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CSCAP New Zealand

At the 20th Steering Committee Meeting of CSCAP held in Jakarta in December 2003, CSCAP-New Zealand floated an idea to form a Study Group to examine the question of Security in Oceania. Six months later in May 2004, in Kuala Lumpur, after consideration of a special report, the Steering Committee agreed for CSCAP-New Zealand to take the lead on the proposal. Of particular concern were the topics of, roots of conflict and post conflict matters; policing and capacity building; and governance. The first result of this initiative became a Conference entitled, "Engaging Oceania with Pacific Asia" held in Wellington over 24/25th August 2004. Of specific note was that several scholars, distinguished academics and other eminent individuals from within Oceania joined with their colleagues from a number of regional CSCAP National Councils to deliberate about security in Oceania, how it might be improved and the pressing matter of tackling inter-regional security problems. Subjects under discussion included a regional overview, a contemporary view of security in Oceania, problems of governance, regional crime, the disheartening scourge of poverty and other linkages between Oceania and Pacific Asia. One subject area that did not receive proper coverage concerns the issue of resource exploitation in the form of over-fishing, especially Illegal Unregulated and Unreported Fishing (IUU), poor logging practice, mining and the concomitant pollution of the environment. This is a huge subject in itself and one that ought to be addressed in a separate exercise because of the deleterious effect on the whole region. 

The Conference provided an opportunity for academic colleagues from Oceania with a keen interest in Track II processes to observe and participate in a CSCAP exercise. That in itself is something of an achievement and should be nurtured for future cooperation and interactions. It is worth noting that archipelagic members of CSCAP have a lot in common with Oceania and the opportunity to provide correlations through a dialogue of this nature merits further consideration. There are places where their boundaries intersect and about which there are significant areas of difficulty that will have to be navigated and resolved through collaborative means. 

The Conference "Engaging Oceania with Pacific Asia" was merely an opening dialogue in engaging scholars to debate the connecting of Oceania with Pacific Asia into a wider security context. The chapters of this book therefore provide a stimulus for further debate and policy development about the prospects for security in Oceania and linkages with Pacific Asia. Much more work is required in the field of sustainable and responsible resource extraction and especially how the people of Oceania might benefit from an equitable partnership and a share from those activities.

Download the report of proceedings.


Engaging Oceania with Pacific Asia
Edited by Peter Cozens
First Published 2004.
ISBN 0-475-20108-6
Paperback, 130p.