Reports that former Senator Scott Brown is the likely nominee to be US ambassador to New Zealand has caused an intense, and essentially negative, reaction here in New Zealand. The issue raises the delicate relationship between political judgements and diplomatic procedure. Both are essential; they occupy different spaces but their circles intersect. It is open […]
Last month I was in Senegal representing the NZ branch of Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA). The conference focused on the International Criminal Court (ICC). The ICC has had its tribulations since its birth 15 years ago, but it still represents a major step forward in the long human drama of securing global peace and […]
Since the UN Security Council adopted resolution 2334, there has been more heat than light shed on the continuing Israel-Palestine crisis and the faltering prospects for peace. Israel, claiming it has been abandoned and betrayed by its traditional supporters, especially the United States, has reacted with unprecedented rage. But nobody has changed positions. The tendency […]
Every year is special, but 2016 has been extraordinary. We are, I think, witness to two global revolutions, occurring simultaneously. One is of a world uniting. The other is of a world fragmenting. This push-and-pull, yin and yang, will go on, possibly forever, since they evoke two instincts deep in the human psyche. But this […]
Last week I commented on the atrocity that was occurring in Syria, and asked what the world, and we here in New Zealand, might do. An associate-atrocity is occurring in the same region, in Yemen, but with less global scrutiny. The same questions need to be addressed. In a sense, the proxy support from the […]
It’s hard to be objective in today’s post-truth world. But we have to try. US intelligence officials have recently alleged that Russian actors influenced the 2016 election through hacking individuals and institutions, under the supervision of President Putin. The allegation is that while the intrusion began with a general intent to undermine the credibility of […]
Syria is the world’s current agony. The civil war is five years old. That is too long for a civil war. Ideally they would not occur at all. Once they occur, they should not be allowed to continue. What goes wrong? The global structures for handling conflict are undeveloped. The structures, principles and methods we […]
Humanity has woken, after a quarter-century of fitful slumber, to the fact of climate change. Dangerous climate change.
With nuclear disarmament, people have been trying to find common ground since the first General Assembly resolution in 1946. The disarmament effort has been undermined by strategic rivalry and stalemates, despite the obvious threat that the continued existence of nuclear weapons poses to all of us.
When the Government announced it would need to uphold public safety during the upcoming International Naval Review, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was talking about wearing life jackets. But actually, the Government is applying restrictions that stop people boating and even swimming in parts of Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour for twelve days. Yesterday the Minister […]