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Department of Pacific Affairs’ biennial State of the Pacific (SOTP) conference will take place from 10-12 September 2018 at the Australian National University in Canberra. A Pacific Research Program flagship event, SOTP2018 will again bring together leading academics, policymakers, business leaders, civil society representatives and the media to present on, discuss and debate current issues of interest concerning the Pacific Islands region.
The conference will take place immediately following this year’s Pacific Islands Forum meeting and will therefore be the first opportunity to reflect collectively on the outcomes of this year’s Leaders’ Meeting.
The conference will involve presentation of new research and analysis from DPA scholars and number of other eminent figures and scholars from the Pacific. It will generate discussion on the factors shaping the forward-looking research agenda on the Pacific Islands region.
SOTP2018 will address a range of topics, organised under broad themes including:
• Issues of region-wide relevance, such as Pacific regional security and “Biketawa Plus”; Pacific resilience; labour mobility; Pacific criminology; and extractive resource industries;
• Issues of national politics and development, for example women’s leadership; upcoming referenda in New Caledonia and Bougainville; the 2017 National General Election in Papua New Guinea; and the management of constituency development funds in Solomon Islands; and
• Issues concerning people and communities, including young people in the Pacific; gender-based violence; economic empowerment; and experiences of reporting and writing on the Pacific.
The conference will celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the University of the South Pacific, one of ANU’s key partners in the region. The SOTP program will also include a special The Little Red Podcast episode on China in the Pacific.