Another scar on global democracy appeared recently, this time in Germany.It seems that the number of soldiers on duty with extremist political leanings has become a concern to the military leadership in that country. Soldiers were found openly possessing Nazi memorabilia. Germany’s defence minister and the Chief of its Defence Forces ordered an investigation, vowing […]
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 […]
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.
In the course of a century there are just a few events that change the direction of history. The early 20th century witnessed the First World War and the creation of the League of Nations. The mid-20th saw the second war and the United Nations. The late-20th saw the end of the Cold War, and […]
Prime Minister John Key is in Fiji this week, in the first visit by a New Zealand PM since the coup led by Frank Bainimarama in 2006. Bainimarama was subsequently elected as Prime Minister in 2014 – the first election to take place in 8 years.
I was in the US last week, Washington DC for 3 days and New York for one. In DC, I had a board meeting for The Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment (GLOBE) International to attend. GLOBE-International is developing a world-wide strategy of parliamentary activity to ensure that governments meet their Paris obligations, […]
The New Zealand Green Party welcomes the election victory of Syriza in Greece — a cross-party coalition that includes the Greek Green Party. On 25 January, Syriza won Greece’s parliamentary election with 36 percent of the votes. That translates into 149 out of the 300 seats in the Greek Parliament, including 50 bonus seats for […]
I was relieved today that my colleague Kennedy Graham put out a media release challenging our Government to raise human rights concerns with the President of the country formerly known as Burma. I went to that country last year. I was impressed by how many people spoke to me about their hope for peace and […]
(All photos via the Guardian, the New York Times and Indymedia) Early November saw a huge surge in violence between Hamas and Israel: A Palestinian man kisses the hand of a dead relative: A Palestinian officer inspects an unexploded Israeli missile which landed in the Gaza strip: Ibrahim Khamis, a Palestinian refugee in Ramallah. He […]
I am pleased with the recent report of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee to Parliament, which calls for the New Zealand Government to support a Global Nuclear Weapons Convention. I have a draft member’s bill along these lines as part of my Global Affairs portfolio on which I have been speaking around the country in […]