ghali from Egypt had been denied a second term by US opposition in the Security Council. There was
A dramatic shift is underway in the global automotive market. Electric vehicles (EVs), once viewed as toys, are gaining momentum.
There are now more than 4 million electric vehicles on the road globally, up from only 100,000 a few years ago, and 2018 EV sales alone are on track to exceed 1.6
Public surveillance has proven to be of great value for a host of public-order interests, from traffic management in large cities to provision of vital intelligence and evidence in criminal activities.
The extent of surveillance in a jurisdiction tends to reflect the values of the government
I have a game I like to play when listening to speeches on international affairs. I make myself a bingo grid featuring the phrases most overused currently, and mark them off. (I once unwisely offered to play with Julia Gillard’s speechwriter but not, thankfully, during one of her speeches.) “
As far as international groupings go, BRICS was always considered head-scratchingly strange: a disparate group of nations with very little to link them, whether it be geographical size, language, or form of governance. What Brazil, Russia, India, China, and the late entrant South
At the Overseas Development Institute, Marta Foresti writes about the need to look for ways to “do migration differently”. Foresti argues that recent migration-related news such as the MS Aquarius stand-off and family separations in the US carry hard lessons about which approaches are working
The photograph from the G7 summit at La Malbaie, Canada, released recently on Instagram by German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s team, had the internet buzzing. Jesco Denzel’s image of Merkel in discussion with US President Donald Trump went viral, provoking memes that ranged from an
The Australian Government will soon unveil contentious national security legislation granting law enforcement exceptional access under warrant to the encrypted data of suspected criminals. Getting the regulatory approach wrong could leave Australians exposed to a greater security risk, or left
Developments in technology are challenging economists, businesses, and governments alike, confronting traditional methodologies and foundational ideas. Technology is genuinely disruptive.
There is a growing disconnect between businesses facing frenetic change and economic discussions which
The announcement the US was leaving the United Nations Human Rights Council did not come as a shock, especially after calls for an inquiry into clashes over the new US Embassy in Jerusalem.
US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley described the council as a “hypocritical and
This article is based on episodes 2 and 3 of the Good Will Hunters podcast, with Professor Paul James, former Director of UN Cities, and Beth Eggleston, Co-Founder and Director of the Humanitarian Advisory Group.
On 9 June, the first TEDx event to be held in a refugee camp took place in
Indonesia has successfully won its bid for a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council 2019–20, but what is the country likely to achieve?
There are, of course, significant constraints to what a non-permanent member of the Security Council can do within the UN
629 migrants aboard the MS Aquarius were allowed ashore at Valencia, Spain, on 17 June, after a week-long ordeal resulting from the Italian government’s refusal to let the boat dock at any Italian port. The Aquarius, operated by Doctors Without Borders, had rescued the migrants from six
The rescue of a four-year-old child dangling from a balcony in Paris by a young migrant from Mali, Mamoudou Gassama, made global headlines. Gassama’s subsequent meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, who promised him the documentation needed to live legally in France, has sparked
Debate arose in Papua New Guinea last week over comments made by Communications Minister Sam Basil about the possible imposition of a month-long ban on Facebook. This partial internet shutdown, according to Basil, would allow the government to conduct research on the use of anonymous