Pacific Debate – Pacific Institute of Public Policy Thinking for ourselves Thu, 11 Apr 2019 10:48:07 -0700 en-GB hourly 1 Pacific Debate 2013 Mon, 16 Dec 2013 22:59:40 +0000 This debate is a timely look, from a Pacific lens, at the global asylum seeker situation, where according to United Nations there are forty five million refugees worldwide. Many of then living in tents and make shift shelter, some of them are desperate enough to get into an unseaworthy boat, and try their luck landing on Pacific shores in places like Australia. Although Australia’s so called ‘Pacific Solution’ involving Papua New Guinea and Nauru has grabbed the headlines, this debate is not about debating the merits of that particular deal, but looking at the broader issues, of how Pacific nations should deal with refugees, both internal and external. It’s about developing long-term policy and not short term political fixes. Finding a balance between deterrence and humanitarian acceptance. Ultimately it’s about finding the Pacific Way on this this contentious issue, and making sure that a pacific perspective is heard. Pacific Nations are not strangers to refugee issues. Many have dealt with both internally displaced people in times of conflict in places like the Solomon Islands and Bougainville. While others like Palau have opened their doors to persecuted minorities, like the Uighurs from China. Already some of us are dealing with climate refugees, and this is likely to escalate in coming years.

The 2013 Pacific Debate brings a panel of great minds together to help us think through this important and challenging subject, debating the motion: ‘That as global citizens it is only right that Pacific nations accept their share of global refugees’. Speaking for the motion is the former President of Palau, the Mr Johnson Toribiong joined by Papua New Guinea’s High Commissioner to Fiji, His Excellency Peter Eafeare. Arguing against the motion is Mr Deni TuKunai, a young PNG based political commentator who blogs under the name Tavurvur, and Professor Biman Prasad who until recently was the Dean of the School of Economics at the University of the South Pacific. The debate is presented by Tania Nugent, the region’s highly acclaimed TV presenter and producer, and the moderator for the discussions is Kalafi Moala,publisher and managing director of the Taimi Media Network in Nuku’alofa, Tonga.

The 2013 Pacific Debate was held at the Holiday Inn, Suva  and produced in association with Fiji TV and the Oceania Development Network.

Pacific Debate 2012 Fri, 15 Jun 2012 03:02:27 +0000 There is a perception that the centre of gravity in terms of trade and security issues has shifted to the Pacific rim. With much of the discussion being defined by the big global players – the US and China – what does it mean for Island states? That was the question on everyone’s minds on June 14, 2012 when PiPP, in association with PACMAS.

Modelled on the BBC’s Doha Debate, the Pacific Debate aims to provide a unique space for frank and fearless discussions on important issues affecting the Pacific; and stimulates informed policy debate in the region. It is the leading think-tank forum that consists of prominent and leading thinkers in the region; and offers stimulating and thought-provoking discussions on a range of policy issues confronting the region.

Held at the Iririki Watermark Restaurant, Port Vila, the 2012 event brought together a select group of Pacific politicians, diplomats, students, development partners, business and non-government organisations, delegates to the ACP-EU summit and media to debate the topic ‘that in this Pacific Century and a new era of strategic contest, island states should be neutral’.

Panellists included Fijian agricultural economist and former diplomat and politician Kaliopate Tavola; American Samoan Congressman Eni Faleomavaega; representative of the State of Pohnpei to the Seventeenth Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia, Senator Peter Christian; and the former head of the Papua New Guinea Defence Force, Major General (retired) Jerry Singirok. The debate was hosted by the highly respected regional TV presenter, Tania Nugent and moderated by respected ni-Vanuatu development worker, Anna Naupa, a Geography Masters graduate from the University of Hawaii.

The event was filmed to be packaged into a one hour television special for free distribution to television stations worldwide. As a PiPP/PACMAS capacity building initiative, the production team was brought together from across the region, and comprised producers from Kundu 2 TV (NBC-PNG), Fiji Television Limited, Vanuatu Broadcasting and Television Corporation, Voices for Change Project; and Wan Smolbag Theatre.

Pacific Debate 2011 Thu, 08 Sep 2011 03:11:28 +0000 The Pacific Debate is an annual debate organised and hosted by the Pacific Institute of Public Policy to focus attention on a major policy issue confronting the region. The 2011 Debate was held in Auckland on the sidelines of the annual Pacific Islands Forum. This year’s theme was “That government focus should be on urban development to support economic growth”. Participants included UN urban specialists, economists and university students. This debate highlights the growing need for Pacific governments and civil society to focus attention on developing urban plans and livable cities as the Pacific, like the rest of the world, becomes increasingly urbanised.

Pacific Debate 2010 Thu, 05 Aug 2010 23:04:01 +0000 In August 2010, PiPP launched its Pacific Debate series on the sidelines of the annual Pacific Islands Forum meeting in Port Vila, Vanuatu. In this first Pacific Debate, students of the University of the South Pacific’s Law Faculty debated the motion “That regionalism has failed the Pacific.” The debate questioned the overarching policy of regionalism, with debating teams presenting their case for and against by looking at how a regional approach has influenced action on climate change, trade and fisheries.