CID Conference, human rights and Khashoggi and Safeguarding chaos in the UK

Posted on 23 October 2018

+ What does the Pacific Reset mean for you?

The CID Conference is in less than a week! The focus is on the Pacific Reset and how it changes the way we work.

So if you haven't got your tickets yet, please go to to purchase. 


Registrations open: 8.30am

Conference Begins: 9.15am

MC: Josh Thomson - MC, comedian and actor (7 Days: Live, The Project and Gary of the Pacific)

Keynote Speakers: 9.45am

Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade: How will the 'reset' change the way we work, and what does it mean for New Zealand's international NGOs?

Deputy Prime Minister of the Cook Island, Honourable Mark Brown: A Pacific perspective on the Reset

Expert Panel Discussion: 10.45am

Pacific Diaspora Leaders define the Reset: What does a transformed relationship between New Zealand and the Pacific look like?

Lunch: 12.45pm

Workshops: 1.30pm

Three workshops:

  • Alternative approaches to development (Oxfam)
  • Gender interactive workshop (Family Planning New Zealand)
  • Setting the framework for the Code review 2019 (CID)

There will be two workshop sessions, so please choose two of the three workshop options to attend.

CID Annual General Meeting4.00pm

Followed by drinks and dinner.

+ Australia to accept NZ Nauru refugee offer if "back door" closed

Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he would support refugee resettlement from Nauru to New Zealand if legislation passed to close 'backdoor' entry to Australia.

Senior government sources told The Australian that the Prime Minister — the architect of Operation Sovereign Borders — would be “more likely” to accept NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s offer to take 150 refugees from Nauru if Coalition legislation to close the “back door” to Australia was passed by the Senate.

The back door Mr Morrison is referring to is a proposed Bill from 2016 which would prevent any asylum seekers who arrived in Nauru in 2013 from applying for an Australian visa.

It is not clear yet if New Zealand would then have to implement our own law preventing residents travelling to Australia. There are precedents for restricting the travel of some groups of people. Some can't enter without a visa, and if you have a criminal conviction you can't travel to Australia. This means there are ways of identifying certain groups.

Whether it's the morally right thing to do is another question! Research shows that although some new skilled migrants use New Zealand residency as a jumping board to Australia, refugees tend to stay put. They're happy to be here and want to put down roots. So
its not entirely clear what problem the Australians are trying to solve.

Nearly 6000 doctors and medical students signed and handed the Australian government a petition demanding the children be removed due to deteriorating physical and mental health conditions.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Winston Peters said he would not comment on the issue until after the vote had been held in Australia. 

+ Human rights post Khashoggi's murder

The international crisis over whether top Saudi Arabian leadership murdered U.S. based Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has shocked the world. 

The Conversation writes: “Among Donald Trump’s many unusual characteristics as president is his frankness."

"Last week, after the disappearance and apparent torture and murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, Trump argued that “we would be punishing ourselves” by canceling arms sales to Saudi Arabia over a human rights concern. Few world leaders, or former U.S. presidents, would have been so bold as to publicly admit that a Saudi journalist’s life is not worth the loss of arms sales.”

Saudi Arabia has imported more armaments than every country but India, and the US is it’s biggest supplier.

What this means for human rights in the region is not clear. Since the end of World War II, the U.S. has developed a global reputation as a moral authority championing human rights. 

But in May 2017, Trump struck a bargain with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman: Trump wouldn’t lecture his kingdom on human rights, and Saudi Arabia would buy more American weapons.

The problem is that this lack of interest in political rights has emboldened Middle Eastern governments to crack down on dissent and the dissenters, in shocking ways.

This gruesome murder will either make that situation worse, or shock the world into holding the perpetrators accountable.
+ Climate change exacerbating conflict

International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) President Peter Maurer was in New Zealand recently. He stated that climate change is clearly exacerbating domestic and international conflicts.

Requesting that governments take steps to ensure the situation does not get worse, Maurer states in a Guardian article that "it's very obvious that some of the violence that we are observing ... is directly linked to the impact of climate change and changing rainfall patterns".

One example, Maurer argues, is that rainfall patterns change land arability, and populations are being forced to migrate outside of areas that may have subsisted in for centuries. 

Maurer also met with his colleagues at New Zealand Red Cross, to discuss International Humanitarian Law and the changing nature of armed conflict.

That interview is available to view here
+ Commitments and chaos at London's #AidToo summit

Hundreds of UK delegates from government and civil society gathered in central London on 18 October to discuss the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse in light of the scandals that have impacted the development and aid sector recently. 

One key announcement at the summit was a register of aid workers to be piloted (particularly at hubs in Africa and Asia) in partnership with Interpol, with the aim of preventing abusers from moving between countries and organisations. In addition to this, Bond announced that its 420 members had committed to 34 actions on safeguarding, covering both practical short-term solutions and long-term cultural change. 

Not all immediately agreed with the pitch of progress that the summit was taking, and whistleblower Alexia Pepper de Caires interrupted U.K. Secretary of State for International Development Penny Mordaunt's speech  to declare a need for “systematic change” over “fancy new systems.” She also said that some long-time campaigners had been closed out of preparations for the summit.

Further information is available here.
+ ... and ACFID's Code response to #AidToo

...meanwhile, closer to home, the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) has announced a high-level commitment for the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse, to be agreed to by its 122 member organisations.

A recent review of the ACFID Code of Conduct, in response to safeguarding concerns over the last year concluded with a set of recommendations. These recommendations include a proposed commitment to "advance the safeguarding of those who are vulnerable to sexual exploitation and abuse”. 

If agreed to by the 122 ACFID member organisations (at the Sydney AGM on 30 Oct), each will need to show or implement a prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse policy setting out standards of behaviour for staff, representatives, and partners.

This policy must specifically prohibit sexual exploitation and abuse, and each organization will need to demonstrate how the policy is implemented. Members will also need to appoint a focal person for the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse, who will provide leadership for organizational change. Further information on the ACFID Code response to #aidtoo is included in the Devex article here.

The CID AGM on 29 October will include a workshop for setting the framework of our own Code review in 2019.

+ Beware fake news!

According to Victor Abramowicz from the Lowy Institute,  "A person purporting to be a (possibly retired) Russian fighter pilot flying one of Moscow’s most modern jets, a Su-35, claimed to have engaged in (and won) a mock air-combat against America’s premier fighter, the stealthy F-22 Raptor. The encounter, if real, would seem to have had to occur over Syria, the only location where both aircraft have been deployed."

An Instagram post was used as evidence.

But was it true? Probably not. 

Fake news is going to become harder and harder to detect, according to Dominik Stecula of the Washington Post, "as many lack the necessary skills to separate actual journalism from predatory clickbait falsehoods, while ideological and partisan biases only make these decisions more difficult."
+ Lowy's latest Pacific links 

Alexandre Dayant from the Lowy Institute has the latest 'Pacific Links'. 

"Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono visited New Zealand this week, a first by a Japanese foreign minister in five years, and raised concerns about the high levels of debt in some Pacific Island nations."

"In preparation for APEC, Papua New Guinea has imported 40 Maseratis and other luxury cars to transport foreign delegates during the forum. PNG government says cars will be on-sold to “private sector”, and not everyone is happy."

"Oscar Temaru, former president of French Polynesia and leader of the pro-independence movement, says a complaint had been lodged in the International Criminal Court against France for alleged crimes against humanity over nuclear tests conducted in the South Pacific."

Click here for more Pacific news.
+ The CID Weekly is proudly sponsored by


Pacific Islands Environment