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Sydney: Kaldor Centre Conference 2018

23 November 2018 @ 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Kaldor Centre Conference 2018

Kaldor Centre Conference at UNSW Law, Kensington Campus on November 18, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Anna Kucera)

Refugee Diplomacy:
Negotiating protection in a changing world

Date: 23 November 2018
Time: 9.00am-5.00pm
Venue: Central Lecture Block 7
UNSW Kensington
(E19 on campus map)


Foreign policy bears directly on refugee policy. Today both policy agendas are feeling the twin pressures of nationalism and globalisation, and the long-prevailing rules-based order is now contested. What does this mean for people seeking protection, and for the international legal regime that has governed refugee movements since the Second World War, finding solutions for millions of displaced, even as millions more now face an uncertain future in protracted situations? Can international dialogue promote better cooperation and accountability for protecting displaced people? How do international legal norms inform, and become shaped through, diplomatic negotiations? What are the prospects for protecting displaced people in the Asia-Pacific region, and what role does and can Australia play in this endeavour?

The Kaldor Centre Annual Conference on 23 November 2018 will bring Australian, regional and global thinkers to Sydney to explore the place of ‘refugee diplomacy’ in today’s turbulent world, and the interdependence of foreign and domestic policy agendas that impact refugees, asylum seekers and other forced migrants.


8.30–9.00          Registration

9.00–9.30          The year in review

Professor Jane McAdam, Director, Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, UNSW Sydney

9.30–10.30        Opening keynote address

‘The rise and fall of US diplomacy on refugees and migrants: Inside recent history’
Anne C Richard, former US Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration

10.30–11.00       Break 

11.00–12.30       Panel 1 – Negotiating protection on the international stage

Professor Guy S Goodwin-Gill, Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, UNSW Sydney
Marianne Dickie, Australian National University
Bill Frelick, Director, Refugee Rights Program, Human Rights Watch

12.30–1.30         Lunch

1.30–3.00           Panel 2 – Displacement and diplomacy in the Asia-Pacific

Travers McLeod, Chief Executive Officer, Centre for Policy Development
Tamara Domicelj, Regional Refugee Protection Advisor, Act for Peace
Professor Penelope Mathew, Dean of Law, Griffith University

3.00–3.30          Break

3.30–4.45          Panel 3 – Q&A – Behind the scenes of refugee diplomacy

David Wilden, First Assistant Secretary, International Policy Division, Department of Home Affairs
Apajok Biar, Multicultural Youth Ambassador, Multicultural Youth of Australia Network NSW
Professor Erika Feller, Vice Chancellor’s Fellow, University of Melbourne

4.45–5.00          Vote of thanks

Professor George Williams AO, Dean of Law, UNSW Sydney

For any enquiries: