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Global Issues

Interview: Adam Minter on the Junkyard Planet

Journalist Adam Minter has written a fascinating account of the global rubbish and recycling industry. I recommended his book, Junkyard Planet, as one of my top 'development books' of 2013. Here is part 1 of an interview I am conducting with Adam via email, and below the text a couple of captioned

Syria and the Geneva conference

The so-called Geneva II conference ended last Friday.  The key to any negotiation regarding Syria is to aim low and keep one's expectations realistic. It is fair to say that UN mediator Lakhdar Brahimi's (pictured) aim was simply to get two of the sides in a room.  His claim that he didn't

G20 outreach and non-G20 member views on the G20

This issue of the Monitor addresses the issue of G20 outreach and presents a collection of perspectives from non-G20 member countries on the role and performance of the G20. The contributors have been asked to identify where the G20 process can add value and how it can be improved

Tony Abbott's G20 vision at Davos: It's a start

On 23 February Prime Minister Abbott delivered a much anticipated speech to World Economic Forum at Davos outlining Australia's vision for the G20. The immediate response on Twitter was largely negative.  Chris Giles from the Financial Times tweeted: 'sign of the times, Rouhani (President of Iran

Reader riposte: N enrichment in Australia and beyond

Richard Broinowski writes: In his speculative piece on a regional uranium enrichment plant in Australia, John Carlson gets a few things wrong. First, it is inaccurate to suggest that but for Labor's opposition, Australia might now be well on the way to establishing a uranium enrichment facility.

Syria: Is Assad the solution?

As Syria stumbles into its third year of conflict, President Assad continues to bank on his belief that the longer he remains in power, the more likely that the opposition will be seen as a combination of Islamists, carpetbaggers, proxies and miscreants, and that the West will somehow reluctantly

A regional uranium enrichment centre in Australia?

It may seem anomalous that Australia, with a third of the world's uranium reserves, does not have a uranium enrichment industry to value-add on uranium exports.  This was seriously considered in the 1970s, when a consortium of four major Australian resource companies conducted an enrichment

Why metadata matters (and data too)

If you have been reassured by the claim that intelligence agencies such as the US National Security Agency are 'only' collecting metadata from millions of mobile phone and internet users (for instance, details of whom a user is emailing and when, but not the content of those emails), then this ought

Australia takes the G20 chair: Now what?

The starter's gun has fired on Australia's G20 presidency. It was a low key start. The Prime Minister's media release was very brief. This is a positive. The G20 should always be business-like, with the focus on achieving substantive outcomes rather than on the event itself. Start to worry if we

Thoughts from the 'father of the G20'

Mike Callaghan is Director of the Lowy Institute's G20 Studies Centre. Former Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin is often referred to as 'the father of the G20’. While Canada’s finance minister, he was the driving force behind the establishment of the G20 and was selected by the G7 in 1999 to

The clock is ticking on G20 preparations

In this op-ed for the Australian Financial Review, Director of the G20 Studies Centre, Mike Callaghan, discusses the essential steps the government should take in chairing the G20, including authoring a concept paper and encouraging leader engagement

Playbook for the Brisbane G20 summit

Australia will chair the G20 for 12 months from 1 December 2013. It will be the largest international economic meeting ever held in Australia. This paper outlines the strategy, priorities and steps required for the Brisbane G20 summit to be a success – it is a ‘playbook’ for

US shutdown just the latest G20 headache

Mike Callaghan is Director of the Lowy Institute's G20 Studies Centre. When G20 finance ministers meet in Washington, DC at the IMF Annual Meetings on 10-11 October, there will much  to discuss and worry about. A glance at the headlines identifies many of the issues that should be on their minds

The election's G20 factor

One of the more unanticipated explanations for the Rudd government’s delay in announcing the date of election 2013 is the need to factor in the G20 leaders’ summit on September 5-6 in St Petersburg. 

If the G20 is so great, why isn't Rudd going?

Hugh Jorgensen is a Research Associate in the Lowy Institute's G20 Studies Centre. It took me three years of work to get us into the G20. We are hosting it next year. To have this jammed up against a federal election date is a problem and if I can overcome that problem I will. — Kevin

G20 needs to ask the big questions

In an opinion piece for The Australian Financial Review, Director of the G20 Studies Centre, Mike Callaghan, writes about the current state of international financial regulation, and the contribution Australia can make in this area when it chairs the G20 in 2014

G20 on tax avoidance: Talk or action?

Mike Callaghan is Director of the Lowy Institute's G20 Studies Centre. There were reports prior to the G20 finance ministers' meeting in Moscow on 19-20 July that, while G20 gatherings do not always set the pulse racing, this gathering had a better chance than most of grabbing the attention of

G20: Rudd should go because it's important

Mike Callaghan is Director of the Lowy Institute's G20 Studies Centre. The G20 Leaders' summit in St Petersburg on 5-6 September 2013 continues to be a factor influencing the timing of the Australian federal election. But it says something about the status of the G20 when commentators argue that

The G20 Leaders’ process five years on: an assessment from an Asian perspective

One of the most significant developments in global economic leadership in recent years has been the development of the G20 Leaders’ Summit. After a positive start, particularly with the 2009 London G20 Leaders’ Summit, the G20 has more recently been criticized as losing focus and making

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