Archive News & Announcements - 2021

Pacific Churches Declaration to COP26

Oct 2021 - News

Image: Church on Taveuni, Fiji (jdf_92: Flickr) After two years of ecumenical consultation with affected communities and stakeholders, the Pacific Conference of Churches has prepared a declaration as part of the Climate Justice for All campaign in partnership with the Methodist Church in Britain, host country for this year’s UNFCCC Climate Conference known as COP26.  COP26 will be attended by Rev. James Bhagwan. General Secretary of the PCC, and Ms. Iemaima Vaai, Ecumenical Enabler for Ecological Stewardship and Climate Justice and the Climate Justice for All Pacific Campaign worker. The text of the Declaration, entitled  “Securing a Future for our Pacific”, reads: In the midst of the existential threat of the climate crisis on the people and biodiversity of the Pacific; the Pacific Household of God amplifies the groaning of creation and the cry of people who face the destruction of homes, of communities and nations across our blue Pacific. Confronted with the threat to identity, livelihood and sovereignty, we draw on our spirituality and indigenous knowledge and life-affirming traditional values as a source of our resilience and hope in such adversity. Scientific evidence has unequivocally proven the climate crisis continues to exacerbate at an alarming rate. As COP26 aims to secure global net zero and keep1.5 degrees within reach, we must also recognize that every fraction of an increase to warming temperatures also places our Pacific communities at a much higher risk of being swallowed by rising sea levels. Through this we therefore reaffirm our commitments towards securing a sustainable future for our land, our people and our diverse cultures. As members of the regional ecumenical family, we declare that our Pacific leaders use their climate realities to display leadership in international climate change dialogue and decision making. We must fight for our future and ensure that the upcoming COP26 conference prioritises and protects the rights of present and future generations against the adverse effects of climate change. We call on our national leaders to reaffirm their commitments in our collective fight for climate justice. Ensuring severely affected indigenous communities are provided with the right tools needed for a just recovery, provided that individuals are mobilised with proper adaptation measures for a swift response to the impacts. We call on our church leaders to utilize God’s mission of justice to influence meaningful and long term change in its people. We encourage ministers to not only be a prophetic voice to its people but also provide practical and pastoral accompaniment in disaster risk reduction and management. As christians we are given the role as stewards to care for and safeguard our environment, we therefore recognize the importance faith and spirituality plays in creating a shift from a human centric to a life affirming approach. We encourage our community leaders to promote the fundamental principle of inclusivity in its climate related activities, ensuring equal representation amongst men, women, youth and children. We believe that every voice matters in our fight towards climate justice, this crisis affects each person and the diverse representation in spaces allows for individuals to feel empowered, as a result strengthening the collective action and solidarity of your community. Lastly, we call on our youths to be the most ambitious in our collective effort to achieve climate justice for all. Young people are able to reimagine the world with the determination, innovation and courage to disrupt and dismantle systems. Therefore, we recognize that the centrality of the role of young people opens the door for more robust and comprehensive collective efforts for meaning and effective change. As a collective effort to ensure a secured future for our Pacific, we believe that in order to build from the past and move forward as a region we must place our Pacific way of living at the centre of our foundation. We strongly call our region to centre our Pacific values at the core of our climate activism, guided by a sense of justice and compassion that is able to reweave a narrative that not only gives meaning and coherence but provides a life affirming vision that puts the wellbeing and security of our people first. As we continue to journey on our fight towards climate justice, may we be able to unite and stand in solidarity with the other to ensure that no one is left behind.

The Archibald Baxter Memorial Trust Annual Peace Lecture 2021

Sep 2021 - News

The 2021 Archibald Baxter Memorial Lecture will be a conversation on peacebuilding in the 21st century. This online webinar will feature a panel discussion between Helen Clark, former Prime Minister & former UNDP Administrator; Ingrid Leary, Labour MP for Taieri; Professor Robert Patman, Professor of International Relations; and Professor Kevin Clements, Founding Director of the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies and Toda Peace Institute Director. The event is on Wednesday 22 September at 5.30 pm (New Zealand)Registrations for this event can be made at  Image: Staffs Live/Flickr

[SHARE] Australia burying ‘head in the sand’ on security risks of climate change, former defence official says

Sep 2021 - News

Australia has its “head in the sand” regarding the national security implications of climate change and should follow the US in spelling out the risks, a former senior Australian defence official says. Australia’s “strategic weakness” on climate policy is also making it harder for the country to be seen as a preferred partner with Pacific Island countries, according to Cheryl Durrant, the defence department’s former head of preparedness. Read more in this story from The Guardian, published 13 September. Image: Bushfire in grassland (Royal Botanic Garden Sydney)/Flickr

[SHARE] I-Kiribati Female Seasonal Workers in New Zealand: Lived Eperiences

Sep 2021 - News

In the second in a series of blog articles for the DevPolicyBlog, Charlotte Bedford, Richard Bedford and Rena Tekanene share the story of 47 I-Kiribati women who are part of a group of seasonal workers stuck in New Zealand since borders closed in early 2020, and who have no way of getting home. See full article here: Image: Accommodation for I-Kiribati workers, Clarks Beach, New Zealand (Richard Bedford)          

Toda Launches a YouTube channel

Sep 2021 - News

Toda Peace Institute is pleased to launch a new initiative to bring Toda’s work to an even broader audience. A series of recorded conversations has been uploaded to Toda’s YouTube Channel. The first conversations are part of a research project focusing on issues of peace, security and trust-building in Northeast Asia.  “The Toda Peace Institute is fortunate to have worked with many leading experts in the field of Northeast Asian trust-building and peace, and we feel privileged to have some of them agree to join us in these conversations to share their wisdom,” said Toda Peace Institute Director, Professor Kevin Clements. Professor Clements and Senior Research Fellow Hugh Miall facilitate the conversations. “We hope that these recordings will be shared and viewed widely, in classrooms and by policymakers in discussions about and action planning for stable peace in Northeast Asia,” said Professor Clements. Further conversations looking at challenges to democracy will be uploaded later this year. The first two conversations have been uploaded to Toda’s YouTube channel. You are invited to view these enlightening conversations. Please share them widely and subscribe to the channel. Overcoming Sino-Japanese Alienation, with Barry Buzan and Evelyn Goh Part One: The origins of the history problem and possibilities for a great power bargain. Part Two: The pressures of an unpredictable China, US foreign policy and domestic politics Part Three: The lack of collaboration in the face of superordinate challenges such as climate change and pandemics, and deep-rooted history problems. Part Four: Economic trends, confidence building measures, and the impact of status and hierarchy. Prospects for Peace on the Korean Peninsula, with Chung-in Moon and Peter Hayes Part One: The Korean vortex. Part Two: Requirements for a permanent peace agreement and the likely timeline. Part Three: The importance of denuclearisation in peace negotiations and the status of US forces in Korea. Part Four: The Influence of domestic politics on peace prospects in the region and South Korea’s troubled relationship with Japan. Part Five: How Northeast Asian order is perceived by Korea, the influence of the pandemic and geo-ecology initiatives.   Image: Flickr/Esther Vargas