Last Thursday, CID and NZIIA (The New Zealand Institute of International Affairs) co-hosted a fiery election debate to kick off the election season, covering trade, aid, and New Zealand's place in the world post-COVID. The debate, moderated by Newshub's Tova O'Brien with representatives from all current political parties in Parliament, surfaced contention surrounding New Zealand's stance on managing Chinese influence in the Pacific and how to safely arrange travel to the region.
"It's very easy to say it's easy but it's not that easy. You've got to be very careful about every stage of it. And if it were that easy, why is it that other countries that are Covid-free in the Pacific don't want those linkages?" he queried.
National's Simon Bridges said New Zealand should push to further open Pacific borders once the realm countries were sorted.
On Tuesday last week, two explosions occurred at the port in Beirut. The Lebanon Government stated that the blast was the result of 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate being stored unsafely at the port (in comparison, 2 tonnes were used in the 1995 Oklahoma City attack). The leader of Hezbollah has also denied allegations that their organisation had stored weapons or ammunition at the port.
Lebanon was already suffering a major economic downturn before last week's devastating blast. The explosion has resulted at least 220 people dead, 110 missing, 5000 injured and 300,000 homeless. The World Health Organisation said the health system was seriously damaged, with three hospitals out of action. The World Food Programme has stated that the damage to Beirut's port would further interrupt food supplies and push prices up.
Organisations such asOxfamandADRA, along with UNICEF andCaritashave reported damage to their Beirut offices, as well as some staff injuries. Although their offices were damaged by the blast, they remain committed to supporting vulnerable people in the aftermath of this tragic incident. A number of these CID member organisations continue to run appeals to support response activities in the communities effected in the Beirut explosion:
TheMFAT Minister announcedvia twitter last week that $500,000 has been provided to the Red Cross Movement. Information on what the Lebanese Red Cross is doing is also available on the New Zealand Red Cross websitehere.
+ 'Collective Resilience' - Launch of Oxfam NZ Report Today
Join Oxfam New Zealand from 12:30pm to 1.30pm today, Tuesday 11 August for the release of the reportCollective Resilience: New Zealand’s aid contribution in times of inequality and crises.This is happening in GBLT1, Government Buildings, Pipitea Campus, Victoria University of Wellington (Oxfam New Zealand will also livestream the talk on their Facebook page).
TheCollective Resiliencereport assesses how New Zealand’s aid is given against principles of quality aid, and how well our aid contributes to citizen engagement, and economic, gender and climate justice. The report is part of theBig Hearts Connected Worldcampaign for a Collective Resilience Plan. Dr Joanna Spratt, Communications and Advocacy Director at ONZ, and Dr Terence Wood, Research Fellow at Devpolicy, will present the report.
For more information contactCID or Jo Spratt direct atOxfam.
+ 75 Years since Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima & Nagasaki
On 6 and 9 August, it was 75 years since the US dropped atomic bombs on theJapanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Recorded death tolls are estimates, but it is thought that approximately 140,000 of Hiroshima's 350,000 population were killed in the blast, and that at least 74,000 people died in Nagasaki.
Many survivors of the Nagasaki blast “died within one to two months because there were no effective treatments, not even antibiotics or blood transfusions, and because the infrastructure was totally destroyed, including hospitals and pharmacies,” saidDr. Masao Tomonaga, a former director of the Japanese Red Cross Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Hospital.
Over the past 75 years, knowledge about the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons unleash has increased. Since 1945 more than 315 nuclear test explosions have been conducted in the Pacific, with widespread health and environmental damage caused.
In 2019, a legal review was commissioned by DFID to look at a consultation process for establishing anAid Worker Registration Scheme. This scheme is seen as a way to maintain a robust employment screening process for the UK-based development and humanitarian sector and personnel; who represent a globalised, highly mobile and at times a ‘sometimes chaotic’ workforce.
In the UK the scheme is viewed as playing an important role in strengthening the employment cycle across the aid sector, and preventing perpetrators of sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment moving around undetected. A similar mechanism for sharing information relevant to safeguarding measures across organisations is something that CID has discussed during workshops and in reporting.
The review of an Aid Worker Registration Scheme was completed in March 2020 and that committee now wishes to engage with stakeholders across the sector on its recommendations. Their website states that “feedback is welcomed from anyone involved in the aid sector”. A presentation on the UK scheme isavailable here, and this guides you through the process and the full legal review document.
Although the presentation provides a feedback due date of 31 July 2020, CID understands they have recently requested feedback from MFAT. CID is also interested in hearing and collating your thoughts from a New Zealand civil society viewpoint as well. If after reviewing these documents, you wish to share your thoughts and feedback with us, then do so before COP Wednesday 19 August (otherwise we are not undertaking any formal consultation on this).
+ Greenpeace wins campaign for registration as a charity
Since June 2008 Greenpeace has been trying to regain its status as a registered charity. The case has been to the High Court, the Court of Appeal, to the Supreme Court, back to the Charities Board and then to the High Court again.
In a decision issued from the High Court in Wellington on Monday, Justice Jill Mallon said theCharities Registration Board had wrongly declined Greenpeace’s applicationfor registration as a charity. Greenpeace NZ’s main activity was advocacy for the protection of the environment, which had a charitable public benefit. Its original, but now ancillary, purpose to promote peace, nuclear disarmament and the elimination of weapons of mass destruction, was not an illegal purpose and did not disqualify it from registration, Justice Mallon stated.
Registration as a charity brings potential for tax exemptions, extra sources of funding, and other advantages but Greenpeace is yet to find out if the charitable status can be backdated to 2008 when its registration was removed.
+ World Vision Australia - 14% reduction in positions
Following a review of their World Vision operations, actingCEO Graham Strongannounced to staff last Tuesday that the organisation in Australia would be reducing staff numbers.
“After a review of the organisation and how we operate, World Vision Australia has made the difficult decision to reduce employee numbers. …In the process of that review, it became clear that World Vision faced the prospect of having to curtail or cut some of our essential program work if we did not immediately address the issue of our operating costs, in response to the changing charities market.”
Details from the World Vision Australia meetings, communicated to Devex, reveals that these cuts will see a 14% reduction in positions, and aims to create a cost-saving of approximately $20 million Australian dollars.
70 roles will be impacted with 40 staff expected to lose roles within World Vision Australia. Devex reports that COVID-19 has not been a factor in the decision. These cuts, according to Strong, will ensure that there is no reduction to programs “at a time when the world needs the work of World Vision more than ever.”
+ Trade Aid’s New Ethical Business Support Tool
Trade Aid’s ‘Feel Good Road Trip of Aotearoa’ encourages Kiwis to support and celebrate ethical hotspots across Aotearoa.
Are you keen to connect your supporters to a whānau of businesses who put people over and above all else? The Feel Good Road Trip of Aotearoa by Trade Aid is stunningly illustrated, free, and makes it easier to buy Good - wherever people are based.
Trade Aid supplies fair trade product to over one thousand businesses in Aotearoa and are celebrating and promoting these businesses.
The map is free and connects people with over 100 local NZ businesses selling fair trade products. It can be downloadedhereor a hard copy can be picked up from Trade Aid shops.
Please feel free to connect your supporters to this unique Trade Aid product by mentioning it in your upcoming electronic communications. Efirstname.lastname@example.org be sent a social post to help promote ethical business in your social media.
+ CID Localisation Baseline Study
The picture for localisation is mixed. Most INGOs in New Zealand believe they are strongly committed to localisation, but the organisational actions, behaviours and practices do not yet consistently demonstrate this commitment.
There is an imperative for the INGO sector in New Zealand to prioritise the development of the localisation agenda and seek to provide practical responses to these questions.
CID has conducted a baseline localisation study on localisation practices by New Zealand international development agencies. The findings have been documented in a new report available here.
+ Pacific Koloa Collective celebrates 1st year anniversary
Pacific Koloa Collective would like to convey a huge nga mihi nui, malo, vinaka and thank you to the sector whanau for supporting them.
The Collective recently celebrated its first year of being the only network for Pacific and Maori development and humanitarian practitioners in the INGO sector in Aotearoa NZ.
Key milestones in the first year have included its launch at the 2019 CID Conference, contributions to MFAT’s Toroa panel, a group submission to the DevNet Conference 2020, and the establishment of aPacific Koloa Collective facebookpage.
Activities have also included a recent submission to the UN Human Rights Council, seeking intervention relating to police brutality and systematic racism, in response to George Floyd and the #blacklivesmatter movement.
The Pacific Koloa Collective Network say it has been an awesome year and they look forward to what the rest of 2020 brings.
This year, for the first time ever, CID will co-host its annual conference as an Oceanic regional effort, in partnership with ACFID in Australia and PIANGO in the Pacific.
The Conference will officially be launched later this week! Stay tuned for the upcoming announcement.
The regional on-line components of the joint conference will be held from 27 - 30 October 2020. Additionally there will be a face-to-face dinner event the following week, on 5 November.
We are now seeking expressions of interest from CID members who would like to host a virtual session during the event. You could do this on our own, in partnership with other CID members, or with ACFID and Pacific partners. If you can share insights, expertise, strategies, or partnerships that will help us achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in a COVID world, we want to hear from you!
To learn more and apply, details are available here
+ Save the Date: CID AGM + Dinner Event
CID's Annual General Meeting (AGM) is planned for 5 November 2020. Please save the date!
Following the AGM there will be a keynote speaker, the panel discussion focusing on the results of the 2019/2020 Membership Survey, and a dinner, with the annual photo and collaboration awards!