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Asia-Pacific security issues to be discussed

MEDIA RELEASE


29 November 2006


Asia-Pacific security issues to be discussed at Victoria

Recent crises in Asia and the Pacific will be hot topics at two high-profile gatherings of international security experts to be held at Victoria University next month.

The Asia-Pacific: Future Strategic Objectives conference will be held on Wednesday 13 December, while the following day Victoria will host a full meeting of the Council for Security Co-operation in the Asia-Pacific (CSCAP), the first time the international organisation has met in New Zealand.

Key speakers at this conference include presentations by senior diplomats as well as academics from universities and research institutes in New Zealand, Japan, the United States, Russia, Vietnam and China.

Peter Cozens, conference organiser and Director of the Centre for Strategic Studies in Victoria’s School of Government, says there are significant security issues facing the region.

“The region not only hosts the world’s major powers, the United States, Russia and China, and emerging economic and military powerhouses such as India, but also some of its smallest and most vulnerable nations. The recent situation with North Korea’s nuclear testing, as well as the unrest in the Solomon Islands and Tonga, has highlighted the importance for these issues to be discussed.

“These matters are important to everyone, not just diplomats and academics. The events that are happening now are those that are likely to shape the world in the future.”

Mr Cozens says associated with the conference will be meeting of the Council for Security Co-operation in the Asia-Pacific (CSCAP), the first time the organisation has held its conference in New Zealand.

“With more than 20 countries represented, and as hosts of the New Zealand Committee of CSCAP, this is a wonderful opportunity for Victoria to showcase its leadership in research and learning on security and international relations.”

The first session, chaired by Victoria researcher, Dr David Capie, will examine New Zealand and Australia’s role in the Asia-Pacific region and will include presentations by Dr Jim Rolfe, Associate Professor at the Asia-Pacific Centre for Strategic Studies in Hawai’i, Dr Andrew Ladley, Director of Victoria’s Institute for Policy Studies, and Graeme Dobell, a Senior Journalist with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

The second session, chaired by Mr Cozens, will examine the role of China, India and the United States in resolving tensions in global security, with presentations by Dr Jian Yang from the China Institute of International Studies, HE Talmiz Ahmad, Director-General of the Indian Council of World Affairs, and Ralph Cossa, President of the Pacific Forum Centre for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) in Honolulu.

The third session, chaired by Auckland University researcher Dr Jian Yang, will investigate Japan’s changing role in the region and includes presentations by Professor Tsutomu Kikuchi from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo, Zhou Xingbao, Senior Research Fellow at the China Institute of International Affairs, Brad Glosserman, Executive Director of CSIS in Honolulu and Professor James Cotton of the Australian Defence Force Academy.

The final session, chaired by Victoria University’s Dr Lance Beath will focus on ASEAN and East Asian security, and include presentations by Jusuf Wanandi, Chairman of the Supervisory board of CSIS in Indonesia, Dr Nguyen Vu Tung, Deputy Director of the Institute for International Relations in Vietnam, Kwa Chong Guan, from the Institute of Defence & Strategic Studies at Nanyang Technological University in China, and Professor Alexander Ignatov, from the Diplomatic Academy of Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Council for Security Co-operation in the Asia-Pacific (CSCAP) was established in 1993 to complement the governmental mechanisms for developing security co-operation by drawing on the expertise of academics, specialists and officials working on peace and security issues.

Registrations for the conference close on 8 December.

ENDS

http://www.vuw.ac.nz/css/

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