Stanley Simpson speaks with USP Head of School of Law and Social Sciences Dr Sandra Tarte about the heightened engagement of foreign powers in Fiji and the Pacific as the US, Australia and China tussle for geopolitical and strategic influence in the region. What has caused this renewed interest and maneuvering and what does this all mean for Fiji and the Pacific?
Shahban Hassan’s journey was not easy, but through determination and faith he overcame all challenges that came his way.
Originally from Tuva in Nadroga, Shahban Hassan graduated with a Master of Arts in Diplomacy and International Affairs from the University of the South Pacific on Friday 13 May 2022.
Article published in Fiji Sun on Monday 16 May 2022.
March 2021 Publication
Report for the Office of the High Commission on Human Rights (OHCHR)
Author: Professor Vijay Naidu, Adjunct Professor, School of Law and Social Sciences, University of the South Pacific
To access a copy of the report, please click HERE
3 November 2020: Lecture by HE the Ambassador of Japan to USP Politics Students
Students of GDIAs PL101 (Politics and Development) course, were treated to a guest lecture by HE the Ambassador of Japan to Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu
21 September 2020: Panel Discussion on New Caledonias Second Referendum
The Discipline of Government, Development, and International Affairs with the support of the Government of New Caledonia, hosted a panel discussion on New Caledonia’s upcoming second referendum. On the panel were;
Ms. Denise Fisher – Australian National University,
HE Dame Meg Taylor – Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum
Rev. James Bhagwan – Secretary General of the Pacific Conference of Churches
Mr. Nic Maclellan – Journalist
To watch the video recording of the panel discussion, please click HERE.
GDIA Partners with MaiTV, Oxfam in the Pacific and the Pacific Network on Globalization to host the Reset Fiji series.
GDIA was proud to partner with MaiTV, Oxfam in the Pacific and the Pacific Network on Globalization to host the Reset Fiji series.
The RESET Fiji series is a “people’s Post COVID 19 dialogue series” that started on 14 June with the RESET Fiji: Economy panel. Over seven weeks we have had panellists propose novel, bold and innovative ideas and solutions to respond to the impact of the pandemic on their sector. Their proposals were captured in the following panels:
For further details see: https://www.facebook.com/pacificreset/ You can access all the photos/audio/transcripts and panel portfolios at the following link:https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1TUD5eOZwGE0yLbN47AmixSsuqxJxsAeC?usp=sharing
25-27 February 2020: GDIA hosts the kick-off meeting of the Pacific Centre for Social Responsibility and Natural Resources (PACSEN)
GDIA joined forces with the French National Research Institute of Research for Sustainable Development (IRD), and other regional and international partners, to convene a three-day workshop that launched the next phase of the Pacific Centre for Social Responsibility and Natural Resources (PACSEN). PACSEN’s objective is to contribute to the framing of integrated, responsible and sustainable management of natural resources in order to improve people’s wellbeing throughout the South Pacific. The network combines fundamental and applied/policy-oriented research, to bridge gaps between scholars, policy-makers and civil society organizations, and strengthen capacities and expertise of all these stakeholders in natural resource governance frameworks. The workshop attracted around 30 participants from academia, civil society and CROP agencies, and included a special session for USP postgraduate research students. This was the first in a series of workshops over the next four years, with funding support from IRD. The next meeting will be convened by the Agronomic Institute of New Caledonia in December 2020.
GDIA organised a special panel discussion on the drivers and implications of Solomon Islands’ changing diplomatic relations with China and Taiwan. This event attracted an audience of well over a 100, including many Solomon Islands students.
25 September 2019: Building connections with the University of Hawai’i’s Center for Pacific Islands Studies
On 25th September, GDIA hosted a lunch for the Director of the Center for Pacific Islands Studies (CPIS) at UH, Associate Professor Dr Tarcisius Kabutaulaka, and Outreach Director of CPIS, Dr James Viernes. The two UH academics visited USP to discuss potential areas of collaboration, especially partnerships in teaching and learning. On 27 September, Dr Kabutaulaka was part of a panel discussion, organized by GDIA, on the drivers and implications of Solomon Islands’ changing diplomatic relations with China and Taiwan. This event attracted an audience of well over a 100, including many Solomon Islands students.
13 September 2019: Prayer Vigil for West Papua
The University of the South Pacific Human Rights Program Alumni in partnership with Youngsolwara Pacific hosted a prayer vigil for victims of the recent violence in West Papua.
5 July 2019: Meeting with Solomon Islands Government Parliamentary Delegation Task Force on ROC Taiwan and PRC China Relations
Head of Discipline, Associate Professor Sandra Tarte and Director of Development Studies, Professor Matthew Allen, recently met with a Parliamentary delegation from the Solomon Islands. The Task Force Committee on Taiwan ROC and PRC China Relations was in Fiji to hold consultations with the Fijian Government, as part of a Solomon Islands’ parliamentary review of its future relations with Taiwan/ROC and the People’s Republic of China. The delegation was led by Hon John Moffat Fugui and included Hon Jamie Vokia, Hon Rolland Seleso, Hon Rex Ramofafia and Hon Titus Fika MP. They were accompanied by Mr Bernard Bata’anisia, and Mr Mcfaddean Aoraunieaka, from the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
12 June 2019: ANU-USP Book Launch – “Understanding Oceania”
This book is inspired by the University of the South Pacific, the leading institution of higher education in the Pacific Islands region. Founded in 1968, USP has expanded the intellectual horizons of generations of students from its 12 member countries—Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu—and been responsible for the formation of a regional elite of educated Pacific Islanders who can be found in key positions in government and commerce across the region.
May 21, 2019 – At a function for Solomon Islands staff and students, the Minister for Education and Human Resources Development (MEHRD) of the Solomon Islands was presented with a copy of the book ‘Educating the People: Governance of Primary Education in Fiji, Kiribati, Samoa and Solomon Islands, 2000-2013’ edited by Dr Gordon Nanau and Professor Vijay Naidu of the Discipline of Government, Development and International Affairs (GDIA). The presentation was observed by Mr Francis Tavava, Solomon Islands Education Attaché in Suva, with Solomon Islands students and staff present. The book is both a comparative study of the four PICs and in-depth studies of primary education governance in Fiji, Kiribati, Samoa and the Solomon Islands.
May 16, 2019 – UN Secretary General Antonia Guterres met with women’s advocates for a discussion on the impact of climate change on gender equality in the Pacific. The discussion was facilitated by Head of Discipline, Associate Professor Sandra Tarte, and organized by UN Women. It was held on USP Laucala campus on 16 May
April 11, 2019 – Film Launch and Panel Discussion for Parenting in the Smart Age: Fijian Perspectives – The film examines how has parenting changed with the introduction of smartphones and social media, including how parents and young people in urban Fiji manage the use of technologies in their day-to-day lives.
4 April 2019: Launch of USP and United Nations Pacific Regional Anti Corruption Project
USP through its partnership with United Nations Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption Project (UN-PRAC) and UNDP, aims to deliver a 200 level anti-corruption course, which would be imbedded in the Diploma in Leadership, Governance and Human Rights (DLGHR) programme, which is based within GDIA, School of Law and Social Science.
UNDP/UNPRAC funding for this project is F$103,512. This will support the new course development, promotion and delivery for the course in first semester of offering. This would ensure that the anti-corruption course is sustainably offered beyond the duration of the UNPRAC project in the Pacific.
March 26, 2019 – GDIA Book Launch – Based on unprecedented documentary and field research in four Pacific island countries by scholars who know very well the cultures, histories and development trajectories of Fiji, Kiribati, Samoa and the Solomon Islands, the book is edited by Dr Gordon Nanau and Professor Vijay Naidu. ‘Educating the People…..’ is meant for educators, students and policy makers of the four countries as well as lay persons who are interested in basic education in the Pacific and its governance.
March 26, 2019 – Security Seminar in Japan – The Tokyo-based Sasakawa Peace Foundation invited Associate Professor Sandra Tarte to address a seminar and panel discussion in Tokyo on 26 March 2019 on the subject ‘Pacific Islands regional security after PALM 8 and the Boe Declaration 2018’. The seminar was attended by Japanese government representatives, researchers and representatives of the Pacific Islands Forum diplomatic missions in Tokyo. Also addressing the seminar was Mr James Movick, former Director General of the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency, who spoke on the Challenges and Opportunities for Securing the Blue Pacific.
Sandra and James were also invited to attend a JICA event on 27 March, to meet Pacific islands students studying in Japan under the JICA-sponsored Pacific Leaders’ Educational Assistance for Development of State (Pacific LEADS) program
October 30-31, 2018 – The ‘Rush for Oceania’ Workshop – GDIA organised a 2 day workshop bringing together academics, civil society representatives, writers, dancers and artists. The workshop focused on considering a new research agenda exploring contemporary Oceans governance and stewardship in the Pacific.(Click here to download a copy of the workshop report)
August 9th, 2018 – Lunchtime Seminar – From Village to Nation: Collected writings of Pacific independence. GDIA presents this Lunchtime Seminar which will be delivered by Pastor Sethy Regenvanu. The seminar will be held on Thursday, 9th August 2018, from 12.30 – 1.30pm at the Centre for Development Studies Seminar Room (S103), Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE) building. For further inquiries please contact Dr. Wesley Morgan, Lecturer in Politics and International Affairs, GDIA, on either via email: wesley_m(at)usp.ac.fj or phone: +679 3231924. Click here to view the flyer for the event.
July 2-13, 2018 – Honiara Diplomacy Workshop – In 2016, The University of the South Pacific (USP) received a request from the Solomon Islands Government for the delivery of a Graduate Certificate in Diplomacy and International Affairs as an in-country program for senior public servants from the Solomon Islands. In 2017 two courses, comprising the Graduate Certificate program, were delivered in Honiara, as two-week flexi-courses offered to senior public servants. In 2018 the Graduate Certificate program is again offered to senior Solomon Islands public servants. The first of the two courses to be offered in 2018 was the PL409 course.
May 24th, 2018 – Public Lecture – Coolie Talks: Intergenerational Traumas Among Descendants of Indentured Communities. Fiji Public Policy Institute presents this Public Lecture in commemoration of Girmit Day at The University of the South Pacific. The Lecture will be delivered by Esha Pillay, M.A. SOAS University of London. The Lecture will be on Thursday, 24th May 2018, from 6 pm at the Centre for Development Studies Seminar Room (S103), Faculty of Business and Economics building. For further inquiries please contact Roshika Deo roshika.deo.16(at)ucl.uk.ac; 996-9907. Click here to view the flyer for the event.
May 24th, 2018 – Prof. Allen’s Book (RESOURCE EXTRACTION AND CONTENTIOUS STATES: Mining and the Politics of Scale in the Pacific Islands) Launch from 5.30pm – 7pm at FBE Conference Room (Courtyard). Please click here for more details.
October 25-26th, 2017 – Diplomacy and International Negotiations Workshop for graduate GDIA students.
October 20th, 2017 – International Symposium ‘Pacific Climate Law and Governance. Click here to view full program.
September 28th, 2017– Special Climate Change Briefing for Journalists . The special seminar on climate change communication for journalist was a collaboration with the Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development (PACE-SD), the USP School of Journalism, and civil society members of the Pacific Islands Climate Action Network (PICAN).
September 2017 – The GDIA Debate Team made the School proud with their performance at the finals of the School Inter-School Debate competition. Pictured from left: Head of Discipline, Assoc. Prof. Sandra Tarte; Vernassa Manyam, Israel Donumanasava, Triveshni Sharma and Jason Titifanue (Team coach).
August 10th, 2017 – Public Seminar: “Pacific Grim? Human rights violations across the region and opportunities for change” . Presenter Kate Scheutze, Amnesty International.
Mid-year break – GDIA’s Postgraduate Certificate in Diplomacy and International Affairs. Dr Wesley Morgan and former Australian diplomat and communications consultant Peter Rodgers travelled to Honiara to deliver a flexi-school course (PL409: Diplomacy, Negotiation and Statecraft) for senior public servants in the Solomon Islands Government. The course is a component of GDIA’s Postgraduate Certificate in Diplomacy and International Affairs.
June 15th, 2017 – Public Lecture: “Local Leadership for Global Goals. The Power of People Led Development”. In conversation with Winnie Byanyima, Exec. Director OXFAM International.
May 25th, 2017 – Lunchtime panel: “Unfinished Business: Protecting the Pacific Ocean from a Legacy of Nuclear Bombing”. The Panel was organised in the lead up to the 2017 UN Oceans Conference in New York. Panelists: Prof. Naidu and Dr Slatter, GDIA, USP.
Feb. 28th, 2017 – Panel Discussion The Rise of Illiberal Democracy: Implications for Social Movements Keynote by Prof. Gita Sen; Panel Respondents: Prof. Vijay Naidu (GDIA); Maureen Penjueli (PANG); Maria Graciela Cuervo (DAWN).The Panel was introduced by Dr. Andreea R. Torre (GDIA) and moderated by Assoc. Prof. Paul Carnegie (GDIA); Co-organizers of the Event: DAWN, PANG, GDIA.
Feb. 23rd, 2017 – Pacific Climate Diplomacy Seminar Series launched at GDIA. The first seminar was titled “Friend or Foe? Australian climate policy post-Paris and implications for the Pacific” and was given by Dr. s. Bradshaw from Oxfam Australia.
1-2nd, December 2016 – ‘Oceans Governance: Shaping our Future’ . The workshop was organised by GDIA in partnership with the State, Society & Governance in Melanesia Program (SSGM). For more information and resources from the workshop, please visit the workshop page at SSGM
May 31st, 2016 – TEDX Suva talk by GDIA’s MA candidate and teaching assistant Jope Tarai: “Re-thinking the Fijian man” – 31st May 2016
October 16th, 2015 – Special Issue launch “No Ordinary Election: The Fiji General Election 2014”