Programmes Summary

NZCGS runs five programs to carry out its mission statement. Each of them is relevant to global affairs and New Zealand’s role within that realm. 

Global Citizenship and Education

Global Citizenship as a concept involves the idea of institutional construction of allegiance that is no longer bound by or centered upon the formal relationship that an individual has to their own territorial society as embedded in the form of a state. Traditional citizenship is being challenged and remolded into the concept of Global Citizenship by the important activism associated with the global community’s transnational economic, political and social evolution.   

An analysis of the concept may be found in a chapter on the subject authored by NZCGS’ founding Director in a book entitled ‘For the Sake of Present and Future Generations’. 

Conferences on Global Citizenship 

Auckland Girls’ Grammar School, Auckland – 2013 

Following a full day conference with senior students, eight outstanding participants were selected to attend a retreat at NZCGS to further develop and draft a report on what it means for youth to be global citizens in the 21st centry.  

Parliament House, Wellington – 2016 

A full day event was co-hosted and co-sponsored by the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO with topics covering global citizenship, governance, Pasifika perspectives and common goods. The event was graced by the likes of Ian McKinnon, Libby Giles, Jacinda Ardern and Tracy Martin.  

Creative Activism and Global Citizenship Conference – 2016 

The event was co-hosted by Massey University and brought together 200 students to explore a way to engage as global citizens through media studies, music, creative writing and drama. A group of participants selected from the conference completed a retreat at NZCGS where they drafted a statement on the imperative to address the challenges faced by the world and the ways in which the concept of global citizenship is the path forward. 

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Coordinator: Libby Giles

Global Law & Governance

Global Governance provides a framework of coordination among international organisations, national governments, civil society and the private sector, with the United Nations playing a central role in their coordination. NZCGS focuses its work on how New Zealand may play a leading role in providing this framework for the greater good of the global community. 

NZCGS adopts no policy position on the concept of Global Governance, instead encourages each of its members to advance research and reasoned debate on the topic. 

2nd Annual Global Affairs Lecture – 2015 

Professor Ramesh Thakur, NZCGS Board Member presented on the issue of UN Security Council Reform. 

3rd Annual Global Affairs Lecture – 2016 

Sir Geoffrey Palmer, former Prime Minister of New Zealand presented on Global Society and the Challenges of Governance. 

Conference at Victoria University – 2016 

NZCGS convened a conference on the Relationship between Global Citizenship and Global Constitutionalism. 

Policy Brief – 2017 

Associate Professor Graham Hassall, NZCGS Board Member contributed a policy brief on Reviewing Principles of Governance: Branches of Government at the Global Level in the 2017 Policy Quarterly. 

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Global Law, or supranational law involves issues of global commons that transcend direct jurisdictional control by the nation state. Treaties cover the legal status and usage of these areas. The idea of Global Law is challenging subject in the early 21st century. The stress from a deteriorating global environment, the burgeoning global population and widespread socio-economic instability are causing regional migration resulting in heightened nationalism and diminished universalism.  

The new approach to inter-human relationships, including international political and diplomatic relations requires a strengthened rule of law; and this is the quintessential challenge for today’s international lawyers, diplomats and political leaders.  

The Crime of Aggression  

Beehive Theatrette Symposium – 2016 

The event was co-hosted by the International Law Association. 

Law Faculty, University of Victoria Seminar – 2018 

The event was to mark the entry-into-force of aggression as a crime under the Rome Statute.  

Select Committee Submission – 2020 

NZCGS lodged a submission on the ratification and domestic implementation of aggression as a domestic crime in New Zealand law.  

 Individual Criminal Law, Policy Brief - 2016  

Building Criminal Accountability at the Global Level: The historical experience of a small island state- New Zealand by Professor Neil Boister 

Global Law and the Commons, Policy Brief – 2017 

Board members focused on how contemporary law is striving to meet the challenges of the global commons; 

The Atmosphere: the Paris Agreement and global governance by Adrian Macey. 

The Oceans: the Law of the Sea Convention as a form of global governance by Duncan Currie. 

Professor Roger Clark lecture: “Making Aggression a Leadership Crime in 2017: The Rome Statute and the Kampala Amendment” at Parliament on 11 July 2016, at invitation of the New Zealand Centre for Global Studies. Find the recording here 

Transnational Law, Policy Brief – 2018 

An Introduction to Transnational Criminal Law by Professor Neil Boister 

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Dr Kennedy

Coordinator: Kennedy Graham

Global Security & Disarmament

Global security traditionally refers to measures taken by states and international organisations including the United Nations, European Union and others to ensure mutual survival and safety. Measures include military action and diplomatic agreements such as treaties and conventions. NZCGS focuses its work on global security and impending human security in the 21st century global condition. 

2nd Annual Global Affairs Lecture – 2015 

Board Member Ramesh Thakur presented on whether the UN Security Council is ‘fit for purpose’.  

Research Paper – 2015 

NZCGS’ founding Director Dr Kennedy Graham completed a research paper on UN Security Council Reform.  

4th Annual Global Affairs Lecture – 2017 

Hon Gareth Evans, Former Australian Foreign Minister presented on the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons with a response from NZ Ambassador HE Dell Higgie. 

Select Committee Submission – 2018 

NZCGS Board wrote a submission for the ratification of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.  The submission can be found here 

Understanding Nuclear Disarmament – 2019 

NZCGS hosted a major conference on the TPNW. Over 100 participants including members of Parliament, Ambassadors and students were flown in from across the country to Wellington to attend the two day event.  

Understanding Nuclear Disarmament: Insights for, and from young global citizens – 2019 

An event co-hosted by Massey University and UN Youth New Zealand saw around 40 students from across New Zealand participate in a two day event with speakers and collaborative workshops resulting in a student pledge towards the global ratification of the TPNW.  

Youth Delegation Visits Australia – 2019 

Renee Moorjani and Jayden van Leeuwen visited Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne to address Australia’s stance on nuclear disarmament with various groups such as PND, Australian Institute for International Affairs, etc. 

In August 2021, The Centre published a Working Paper by Dr Thomas Wilkins, a Senior Lecturer in International Security at the Department of Government and International Relations (GIR) at the University of Sydney; and Senior Fellow at the Japan institute for International Affairs (JIIA) think-tank in Tokyo, titled Japan and the Regional Order.

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Renee Moorjani

Coordinator: Renee Moorjani

Global Sustainability & Climate

The challenge of developing an appropriate legal framework to deal effectively with the problems of the global commons is immense.  The Centre’s focus on planetary boundaries is part of its work in this area.  But the question arises whether contemporary international law is adequate to handle such global problems.  And there is the broader underlying issue whether global sustainability requires a more rigorous ethical foundation, not only on the part of nation-states but living beings in the 21st century. 

Board member, Dr Adrian Macey (former NZ ambassador for climate change), has discussed the shortcoming of existing international institutions for solving problems of the global commons:

Climate change has been described as “a diabolical policy problem ….. harder than any other issue of high importance that has come before our polity in living memory.  To deal with it effectively involves many different policy areas. … The financial implication of climate change – impacts, adaptation and mitigation – are huge and growing. There is a need for massive deployment of technology, a sector notoriously difficult to regulate.  Climate change also involves time-frames unknown in public policy.  There is currently no overall governance arrangement to integrate all these dimensions.  The Bonn-based UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) secretariat, with its mandate defined by the existing convention and its protocol, can easily be seen as too narrow in scope and expertise, and too small to cope with the scale and complexity of this global challenge.  

Climate Change: Governance challenges for Copenhagen, A. Macey (Global Governance 15(4), 2009, pp. 443-449.

Board member Prue Taylor (Auckland University) has recognised expertise on the ethics of sustainability.  As early as the late 1990s, she argued that international environmental law was fundamentally flawed and unequipped to meet global challenges. She examined international legal responses to global climate change by analysing key concepts such as the doctrine of state sovereignty, the law on state responsibility, environmental rights and the common heritage of mankind.

An Ecological Approach to International Law: Responding to the challenges of climate change, P. Taylor (Routledge, 1998)

Similarly, the Centre’s Director, Dr Kennedy Graham, has prescribed a ‘qualitative change’ to the traditional conceptual framework for political perception, analysis and prescription, to tackle the problems of the global commons.   A new framework is needed in three fundamental ways — analytical, spatial and temporal.

  1. Analytical: Supplementing, in political thought, the traditional left-right axis (which deals with the normative issue of how humans live together) with a new vertical axis of sustainability (which deals with the imperative of whether humanity survives).
  2. Spatial: Adopting a global worldview, in which ‘global solutions’ are found to global problems, and national responsibilities are derived, rather than ‘global outcomes’ are the product of competitive national negotiations.
  3. Temporal: Adopting a longer time-frame for policy formulation than the short-term electoral cycles.

Reframing Politics: Towards a new conceptual framework, K. Graham (Christchurch Press, 16 June 2009)

1st Annual Global Affairs Lecture – 2014 

Professor Klaus Bosselmann presented on The Planetary Boundaries 

5th Annual Global Affairs Lecture – 2018 

Professor Johan Rockstrom, Director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre presented on the subject.  

Global Governance and Sustainability Conference – 2014 

The event was co-hosted by Victoria University’s Institute for Governance and Policy Studies and the United Nations Association of New Zealand (UNANZ) in Wellington. Professor Inge Kaul presented on the concept on global public goods and their relationship to global governance and the global commons. Her paper can be found here 

Policy Brief – 2017 

Reviewing the Global Economy: The UN and Bretton Woods Systems by Rod Oram, Board Member in the Policy Quarterly 

Policy Brief – 2017 

Governing the Global Commons: an ethical-legal framework by Prue Taylor, former Board Member in the Policy Quarterly.  

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Prof. Klaus Bosselmann

Coordinator: Klaus Bosselmann