Friday 22 Feb 2019 | 12:59 | SYDNEY
What's happening on

Uncategorized

Where Rudd might end up on team Guterres

With the UN General Assembly expected to approve Antonio Guterres as the next UN secretary-general (SG) this week, 'the race is on to join team Guterres'. As Peter Nadin has suggested, Kevin Rudd may try to translate his work as chair of the Independent Commission on Multilateralism (ICM) into a '

Australia's military equipment in Yemen

It’s not often that the maritime environment features prominently in any Middle Eastern conflict, but in the waters of the Red Sea off the coast of Yemen there have been two noteworthy incidents recently, both of which have a decidedly Australian angle (even if these weren't obvious at first

Starting anew in Uzbekistan

By Deirdre Tynan and Magdalena Grono, respectively the Central Asia Project Director and the Europe and Central Asia Program Director for International Crisis Group. Outside powers may be relieved that the death of Islam Karimov, Uzbekistan's president since 1991, has been followed by a seemingly

Reporting migration: Big challenges for old and new media

By Rachael Buckland, an intern with the Lowy Institute's Migration and Border Policy project Last week Helen Boaden, director of BBC Radio, resigned after 34 years working for the English broadcaster and delivered a stirring speech at the Prix Italia festival in Lampedusa criticising journalism.

A Foreign Policy White Paper: How to do it right

What exactly is the new Foreign Affairs White Paper supposed to do?  The foreign minister’s own words don’t help much. A ’philosophical framework to guide Australia’s engagement, regardless of international events’, sounds dangerously like a collection of pious platitudes. And how

A renegotiated TPP may not be in our interest

After a decade of negotiation, the Trans-Pacific Partnership was signed a year ago by its 12 participants, to come into force when ratified by the partners' legislatures. America's ratification is the key, and as President Obama had achieved 'fast track authority', Congress should either agree or

Brexit and Australia: No need to rush for an FTA

Speaking at the Conservative Party conference, UK Prime Minister Theresa May added some clarity to the Brexit debate by stating that formal negotiations for British withdrawal from the European Union will begin no later than March 2017. Australian ears pricked up at this announcement, and with good

Timor Sea dispute: Timor-Leste is running out of time

Earlier this year, Timor-Leste initiated United Nations Compulsory Conciliation (UNCC) proceedings under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) to assist in resolving its maritime boundary dispute with Australia. While Australia disputed the jurisdiction of the UNCC,  the

Syria: What we could do now

I wrote previously about the practical difficulties of military intervention, difficulties which pundits and commentators gloss over when criticising Obama for doing nothing ('Syria: What Are We Going to do Now?').  One key element missing from the plans of the 'for God's sake let's do

Protectionist spectre looms over IMF-World Bank meetings

Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison will attend the IMF-World Bank annual meetings that kick off today (Friday 7 October) in Washington. Should we expect 'big' outcomes from these meetings? On past form, no. The best we can hope is that finance ministers come away a little wiser and a little more

The race is on to join team Guterres at the UN

António Manuel de Oliveira Guterres is all but confirmed as the next secretary-general of the United Nations with the Security Council set to forward his nomination to the General Assembly. He will become the fourth Western European, the ninth man, and the first former head of government to

Rudd’s latest manoeuvre in the race to lead the UN

The indefatigable Kevin Rudd appeared in the news on the UN secretary-general (SG) race yet again in recent days. After denying that Rudd had sought out other countries to nominate him for SG, his spokesperson released a statement claiming that another government had approached Rudd about giving him

Syria: What are we going to do now?

As the media becomes full with images of the bombing of Aleppo, calls for military action by Washington to stop civilian deaths become louder and louder. As a former military planner though, I side with President Obama when he says that he hasn’t seen a military option that stops the civil war

Don’t blame globalisation

While Donald Trump plans to fix America’s economic malaise by blocking imports from Mexico and China, the latest IMF World Economic Outlook laments the slow growth of global trade. They can’t both be right. It is almost exactly 200 years since David Ricardo set out the advantages of countries

Kerry abandons diplomacy’s golden rule – for now

A cardinal principle of diplomacy is never to allow frustration over failed negotiations to prevent their eventual resumption. US Secretary of State John Kerry now appears to have done this overnight following collapse on 19 September of the Aleppo ceasefire he had painstakingly negotiated with

Obama and the Israeli story

President Barack Obama made what is likely to be his final trip to the Middle East as president on Friday to deliver a eulogy for Shimon Peres. It was full of personal memories of his conversations with Peres, who for most of Obama's presidency was his protocol opposite in Israel and, perhaps more

John Curtin's turn to America, 75 years on

This December will mark the 75th anniversary of one of the most momentous developments in Australian foreign policy, war-time Prime Minister John Curtin's famous turn to America. As we relax after Christmas and tune in to the Boxing Day Test, it may be worth reflecting on Curtin's New Year's

The Interpreter is taking a short break

Readers, Monday is the Labour Day public holiday here in Australia, so normal publication resumes on Tuesday. But look out for our usual weekly wrap tomorrow morning, and then at noon, a special Saturday article by the Shadow Foreign Minister, Senator Penny Wong, in what will be her first

Elon Musk's beguiling Mars vision

Earlier this week tech entrepreneur Elon Musk announced his company SpaceX's vision for human colonisation of Mars. Musk has been treated as something of a visionary in recent years for his leadership of the electric car company Tesla, but the company's planned takeover of SolarCity has been badly

What Malaysia has to gain from migration reform

By Rachael Buckland, an intern with the Migration and Border Policy Project, and Jiyoung Song, Director of the Migration and Border Policy Project. Asia is home to the most refugees and displaced people of any region, including the world's largest-known stateless group, Myanmar's Rohingya. Although

Reflections of a G20 scholar

Tomorrow will be the final official day of the Lowy Institute for International Policy’s G20 Studies Centre.  Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison will be speaking at the Lowy Institute tomorrow on the themes of trade, investment and immigration, all crucial dimensions to current discussions

Quick comment: Richard McGregor on Xi Jinping

It is rarely acknowledged that the list of Australian journalists working on China in recent times is pretty stellar. Just off the top of my head I can think of Jane Perlez (New York Times), John Garnaut (formerly Fairfax), Stephen McDonell (BBC), Chris Buckley (New York Times) and of course Richard

India's strategic restraint on Kashmir

Two weeks on from the worst attack on Indian soldiers in Kashmir for decades, the dust is starting to settle. Many Indian politicians, press, and analysts had struck a relentlessly hostile note, demanding that New Delhi take (in their view) long overdue military action against the Pakistani

TV trailer: Designated Survivor

This is a new series which has just started airing in the US and is available on Netflix here in Australia. It's a compelling premise for a series, and the reviews are generally positive. (H/t JG

West Papua high on Pacific Islands Forum agenda

The issue of human rights in West Papua was high on the agenda at the recent Pacific Islands Forum in the Federated States of Micronesia. Despite the sensitivities for member countries like Australia and Papua New Guinea, leaders at the forum also agreed the issue should stay on the agenda for

China's big dish is a big deal for Planet Earth

China has now started to operate the world's largest radio telescope. The 500-metre Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST) rests in a natural depression in Guizhou, and resembles the famous 300 metre Arecibo dish in Puerto Rico. Size alone does not speak of its power. The telescope's reflecting

Australia should take a stand on Veloso

In April last year, Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran were among eight people executed by firing squad in Indonesia. Their deaths brought the issue of capital punishment to the forefront of Australia’s consciousness and reignited debate over the practice on a global scale. 

Pages