Renewable energy, the green economy, and city diplomacy are among this week's headlines.
In addition to the aesthetic and educational value of international cultural exchange and collaboration, Asia TOPA provided an excellent platform for developing critical economic, political, and security relationships between Australia and its Asian neighbors.
The launch of a new report capturing youth perspectives on foreign affairs in Canberra says Australia needs a clear vision of global engagement. [...] Politicians and youth leaders assembled in Canberra on Tuesday to launch a report by advocacy network Oaktree outlining a vision for foreign policy. [...] Following consultation with various groups, the report found the global issues young people prioritized were climate change, migration and asylum seeker rights, overseas development assistance and equality.
Australia is a beautiful multicultural democracy that respects cultural diversity and promotes equality among all ethic and cultural groups. However, even my freedom in Australia is increasingly under threat from China's "soft power". It is wonderful that the Chinese communities in Australia are allowed to establish all sorts of associations, run Chinese-language media and keep their cultural practices and traditions. With the ambitious goal of establishing "discursive power" in the world, the CCP's Central Propaganda Department has carried out the Grand External Propaganda Program.
In Singapore's botanic gardens this morning, an orchid will be named after the Prime Minister and his wife Lucy in the tradition of naming a hybrid of the national flower after visiting leaders. [...] Tonight, Mr Turnbull will give the keynote address to the Asia Security summit — more commonly known as the Shangri-La dialogue. Delegates from more than 50 countries will be in the audience. [...] The Economist dubbed the incident the "Shangri-La dust up". Security will be intense and Singaporeans have already been warned to avoid anything that could be deemed suspicious.
Australian officials have been working hard to secure one of two seats on the United Nations Human Rights Council for the 2018-2020 term, pushing at international forums for voting countries to back their bid. [...] Just six months ago, during his visit to Australia, Special Rapporteur for the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights François Crépeau said Australia’s human rights standing had been tarnished by its “regressive” migration policies falling behind international standards. Treatment of migrants by boat “served to erode their human rights.”
"Many bilateral aid programmes to Asia have been cut by over 40 per cent and there have been complete withdrawals from some sectors such as regional health programmes in South-East Asia. There has been a lack of strategic vision in Asia so clearly demonstrated by Australia’s reduction in assistance to Myanmar as a fledgling democracy and transitioning economy. We also remain extremely concerned that the most vulnerable people living on Pacific island nations are inadequately protected from climate change,” Purcell tells SciDev.Net.
The Australia Council for the Arts has announced that nine established Aboriginal Art Curators are taking part in an international exchange program at the 57th Biennale in Venice. Ozco's Executive Director Strategic Development and Advocacy, Dr Wendy Were explained that the First Nations Curators Program at the 2017 Venice Biennale builds on the First Nations Curators Exchanges held at 8th Asia Pacific Triennial in 2015 and in New Zealand in 2017 involving Australians, New Zealanders and Canadians.