The Pacific way to diplomacy, Climate Change, Aid Agencies and terrorism, and more

Posted on 24 September 2019

+ CID Annual Conference - Registrations Open!

‘Beyond Aid: Partnerships for the Future’ is the theme of this year's CID Conference. It will be held on 21 October 2019 at Massey University Wellington.

For more information about the agenda and for registering to the event, click here.

+ Climate change -  Armageddon?

In the UN general assembly chamber this week, the world’s leaders gathered to share the latest grim news of the planet’s climate crisis.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told country leaders they must come to the podium with 'concrete and transformative plans' to tackle climate change, and respond to the global climate strikes on Friday.

Trump made a surprise visit (having said he wound't be attending) to hear Indian PM Narendra Modi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern issued a plea to use a collaborative approach on carbon emissions prices to tackle climate change, rather than face a "prisoners' dilemma" and wait for a different country to act first, writes Derek Cheng at the NZ Herald.

16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg gave an emotional appeal in which she chided the leaders with the repeated phrase, "How dare you."

Bjørn Lomborg, author, former director of the Danish government's Environmental Assessment Institute, and President of the think tank, Copenhagen Consensus Center, presents a less catastrophic view of the effects of climate change and proposes a global carbon tax.

"We need to solve climate change, but we also need to make sure that the cure isn’t more painful than the disease," he says.

We mustn't forget that in many ways the world is getting better, he writes.

"In 1990, nearly four in ten of the world’s people were poor; today, less than one in ten are. That has helped to transform the way people live. Between 1990 and 2015, for example, the proportion of the world’s population practicing open defecation halved to 15%. And in the same period, 2.6 billion people gained access to improved water sources, bringing the global share up to 91%."

Quoting the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report, he writes that "climate change is real, and it is a problem. According to the IPCC, the overall impact of global warming by the 2070s will be equivalent to a 0.2-2% loss in average income. That’s not the end of the world, but the same as a single economic recession, in a world that is much better off than today."

His solution is a carbon tax - target polluters - and "a commensurate response"  to invest much more in researching and developing cheaper carbon-free energy sources that can eventually outcompete fossil fuels. "That would ensure a smooth transition that doesn’t slow economies down and hurt the worst-off in society."

"The future is bright, and we need smart decisions to keep it so," he writes.

+ Also at the UN this week...

Other topics of debate at UN General Assembly will be Iran and the oil attacks, a focus on trade and the inevitable rivalries of US and China, alongside recent disputes between US and Turkey, and Japan and South Korea.

+ Nigerian army wrongly accuse aid agency of 'terrorism' 
Action Against Hunger's operations in Nigeria are facing closure after the Nigerian army accused aid workers of 'aiding and abetting terrorism', claiming they have been supplying terrorists with food and drugs and labelling the organisation as 'persona non grata'. 

The allegations have come with no prior warning, and the closure is preventing millions of vulnerable people in Nigeria from receiving aid. These allegations come months after the Nigerian army lifted a  ban on Unicef from their aid operations in the region, after claims of the UN organisation spying for Islamists. 

This series of allegations are detrimental to already unstable aid operations in the area, with recent events such as the death of two Action Against Hunger staff members at a refugee camp ambush earlier this month and a history of unjustified allegations against aid workers in the region.

+ Nominate now for the inaugural CID Collaboration Award

This year at the CID Annual Conference we are introducing a new award – the CID Collaboration Award. Nominate yourself, your organisation or your partners now! There will be a prize with the award.

The award recognises and celebrates the importance of effective relationships and collaborative thinking within and across the sector to tackle difficult development challenges and global issues.

We want to hear from CID Members and Associate Members that have successfully worked together on a project with a mix of organisations and individuals – for example, local entrepreneurs, governments, funders, private sector, consultants, academics or researchers.

A successful collaboration could mean you have overcome particular obstacles, used technology creatively, or found new ways to collaborate across geographical boundaries.

If you think your organisation is deserving of this award please complete and submit an application by 15 October

Details of the CID Collaboration Award and application is available here

+ CID Photo Competition

Last days to submit your entries to the CID Photo Competition 2019. The winners will be announced at the CID Conference, on 21 October. 

With big thanks again to Peter Griffin at FisherPrint, a local CID supporter for many conferences now. Peter will frame photos from the short list of finalists in each category of the photo competition. 

+ The CID Weekly is Proudly Sponsored By
Direct Impact Group supports organisations to maximise their social impact, because changing the world isn't easy, and in dynamic times this work is more important than ever.

+ Two Pacific states reject Taiwan in favour of China 

Last week, the Solomon Islands and Kiribati formally recognised the People's Republic of China government as the sole rulers of China, subsequently ending diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

This comes after a series of moves by Beijing to diminish Taiwan's international presence, with moves such as the vetoing of Taiwan's membership in the UN General Assembly and other international organisations. This latest move has brought Taipei down to 15 allies in the international system.

Will these moves cause a domino effect with other Pacific states following suit? 

Beijing has more to offer in terms of aid budgets,  infrastructural loans and global diplomacy. However, doubts are growing amongst some Pacific leaders and experts over the 'made in China' quality and quantity of China's projects in the Pacific.

"So what's the real story? Is Chinese aid in the Pacific useless," writes Jonathan Pryke of the Lowy Institute. 

"The answer is not so simple. China's aid program is so opaque it is very difficult to understand exactly what it is doing. China does not conform to the sophisticated reporting and accountability mechanisms that traditional Western donors have developed over decades of aid delivery. According to some estimates, China announced more than US$350 billion in aid between 2000 and 2014 under a shroud of secrecy, leading to considerable anxiety about where, why and how Chinese aid is given," he writes.

+ CID Talk: War Crimes and Health Facilities - Gaza

Next Monday, 30th September is hosting a very interesting talk by kiwi war crime investigator and journalist Julie Webb-Pullman on crimes against humanity committed in the Gaza Strip.

Date: September 30
Time: 5pm
Venue: Level 4 ,26 Brandon St, Wellington.

She will talk about attacks on health facilities and personnel in Gaza, and local attempts to seek justice through the International Criminal Court.

She will also screen a 12-minute documentary interviewing patients, staff, victims and refuge-seekers about the 2014 attack on Al Aqsa Hospital, and discuss some of the issues and difficulties in seeking and obtaining justice at the international level. For example, obtaining and preservation evidence, and progression cases \ through the ICC system in The Hague, where she recently met with officers from the Victims and Prosecutor's sections to discuss the Gaza situation, including the Great March of Return.

Julie Webb-Pullman is a New Zealander who has been writing from Gaza since 2011. Her work has appeared in Gaza SCOOP, Palestine Chronicle, Global Research, Havana Times, Prensa Latina, Dissident Voice, Tortilla Con Sal, Al Jazeera and Green Left Weekly.

The talk will be live-streamed on our FB page, here.

+ CID Humanitarian Network  - nominate for Chair now!
The current CID Humanitarian Network Chairperson (Mark Mitchell - World Vision NZ) and Deputy-Chairperson (Linabel Hadlee – cbm New Zealand) will be stepping down in October 2019 after completing their respective two-year terms.

Foremost we would like to thank both Mark and Linabel for their immense contribution and support in these roles.

CID is currently in the process of receiving nominations from member organisations of the CID Humanitarian Network. All nominations need to be received by COP Monday 30th September 2019. Voting for both these positions will take place at the next network meeting in Wellington on Tuesday 8th October.

If you are from a CID Humanitarian Network member organisation and wish to nominate one or more persons for the position of either CID Humanitarian Network Chair or Deputy-Chair, or have any other questions, please contact Aaron Davy at


Pacific Islands