National Office and Branch Activities

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Cook Islands Minister of Finance and Economic Management Hon Mark Stephen Brown spoke at Victoria University of Wellington on 'New Perspectives on Development Challenges for the Pacific Islands: Great Ocean States?' on 13 March, and a week later HE Leonora Rueda, ambassador of Mexico, addressed a meeting on 'Crises, Clashes and Collaboration: The G20 under the Mexican Presidency'.

Another mini-seminar on 21 March focused on 'East Asia Pacific, Economic Growth, Opportunity and the Roles of the World Bank and the Asia Development Bank'. Dr Pamela Cox, the World Bank regional vice-president for East Asia and the Pacific, and Stephen Groff, the vice-president (operations 2) at the Asia Development Bank, led the discussion. They were accompanied by World Bank Executive Director for Australia and New Zealand John Whitehead (a former New Zealand treasury secretary), Dr Ulrich Zachau (World Bank East Asia Pacific director of strategy and operations), Ferid Belhaj (country director for Papua New Guinea, East Timor and the Pacific Islands), Lester Dally (Dr Cox's senior adviser), and Robert Wihtol (director-general of the Asia Development Bank's Pacific Department).

On 28 March Professor Mete Tuncoku of Canakkale Onsekiz Mart University, Canakkale, Turkey, spoke on 'A Gallant Enmity: Turkey, Australia and New Zealand at the Gallipoli Campaign'. Next day Aleksander Kwasniewski, who was president of Poland from 1995 to 2005, addressed a meeting at Victoria University of Wellington on 'The Europe-United States partnership in the 21st Century: A Polish Perspective'.

On 30 May Vuk Jeremic, Serbia's foreign minister, outlined the current political situation and outlook of Serbia. Next day Filippo Grandi (commissioner-general of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees) addressed a meeting at Victoria University of Wellington on 'Responsibilities and Relevance: UNRWA's Role in a Changing Middle East'.

On 12 June Hon Murray McCully, minister of foreign affairs, gave an address at Victoria University of Wellington on 'Modernising the Security Council--the Challenge of Global Security'. (The edited text of the minister's address is to be found elsewhere in this issue.)

On 22 June a breakfast meeting was held with the Chilean minister of defence, Andres Allamand Zavala. Later that day there was a roundtable with Dr Meir Litvak, an associate professor in Middle East history and director of the Centre for Iranian studies at the Dayan Centre, Tel Aviv University.

The civilian director of the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team in Bamyan, Afghanistan, Richard Prendergast, gave an address under Chatham House rules on 'Diplomatic Despatches from the Hindu Kush' on 19 July.

Auckland

The following meetings were held:

19 Mar Dr Emanuele Ottolenghi (senior fellow, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, Washington), 'From Tehran to Tahrir Square'.

23 Apr John Goodman (former New Zealand high commissioner to Kiribati and ambassador to Palau, Federated States of Micronesia and Marshall Islands), 'States of Mind: Micronesia in the Pacific'.

25 Jul Dana Deree (acting US consul-general in Auckland), 'An Examination of the US Election 2012'.

On 28 June, in association with Auckland University's Faculty of Law, the New Zealand Centre for Human Rights Law, Policy and Practice and the New Zealand branch of the International Law Association, the branch organised a seminar at which Professor Tim McCormack spoke on 'The Tenth Anniversary of the ICC: Achievements and Challenges'.

Christchurch

The following meetings were held:

24 Apt Simon Murdoch (former secretary of foreign affairs), 'Some Reflections on the International Outlook'.

16 May Prof Kevin Clements (Otago University), 'The Prospects for a North-east Asian Nuclear Weapon Free Zone in the 21st Century'. …