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Deakin Speaking

US-North Korea summit: the hard work is yet to come

President Donald Trump and Chairman Kim Jong-Un have bested their doubters and not only smiled and shaken hands but have signed off on a document committing both to the Holy Grail of contemporary diplomacy – the de-nuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula. Both will be able to go home with a win in their pocket and […]

When Trump meets Kim

When President Donald Trump meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, for their meeting to have been deemed a success, all they will have to do is walk away saying they have agreed in principle to some relatively low level matters and leave the details to their officials. That the summit between the two leaders […]

High stakes for the on-off-on US N Korea summit

Short of President Trump changing his mind – again – the meeting between himself and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un looks like it will proceed as originally scheduled in Singapore on or close to 12 June. North Asia, and the world, should be able to breathe a sigh of relief. President Trump’s decision to cancel […]

Why Trump has abandoned the Iran deal

If US President Donald Trump is good at one thing, it’s keeping his word on election promises; the promises may have been utterly crazy, but President Trump does appear to be sincere about trying to deliver. Abandoning the 2015 Iran nuclear deal with the ‘strongest sanctions in history’ is a key case in point. Apart […]

No Dancing, No Dancing: inside the global humanitarian crisis

Danis Dragovic’s ‘No Dancing, No Dancing: inside the global humanitarian crisis’ (Odyssey, 2018) is an important reflection on the aid and disaster industries, revisiting sites of previous aid work – South Sudan, Iraq and Timor-Leste – to discover what, if anything, has remained of earlier aid efforts and, where there has been failure, to seek […]

Australia Timor-Leste Election Observer Mission 2018 report

Australia Timor-Leste Election Observer Mission 2018 (ATLEOM 2018)   STATEMENT ON ELECTORAL PROCESS   The Australia Timor-Leste Election Observer Mission (ATLEOM) congratulates Timor-Leste’s National Elections Commission (CNE) and Technical Secretariat for Electoral Administration (STAE) for their sound organisation of the 2018 parliamentary election. As in the past, the poll presented significant logistical and organisational challenges, […]

No bread but a royal wedding circus

One has to be happy for Prince Harry and his prospective bride, Meghan Markle; a wedding is always a time of hope and celebration. The problem is, as much as one might like to be happy for them, theirs will be just one of hundreds of thousands of weddings around the world on that day. […]

Timor-Leste on a steady path again … for now.

East Timor is in for another change of government, less than nine months after the last elections. Xanana Gusmao’s Alliance for Change and Progress (AMP) appears to have secured 35 seats in the 65 seat legislature, ousting the minority Fretilin government which was forced to the poll after having its budget blocked last year. The […]

Malaysia’s fundamental political shift

Malaysia’s extraordinary election outcome, in which the six decade old government has been defeated, marks a profound and likely permanent shift for the future of politics in the country. The ruling National Front (Barisan Nasional – BN) government had retained power, particularly in the last decade or so, primarily through a system of rigged electoral […]

Trump’s ‘dumb luck’ decision making may not last

Just a couple of short weeks ago, President Donald Trump’s nay-sayers were having to re-think on his Korea strategy and, potentially, his wider unorthodox political style. Perhaps, they were being forced to ask themselves, his brinksmanship really was responsible for what is looking like a rapprochement between North and South Korea and potentially the denuclearization […]