Twelve Pacific Island Countries are full members of the United Nations, and a number of other territories benefit from UN association in some way. This seminar outlines current research on the relationship between the UN and the Pacific region from independence to contemporary times. It seeks to examine (1) the contribution the UN has made to the small states of the Pacific, commencing with the process of gaining independence and to strengthening the capacities of PIC member countries to develop their economies, institutions, and societies; (2) the participation of Pacific states in the UN’s General Assembly and Economic and Social Council, as well as in the UN’s many ancillary programs; and (3) the role of small island countries in global multilateral organizations such as the United Nations. The fundamental question beneath this examination is the extent to which the UN’s current structure and operation provides avenues for effective and meaningful participation by small states, such as those in the Pacific. 

About the presenter

Graham Hassall is an Associate Professor in the School of Government at the Victoria University of Wellington. He was President of the United Nations Association of New Zealand (2012-16), Academic Director of Papua New Guinea’s Foreign Service Training Programme (2014-17), and is currently Chair of the New Zealand Centre for Global Studies (2018-). His research interests focus on government and public policy in the Pacific Islands and on small states and global governance. He has recently co-edited a book on eGovernment in Pacific Island States (Springer, 2017) and published on “New Zealand, the League of Nations, and the Mandate Over Western Samoa” in (New Zealand Association for Comparative Law Yearbook 2017), “Law, Culture and Corruption in the Pacific Islands” (New Zealand Yearbook of International Law Volume, 2017), and several co-authored chapters in the Routledge Handbook of International Local Government. Whilst on study leave in 2019 he is progressing book projects on Government and Public Policy in the Pacific Islands, the United Nations and the Pacific Islands, New Zealand and the UN Security Council, and Social Policy in New Zealand.



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The University of Queensland
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