On Friday 7th more than 100 members of the RCN community attended a World Today presentation titled, ‘The New Global Order’ given by visiting speaker Dr. Cedric de Coning. Dr. de Coning is head of the Peace Operations and Peacebuilding Research Group at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI). He is also a special advisor to the Head of the Peace Support Operations Division of the African Union, and a member of the Advisory Group of the UN Peacebuilding Fund. Cedric serves on the research board of CMC Finland and on the editorial boards of the journals ‘Peacebuilding’ and ‘Global Governance’. His presentation described the changing face of international alliances and how, after many decades of western countries guiding the policy decisions of international institutions such as the IMF, WTO, and World Bank, other alliances – such as the African Union, and the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) – are finding common cause to justify claiming a voice in international policy decision-making. Dr. de Coning’s take on this readjustment of influence seemed to be largely positive and optimistic. After his introduction, Dr. de Coning took questions for an hour from a very attentive and interested audience.

Earlier in the day, Dr. de Coning’s wife, Eve – who works with Interpol to research contraventions of maritime law and promote international cooperation between enforcement agencies on various issues – gave a presentation focused on fish in the global food supply, and specifically on ships recently impounded in Cape Town. These ships fish in international waters and evade various regulations and conventions (eg, species-specific and total catch quotas, income tax, human labour laws, and basic human rights) by various means, including changing their registration details (flag, name & identity). The presentation highlighted, on the one hand, the challenges of promoting and monitoring sustainable fishing practices at a global-international level and on the other, the problematic inter-relatedness between organised crime and environmental and humanitarian values. A thoroughly engaging presentation that dealt with topics in biology, geography and environmental systems & societies courses, prompted many focused questions!

On Saturday morning Dr. de Coning led a well-attended workshop for History and Global Politics students about peacekeeping and peacebuilding.

Our thanks go to Dr. Cedric and Eve de Coning, and to the World Today team for organising the visit.