Welcome to the Centre for Strategic Studies
The Centre for Strategic Studies is the New Zealand anchor for research and public dialogue on strategic and security issues. We’re proud to announce that the 2013 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report, produced by the International Relations Program of the University of Pennsylvania, ranks CSS second among think tanks in Asia and the Pacific. We’ve also been designated as the 31st best university-affiliated think tank worldwide. More than 6800 think tanks are listed in the index and thousands of international scholars, policymakers, journalists, government officials, donors and think tank executives provide peer and expert review to the rankings.
The Centre has three main streams of activity:
- The research programme, the fruits of which can been seen via the Centre publications link on this site
- The professional development programme for government stakeholders
- Maintenance and development of international relationships, especially through the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific for which the Centre is the New Zealand focal point.
CSCAP Study Group on Energy Security, Singapore 15-15 December 2014: Centre Director Jim Rolfe represented New Zealand CSCAP at the first meeting of the new study group dealing with issues of energy security. The study group examined questions relating to the trade-offs between energy supply, economic cost and environmental protection as well as issues surrounding the safety, security and institutional safeguards within energy production chains. Ultimately the study group will make recommendations in the form of a CSCAP Policy memorandum to the ASEAN Regional Forum, for which this issue is a significant agenda item.
‘Strategies for Countering ISIS’ Roundtable Discussion – 9 December 2014: On 9 December the Centre for Strategic Studies held a roundtable discussion with Dr Jonathan Spyer, Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) at Herzliya, Israel, on strategies for countering ISIS. The background factors discussed included the evolution of ISIS in the context of recent developments in Syria and Iraq, the competition between ISIS and other groups opposing the Assad regime, and the interactions between the situations in Syria and Lebanon. The roundtable discussion also featured a range of views on the scope and prospects of the US-led strategy against ISIS, the relationship between the use of air power and developments on the ground in both Iraq and Syria, and the likely perspectives of neighbouring states including Iran, Turkey and Israel.
CSS representatives at trilateral dialogue in Kuala Lumpur -18-20 November 2014; and dialogues in New Delhi – 24 November: Paul Sinclair, Regional Security Fellow at the Centre for Strategic Studies, and Brian Lynch, Senior Fellow at the Centre, participated in the annual Australia/New Zealand/ASEAN trilateral dialogue in Kuala Lumpur 18-20 November. The New Zealand delegation was led by the Asia New Zealand Foundation. Paul moderated the first session which discussed managing strategic dynamics in the Asia Pacific and examined such issues as the challenges ASEAN faces in maintaining its centrality, and the roles Australia and New Zealand might play as the new dynamics unfold. Brian was a lead discussant for the session that asked whether Asia-Pacific economic integration is at a crossroads and which examined progress with TPP, RCEP and the FTAAP. Other sessions discussed lessons learned from the disappearance of MH370, national security and international law in cyber space, irregular migration in a people-centred ASEAN, and lessons learned from 40 years of ASEAN-Australian relations.
Following the trilateral dialogue Paul and Brian travelled to New Delhi for two sets of dialogue with the Indian Council for World Affairs on 24 November and the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses on 25 November. The New Zealand delegation was jointly led by the Asia New Zealand Foundation and the New Zealand India Research Institute. Paul presented a paper on geopolitical trends in the Asia-Pacific for both dialogues and Brian discussed policy shifts in India and New Zealand under new governments on both days. Other subjects discussed included multilateralism in the Indo-Pacific and which featured some discussion of the Indo-Pacific concept; possible areas of cooperation between India and New Zealand, a session which generated a number of ideas for strengthening the relationship, and the role of the Indian diaspora.
South Korean delegation visits CSS - 3 November 2014: A Delegation from South Korea’s Ministry of Unification led by Chun Hae-Sung, assistant Minister for Inter-Korean dialogue, held discussions with the Centre for Strategic Studies on 3 December. The discussions focused on prospects for a revival of the long-stalled Six Party Talks, North Korea’s relations with China, Russia and Japan, the DPRK’s nuclear capability, and the desirability of establishing a north-east Asian security architecture.
CSS presentation at Brunei Seminar – 25 November 2014: Centre Director Jim Rolfe presented a paper on ‘Defence Diplomacy and Regional Military Cooperation’ at a seminar sponsored by the Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkia Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies in Brunei Darussalam. The seminar was intended as background for Brunei Defence officials involved in the preparation of the nation’s next Defence White Paper. Papers at the seminar were presented by a range of regional scholars. More detail on the seminar is available at the Brunei Ministry of Defence website.
CSS hosts Brunei Study Tour Group – 13 November 2014: A delegation of 22 Senior Officials from Brunei representing a range of government ministries, called on the Centre of Strategic Studies on 13 November. The visit was part of a programme arranged by MFAT for the delegation which is undertaking a professional development study tour. Dr Jim Rolfe, Director of CSS, and Paul Sinclair briefed the group on the role of the Centre; its interaction with the New Zealand Government and track two and track one and a half processes. This was followed by a wide-ranging discussion of regional security issues that included the South China Sea and maritime security, the US pivot, the challenge presented by the Islamic State, non-conventional threats and food security.
CSS hosts UN Security Council discussion - 10 November 2014: The Centre hosted a roundtable to discuss a draft paper by CSS Senior Fellow, Terence O’Brien, on issues surrounding New Zealand’s election to a term on the UN Security Council. The roundtable was attended by analysts, scholars and current practitioners. Discussion, conducted under the Chatham House rule, was both of the substantive issues the Council and New Zealand might have to address and the processes and resources necessary to address the issues. The paper is scheduled to be published in the New Zealand International Review early in 2015.
Roundtable on Indian Strategic Perspectives – 22 October 2014: The Centre for Strategic Studies hosted a roundtable on ‘India’s Strategic Perspectives’, led by Balaji Chandramohan who directs the Asia Pacific Bureau of World News Forecast, a United States news website. Topics covered included India’s naval links with Japan, Indonesia, and Australia which he described as a strategic partnership; India-China relations; India-US relations; the significantly expanded defence relationship between Australia and India; India’s growing involvement in “out-of-area operations”; India’s objectives in securing membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation; and India’s strategic interests in central Asia and in the Indian Ocean. He also flagged a possible shift in Indian defence thinking towards developing an offensive land-based military capability.
CSS presentation to NZDF Command and Staff College - 15 October 2014: Centre staff and senior fellows provided a panel presentation on regional security issues to the New Zealand Command and Staff College. Jim Rolfe, Paul Sinclair, Terence O’Brien and Michael Powles raised issues that ranged across regional cooperation, great power relationships, South China Sea and the evolving regional security architecture, the Pacific Islands as a component of New Zealand’s interests and, in recognition of the Staff College’s imminent visit to the country, the relationship between India and the Asia-Pacific region. The discussion following the individual presentations went into these issues in more detail and raised many more.
Presentation to Goh Keng Swee Command and Staff College, Singapore - 9 October 2014: CSS Director of Research David Capie gave a presentation on 'Defence diplomacy and peacekeeping' to the Goh Keng Swee Command and Staff College Seminar on 'International Security in the Asia-Pacific: Beyond ASEAN Centred-Security?' at the Singapore Armed Forces Training Institute. Capie discussed the growing interest in peacekeeping in Southeast Asia and its place in the ASEAN Political and Security Community and multilateral arrangements like the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) and ADMM Plus (ADMM+). He noted that in 2013 Indonesia pledged to significantly increase its contributions to UN peacekeeping missions, with the aim of becoming a top ten troop contributing country. Cambodia and Vietnam have also begun supporting PKOs and ASEAN is taking up the issue through its plans for a Network of Peacekeeping Training Centres. He said there are still material and normative constraints on closer cooperation on peacekeeping, but the issue appears likely to only grow in importance in the region in the future.
Rountable on Subnational Governance in Myanmar - 6 October 2014: The Centre for Strategic Studies held a roundtable with Dr Matthew Arnold, Assistant Director, Program Strategy, Innovation and Learning with the Asia Foundation, on sub-national governance in Myanmar. Subjects covered included decentralisation reforms, prospects for the 2015 national elections, the composition of region and state legislatures, the prevailing influence of the military on national and regional politics, the Rohingya refugee problem, and social services provided by non-state armed groups.
Rountable with Canadian Deputy Minister of Defence -12 September 2014: CSS hosted Mr Richard Fadden, Canadian Deputy Minister (Secretary, in New Zealand terms) of National Defence to a round table discussion. Mr Fadden opened the discussion by talking about Canada’s interests in the Arctic, in global terrorism and in the Asia-Pacific region. The wider conversation then traversed the roles of China and the United States in the region, events in Ukraine, NATO’s role and tensions in Northeast Asia. Overall, a useful exchange of views which allowed New Zealand participants to get an informal sense of Canada’s thinking on issues that are also of considerable interest to New Zealand.
CSS presentations to NZIIA Napier & Havelock North - 4 September 2014: CSS Director of Research, David Capie, gave two public talks to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs branches in Napier and Havelock North. The talks, entitled “Southeast Asia in the Changing Regional Order: Towards Conflict or Community?” discussed ASEAN’s ambitious plans for forging an economic, social-cultural and political-security community in 2015. Capie argued that while Southeast Asia faces a number of challenges, not least divisive territorial disputes in the South China Sea, ASEAN continues to be seen as an important vehicle for cooperation by all regional states. Although some of the goals for the ASEAN Community might not be achieved by next year, he said ASEAN has taken important steps towards creating a more integrated region and remains a key partner for New Zealand.
Regional Security Architecture Workshop, Beijing - 1-3 September 2014: CSS Director Jim Rolfe attended a workshop on ‘Regional Security Architecture’ and presented a paper on the changing dynamics of regional security in Beijing 1-3 September. The Workshop, co-hosted by the China Institute of International Studies and CSCAP China, attracted participants from across the region, and from North America and Europe. Issues discussed ranged across the current regional security situation, the effectiveness of regional security mechanisms, the roles of the major powers and how best to ensure that security mechanisms did, in practice, contribute to regional security. The discussion was extremely open, more so than in many such events held in China, but the conclusions ranged from a desire to make the current system work to the thought that there should be a hierarchical approach to regional security, with the East Asia Summit as the apex of a descending grouping of regional mechanisms, each focusing on a specific area of regional activity or concern. This is an issue that will continue to engage regional attention, but there should be no expectation of an early resolution as to the ‘best’ way ahead.
CSS represented at Third Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum – 28 August 2014: Paul Sinclair, Regional Security Fellow at the Centre for Strategic Studies, participated in the Third Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum (EAMF) held in Da Nang, Vietnam under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Global Security Fund. The forum is unique in the region in that while there are several regional forums that focus on maritime security issues, the EAMF is the only one that provides an opportunity for think tank representatives to join officials in discussing the key issues. The forum discussed the need for progress in implementing the Declaration of Conduct in the South China Sea, recent developments in maritime cooperation including proposals for maritime environmental awareness seafarers training and fisheries management workshops, strengthening cooperation in rapid responses to disasters, incidents at sea and for search and rescue, the implementation of maritime confidence building measures and the future direction of the EAMF. Paul presented a paper on strengthening regional search and rescue cooperation in the wake of the disappearance of MH 370.
Middle East issues Roundtable – 11 August 2014: On 11 August the Centre for Strategic Studies hosted a roundtable discussion with Dr Abdul Aziz Aluwaisheg, Assistant Secretary General for Negotiations and Strategic Dialogue at the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Dr Aluwaisheg was accompanied by his wife, Dr Hatoon Al Fassi, Assistant Professor of History at King Saud University. Topics discussed included GCC relations with the Arab League, defence cooperation among GCC members, the GCC’s relationship with Saudi Arabia, relations with Iran, the rise of jihadism, the need for political change In Baghdad, Israel and Hamas, US-Israel relations, Iran’s nuclear programme, gender issues in Saudi Arabia, and the possibility of developing a dialogue between the GCC and CSS.
Roundtable with Australian Defence Force Commander – 7 August 2014: The Centre for Strategic Studies hosted a roundtable, on 7th August, for Maj Gen Stuart Smith, Commander of the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) 1st Division/Deployable Joint Force Headquarters. Maj Gen Smith discussed ADF joint and amphibious operations for crisis and contingency response. Topics covered included the very close and efective cooperation with New Zealand’s counterpart Joint Force Headquarters, the importance of inter-agency cooperation, the challenges of operating in a heavily populated and urbanised environment, the utility of including non-governmental agencies in relevant exercises, and the important role of Police officers in many overseas operations.
US Asia-Pacific SCentre for Security Studies workshop in Vanuatu - 4- 6 August 2014: In the first week of August, Centre Senior Fellow Michael Powles represented CSS at a US Asia-Pacific Centre for Security Studies workshop on Pacific security in Vanuatu. The workshop brought some 60 participants from across the Pacific Islands region to discuss the current security environment and regional security architecture. The dominant opinion at the workshop was that there was currently no serious external threat to security in the region and therefore no need to consider changing the "architecture" which rests principally with the processes and procedures created by the Biketawa Declaration (2000). The workshop made recommendations to improve regional cooperation in customs, law enforcement and related fields. (Michael Powles’ speaking notes).
Roundtable on Australia-New Zealand defence and security relations – 1 August 2014: A robust roundtable discussion on the recent Australia-New Zealand Track 1.5 Dialogue on security issues (see separate entry below) was held on 1 August. A large group of current and recent academics and officials discussed possible divergences in the two countries’ approaches, whether this mattered, if indeed divergence is occurring, and then went on to discuss how and where New Zealand should position itself in the world on security matters. Overall, there was a thought that the countries had a general agreement on the desired overall regional security outcomes, that they might well differ on the most appropriate means to achieve those outcomes, but that at the day-to-day operating level the armed forces continued to be capable of working not only with its traditional military partners, but also with a wide range of newer partners.
Roundtable with Prof Loch K Johnson - 25 July 2014: The Centre for Strategic Studies in conjunction with Massey University’s Centre for Defence and Security Studies, hosted a roundtable with Loch K Johnson, Regents Professor of Public and International Affairs at the University of Georgia and a Meigs Distinguished Professor. Professor Johnson’s address was titled the Anglo-American Intelligence Agencies and the Defence of the Democracies. The address and ensuing discussion focussed on the problem of determining intelligence priorities in the United States given the varying interests of no fewer than 17 separate intelligence agencies, issues of connectivity among the agencies, intelligence agency accountability, and the role of intelligence in foreign poIicy.
India following the 2014 election -CSS Roundtable 22 July 2014: The Centre for Strategic Studies hosted a roundtable discussion with Professor Sumit Ganguly, who holds the Rabindranath chair in Indian Cultures and Civilisations at Indiana University and is also a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia. In a very wide-ranging talk, Professor Ganguly discussed the key issues that dominated the recent Indian election, the Modi Government’s first budget, the direction of defence foreign policy under PM Modi, social issues and problems besetting India’s defence industry. A theme of much of the seminar was the need for the Modi Government to represent all India, as the ruling BJP party is not currently seen as a party with national roots but as a party of northern and western India with a narrow party-political agenda rather than a national one.
Track 1.5 Dialogue with Australian Colleagues – 3 July 2014: The Centre partnered with the Ministry of Defence to host a Track 1.5 dialogue with Australian colleagues from the Department of Defence and the non-government analytical community. The dialogue, held under the Chatham House rule, covered regional security issues such as drivers of change, inter-state tensions and non-traditional threats, and drivers of regional cooperation. The dialogue was valuable in that it allowed official and non-official views to be aired and it revealed a substantial common understanding of regional security issues but less agreement as to what those meant in terms of appropriate strategic policy settings for the two countries.
Chinese foreign policy roundtable discussion - 1 July 2014: The Centre for Strategic Studies hosted a roundtable on 1 July with Professor Zhai Kun, Director of the Institute of World Political Studies at the China Institute for Contemporary International Relations in Beijing. The discussion focused on the apparent dichotomy in Chinese foreign policy with the growing employment of soft power alongside a more assertive stance and broader definition of China's core interests.
Roundtable with former Fiji Prime Minister – 25 June 2014: The Centre for Strategic Studies held a very well-attended roundtable with Laisenia Qarase, the last-elected prime minister of Fiji who was deposed by the Commander of the Fiji Military Forces in December 2006. Topics discussed included prospects for the forthcoming elections which will be held in September; key election issues; the new Constitution; Fiji’s relations with the Pacific Islands Forum, the Melanesian Spearhead Group and with New Zealand.
Roundtable on Northeast Asian issues - 24 June 2014: A large group of regional scholars, officials with an interest in Northeast Asia and diplomats gathered for a roundtable led by Professor of Strategic Studies, Rob Ayson, CSS Director, Jim Rolfe and CSS Regional Security Fellow, Paul Sinclair. They had separately attended a range of conferences and seminars in East Asia (in Singapore, Beijing, Seoul, Taipei and Kuala Lumpur) in late May and early June and this was an opportunity to report back on the issues raised at the events and examine some of the implications for New Zealand and the region. Discussion revolved mainly around China’s approach to regional stability, relations between China, Japan and Korea, and the perspectives held by different actors of the United States’ role in the region. A secondary but related line of discussion centred on regional order and the most effective ways of ensuring stability.
Roundtable with VP from NBR Washington – 16 June 2014: The Centre for Strategic Studies hosted a roundtable with Abe Denmark, Vice President for Political and Security Affairs at the National Bureau of Asian Research in Washington DC. Mr Denmark is engaged in a research project examining the future of United States alliances and partnerships in the Asia-Pacific region and was visiting New Zealand in the course of a programme of travel in the region as part of his research. Topics discussed included New Zealand’s relationships with the United States and China, constraints on United States power, the growth of Chinese economic and military power, Korea-Japan relations and defence engagement between China and the United States.
41st CSCAP Steering Committee Meeting – 5 June 2014: Centre Director, Jim Rolfe and Regional Security Fellow, Paul Sinclair attended the 41st CSCAP Steering Committee meeting. The meeting reviewed reports from study groups on maritime security, water resources security, countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in the Asia Pacific, and regional security architecture. It then considered proposals for a series of new study groups and requested that each proposal be further refined for subsequent approval by CSCAP members. The meeting also reviewed its procedural rules, considered a report on a CSCAP delegation’s meeting with the ASEAN Secretary General as part of a discussion on enhancing ties with the ASEAN Regional Forum.
28th Asia-Pacific Roundtable held in Kuala Lumpur – 2-4 June 2014: Dr Jim Rolfe Director of the Centre for Strategic Studies and Paul Sinclair, Regional Security Fellow attended the The roundtable opened with a keynote address from Prime Minister Najib which was presented by Minister of Home Affairs, Zahid Hamidi. Plenary sessions included a Japanese perspective on opportunities and challenges in constructing a peaceful and prosperous region presented by Mr Norio Mitsuya, Senior Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs; the “new type” of major power relations; resetting Sino-Japanese relations; fostering peace and security in the Asia Pacific; Myanmar’s political and economic reforms; ASEAN’s post-2015 agenda featuring strengthening and deepening community building; managing the maritime commons in the South China Sea; the question is Japan back?; and the dynamics of India’s rise: national imperatives and international aspirations. The roundtable finished on a sombre note with a session on the future of Thai politics.
NATO Study Tour - 19-22 May 2014: Centre Director Jim Rolfe participated in a NATO 'Partners Across the Globe' event in Brussels 19-22 May. The Partners Across the Globe grouping is one of a number of partnership programmes developed by NATO in the last 20 years and includes countries such as Australia, Japan, South Korea, Mongolia, Pakistan and Iraq as well as New Zealand. Others partnership groupings include European non-NATO countries (the Partnership for Peace), Mediterranean countries of the North African littoral (the Mediterranean Dialogue), and Gulf states The Istanbul Cooperation Initiative). The partnership programmes are designed to support Nato's mission of cooperating internationally to maintain global peace and security and are pursued in distinction to NATO's collective defence mission with its allies. The Brussels event involved briefings and discussions on the range of issues and missions important to NATO, the most prominent of which are currently the future of Afghanistan, the situation in Ukraine, the conduct of other NATO missions and the future development of the partnership programme itself. As well as the briefings, participants themselves presented national and scholarly perspectives on issues ranging from maritime security and cooperative versus collective security to lessons learned from Afghanistan and the security environment in Europe and in the Asia-Pacific.
Pacific Forum CSIS, 6-8 May 2014: Centre Director, Dr Jim Rolfe, attended a conference on 'Island State Security' in Hawaii, hosted by Pacific Forum CSIS, 6-8 May 2014 and gave a paper on New Zealand approaches to development assistance in the Pacific Island region. The conference was attended by representatives from US government agencies and from the Pacific Islands Forum, Australia, New Zealand, China and Japan as well as representatives from regional civil society. The conference examined the range of issues faced by the Pacific Island region, different national approaches to engaging with the region and the region's own perspectives on the issues.
Roundtable with visiting Senior Foreign Affairs Official from Canada -12 May 2014: The Centre for Strategic Studies held a roundtable on 12 May 2014 with Susan Gregson, Assistant Deputy Minister (Asia Pacific) in Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development. Ms Gregson was accompanied by H.E. Caroline Chrétien, Canadian High Commissioner to New Zealand. Topics discussed included the implications of China’s emergence as a major power; recent developments on the Korean Peninsula; Canada’s interest in playing a more active role in the region’s security architecture and measures taken to step up its engagement in the Asia Pacific, and the opening up of the Arctic and the challenges this poses for Canada.
Kippenberger Chair 2014 attachment completed - 12 April 2014: Professor Rosemary Foot’s attachment to the Centre as the 2014 Sir Howard Kippenberger Chair in Strategic Studies finished in style with an address to a large audience at the NZ Institute of International Affairs on the topic of ‘The Responsibility to Protect and its Evolution as a Global Norm’. In her ten weeks as a guest of the Centre, Professor Foot (from St Antony's College, Oxford) spoke to groups from Auckland to Dunedin in formal lectures, roundtable discussions, media appearances and classroom lectures with audiences ranging from the general public and students, through government officials and members of Wellington’s diplomatic community. Her material ranged widely over issues of current relevance to Asia-Pacific security, including discussions of the drivers and moderators of possible conflict in the region, relations between regional powers, including China and the US, and the region’s ever growing institutionalisation. A CSS Discussion Paper based on her formal Kippenberger lecture: ‘Constraints on Conflict in the Asia-Pacific: Balancing the War Ledger in the 21st Century’ will be published soon.
Roundtable hosted by Asia New Zealand Foundation: Dr Jim Rolfe, Director of CSS and Paul Sinclair, Regional Security Fellow, took part in a roundtable hosted by the Asia New Zealand Foundation, with Professor Nick Bisley, Executive Director of La Trobe Asia at La Trobe University in Melbourne. Professor Bisley provided an analysis of Australian foreign policy under Prime Minister Abbott. The subsequent discussion focussed on Australia’s policy towards Asia, the indo-Pacific concept, Australia’s approach to free trade agreements and Australia’s role on the United Nations Security Council.
Roundtable with Team Managing Asia Pacific Country Risk for J.P. Morgan - 27 March 2014: Dr Jim Rolfe, Director of CSS and Paul Sinclair, Regional Security Fellow, met the team managing Asia Pacific country risk for J.P. Morgan on 27 March. The Wellington visit and range of meetings with government and private sector agencies and think tanks, is part of J.P. Morgan’s annual country rating process. Subjects discussed at our meeting focussed on geo-political risks in the Asia/Pacific region including tensions in the East and South China seas, trans-national crime, the changing regional power balance and its implications, the likely increase in illegal foreign fishing encroachments in the South Pacific EEZ’s and in the Southern ocean as fishing stocks are depleted elsewhere, and the impact of climate change.
Workshop on Track Two Diplomacy and Transfer - 20-21 March 2014: CSS Director of Research, David Capie, gave a paper on “Track two diplomacy and transfer in Southeast Asia” at a workshop on Track Two Diplomacy and Transfer held at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, 20-21 March 2014. The workshop explored how track two diplomacy contributes to conflict resolution and security cooperation, with cases including Northern Ireland, Israel-Palestine, US-Soviet relations during the Cold War as well as conceptual issues. The paper, which was co-authored with Professor Brian Job from the University of British Columbia, will be forthcoming as a chapter.
Roundtable with Professor Akio Takahata - 20 March 2014: On 20 March the Centre for Strategic Studies hosted a roundtable with Professor Akio Takahata, a specialist in Asia /Pacific security issues at Japan’s Hakuoh University, and a regular contributor to the Sankei Shimbun newspaper. Professor Takahata was accompanied by Maruo Shinichi, head of the Political Section in the Japanese Embassy in Wellington. Subjects discussed included China/Japan relations, Japan/US relations, perceptions of United States leadership on global and regional issues, United States re-balancing in the Asia/Pacific region, Japan’s relationship with Russia in the wake of the annexation of Crimea, and Japan’s security relationship with New Zealand.
CSS Contributes to track one ARF Workshop on Preventive Diplomacy Training - 20-21 March 2014: Paul Sinclair, Regional Security Fellow at CSS attended the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) roundtable on training resources for Preventive Diplomacy hosted by MFAT in Wellington 20-21 March. ARF Ministers in 2011 had endorsed a Work Plan on Preventive Diplomacy. The roundtable focussed on the capacities and capabilities of the ARF and its participants in the field of Preventive Diplomacy, and on training needs. The objective was to identify options for regional training and prospects for collaboration with international programme such as that conducted by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research.
Roundtable with the Massey Centre for Defence and Security Studies - 4 March 2014: The Centre in partnership with the Massey Centre for Defence and Security Studies hosted a roundtable on 4 March with Dr Bernd Kubbig, Project Director of the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt and Adjunct Professor at Goethe University, Frankfurt. Dr Kubbig discussed his experiences as Coordinator of the international experts group known as the Multilateral Study group on the Establishment of a Missile Free Zone in the Middle East. Participants were drawn from both Centres' staff and stakeholders and had a wide-ranging discussion on frameworks for developing peace and security within regions. A general conclusion was that for short term stability specific local factors are probably more important than generally applicable principles for long term peace.
Discussions with the Philippines Ambassador - 27 February 2014: The Philippines Ambassador Virginia Benavidez visited the Centre for Strategic Studies on 27 February to discuss recent developments in the case the Philippines has put forward to the Arbitral Tribunal established under Annex VII to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea in respect of China’s South China Sea claims and the likely timetable for the Tribunal’s consideration of the Philippines case. She also discussed the development of confidence building measures to reduce the risk of maritime incidents in the region, progress on the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea and the work of the ADMM+ Expert Working Group on Maritime Security which New Zealand is about to co-chair with Brunei.
CSCAP Maritime Security Study Group Meeting - 17-19 February 2014: Paul Sinclair, Regional Security Fellow at the Centre for Strategic Studies, co-chaired with Singaporean and Indonesian counterparts the second CSCAP Maritime Security Study Group meeting. The meeting held in Jakarta 17-19 February focussed on measures to build confidence to reduce the prospect of an incident in the maritime commons escalating to conflict. Immediately prior to that meeting Paul Sinclair attended a CSCAP experts meeting on proposals to ensure the safety and security of vital undersea communications infrastructure for which currently there are no adequate international mechanisms.
6th East Asia Security Outlook Seminar - 18 February 2014: CSS Director, Dr Jim Rolfe, gave a paper 'Comprehensive Security and Non-Government Organisations' at the 6th East Asia Security Outlook seminar in Brunei on 18 February 2014. The seminar is an annual event organised by Brunei’s Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies. The themes of this year's seminar were around cooperation to achieve security outcomes. Papers were given by a range of international scholars on the development of ASEAN as a security community, ASEAN's security relationships and on regional maritime security. The audience was drawn primarily from Brunei's security community.
Roundtable with visiting Swiss MP - 11 February 2014: The Centre for Strategic Studies hosted a roundtable on 11 February 2014 with Swiss MP Thomas Aeschi. Mr Aeschi, who was accompanied by the Swiss Ambassador HE Marion Weichelt, is Chair of the Parliamentary Association Switzerland for Australia and New Zealand. A wide-ranging discussion took place covering the impact of China’s rise on the Asia Pacific region, regional security architecture; New Zealand foreign policy, European security issues and cyber security.
Asia-Pacific Integration Symposium - 13 November 2013: In partnership with the New Zealand Institute for International Affairs and the Asia: New Zealand Foundation, the Centre for Strategic Studies hosted a one-day conference on the economic and security dimensions of Asia-Pacific integration on 13 November. The conference attracted more than 100 participants and heard papers from a range of New Zealand and international analysts. Overall there was general consensus, if not complete agreement, that the region (however defined) is integrating in the economic and security spheres, that the two are linked but not necessarily correlated with each other, that the processes are different in each arena and that there are both opportunities and potential costs for New Zealand in these regional developments. New Zealand takes an active role in both the security and economic arenas and, most participants argued, should continue to do so.
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- Sixth Japan/New Zealand Track 1.5 Dialogue: Paul Sinclair, Regional Security Fellow at the Centre for Strategic Studies, participated in the sixth track 1.5 dialogue with Japan held in Wellington on 23 September 2013. The dialogue was jointly organised by the NZIIA and the Asia New Zealand Foundation. He presented a paper: The Korean Peninsula: how much of a problem? (PDF, 417 KB) Other topics discussed during the dialogue included: China's growing influence; the regional economic architecture in the Asia Pacific; US-China relations; and the Middle East with specific reference to events in Syria.
- Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum: CSS Regional Security Fellow, Paul Sinclair, attended the second Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum held in Kuala Lumpur on 3 October 2013. This 18 strong forum's membership replicates the membership of the East Asian Summit and the ASEAN Defence Ministers Plus forum. Subjects discussed included Priorities for ASEAN Dialogue Partners in Promoting Maritime Cooperation; Freedom of Navigation and Military Activities in Exclusive Economic Zones, and Future Work for this Forum. Sinclair's attendance was funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Asian Security Fund.
- Roderic Alley, Senior Fellow at the Centre for Strategic Studies, has published the Centre's 14th Discussion Paper: The Drone Debate: Sudden Bullet or Slow Boomerang? Please contact email@example.com for more information.
- Centre for Strategic Studies' Regional Security Fellow, Paul Sinclair, has released the Centre's 13th Discussion Paper: Tensions on the Korean Peninsula: Implications for New Zealand. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.