Centre for International and Regional Affairs

The Centre for International and Regional Affairs aims to generate new ideas and promote dialogue on regional and international developments of relevance to Fiji and their impact on Fiji. Its mandate is totally non-partisan and it promotes objective, challenging and rigorous thinking and responses.

Its purposes are:

    • To establish within The University of Fiji a premier institution for the promotion of research, debate and publication on issues relating to Fiji’s regional and international interests and activities, including its trade interests;
    • To provide appropriate consultancy services to government, business, non-governmental Organisations and think tanks, utilizing the expert services of the University community qualified in delivering services relating to regional and international issues and services;
    • To provide administrative capacity for international and regional inter-governmental and non-governmental Organisations for projects and other services in Fiji; and
    • To promote the teaching of regional and international relations disciplines at The University of Fiji.

Patron: Gareth Evans AO, QC, President, International Crisis Centre, Brussels (Formerly, Foreign Minister of Australia)

Hon Director Dr. Richard Herr richardh@unifiji.ac.fj 
Senior Fellow Mr. Filipe Bole

CIRA Purpose

  • To promote non-partisan national dialogue on foreign and trade policy development;
  • To provide appropriate consultancy services to governments, business, non-governmental organisations and think tanks, utilising the expert services of the University community and staff qualified in delivering services relating to regional and international issues and services
  • To provide a ready administrative capacity for international and regional inter-governmental and non-governmental organisations providing projects and other services to Fiji; and
  • To promote the teaching of regional and international relations disciplines at the University of Fiji

Core Functions

  • Facilitate accessible and high quality discussion of Fiji’s and Other PICs foreign policy and international relations and other major contemporary international issues through debate, seminars, lectures, writings, research, dialogue, publication and conferences.
  • Identify key elements of Fiji’s engagement with the region and with the rest of the world and develop original and practical policy options;
  • Identify key elements of selected PICs engagement with the region and with the rest of the world and develop original and practical policy options;
  • Draw on and share the insights and experience of foreign policy practitioners, academics and business people.
  • Seek to involve new and external viewpoints, for example, through appointing international adjunct fellows or associates of the University, youth internships and the involvement of members of the Fiji Diaspora.
  • Provide consultancy services to government, business, other think tanks and non-governmental organisations, including in policy and practice of regional and international trade, negotiation, conflict resolution and disputes settlement.
  • Provide expert administration capacity to regional and international organisations undertaking projects and services in Fiji.
  • Facilitate regional business to business contacts through economic updates, economic sectoral seminars, mentoring and introductions.
  • Develop a website and/or newsletter featuring Fiji’s regional and international relations.

Adjunct Fellows of the Centre: Offers of Support, Assistance and Association with the Centre ( already given to date) “Friends of the Centre”

Professorial Fellows

Professor Ivan Shearer AM RFD, Emeritus Professor, University of New South Wales, Member of the United Nations Human Rights Committee (elected). Eminent international law expert and commentator.

Professor Gillian Triggs is the Director, British Institute for International and Comparative Law, London. Formerly she was the Director of the Institute of Comparative and International Law and had a chair in law at the University of Melbourne. Gillian is a public international lawyer with publications in offshore petroleum rights, indigenous rights, climate change and dispute resolution under the World Trade Organisation.

Associate Professor Richard Herr, School of Government, University of Tasmania: A South Pacific expert who has written widely on South Pacific regional and international issues. He is also the Deputy Director of CIRA.

Prof Ross Fitzgerald, Emeritus Professor, History and Politics, Griffith University, Queensland, an eminent historian and political scientist, well-known Australian writer, broadcaster, administrator and political commentator. He is also a member of the Values Education Advisory Committee established by the federal Minister for Education, Dr Brendan Nelson. This involves advising the Minister how best to facilitate the inculcation of values and civics in Australian schools.

Prof Ken McPherson, Visiting Professor, South Asia Institute, University of Heidelberg, Germany, formerly of Curtin University, well-known expert on South Asia and Indian Ocean Affairs.

Assoc. Professor Philip Powell, Indiana University, Indianapolis. Formerly an Exchange Student at the University of the South Pacific. Commentator, writer and speaker on Pacific regional integration and other Pacific Island Countries’ issues, including Fiji.

Assoc. Professor Shankari Sundaraman, Associate Professor at the Centre for South, Central, Southeast Asian and Southwest Pacific Studies of the School of International Studies at the Jawaharlal Nehru University , where she teaches Southeast Asian studies. Her research also focuses on the Evolution of India’s Look East Policy and its expansion to cover regions of the South Pacific.

Senior Fellows

Mr Filipe Bole, eminent former politician, Cabinet Minister (Deputy Prime Minster, Foreign Minster and Education Minister), senior public servant, diplomat (Ambassador to the Fiji Mission to the United Nations).

Mme Corine Bouffandeau, International Lawyer (France)

Fellows

Ratu Isoa Gavidi, CEO and a business executive, Fiji. He served eminently as a senior public servant in Fiji, including Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Fiji High Commissioner to Malaysia and also as Fiji High Commissioner to Australia.

Dr Vinaye Dey Ancharaz, Senior Lecturer, University of Mauritius. Commentator, writer and speaker on international trade and World Trade Organisation.
Mr Rakesh Ahuja, International Affairs Consultant (formerly an Australian diplomat with several postings including in Russia, China, Vietnam and India, the last as Deputy High Commissioner)

Mr John Low, Independent Consultant and Company Director, Fiji. Formerly, lecturer at the University of the South, economist in the Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics, and Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and later Resource Adviser/Sustainable Development Adviser, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.

Mr G P (Naveen) Singh, Employee Relations Specialist, New Zealand (formerly President of the Air Pacific Union and Personnel Manager, Air Pacific)

Director

A Director for the Centre is appointed by the University as part of its normal appointments process. The Director is the administrative and academic head of the Centre. The Director reports to and is accountable to the Vice-Chancellor of the University. The Director will be responsible for:

  • managing the policy, priorities and program of the Centre as agreed by the Senate of the University;
  • managing the personnel of the Centre, including making recommending and facilitating the appointment of staff using the University’s normal appointments process;
  • managing consultancy work;
  • attracting and maintaining a body of Adjunct International Fellows and Associates who have committed their expertise to the work and development of the Centre and the University’s international relations teaching program; and
  • establishing cooperative relationships with regional and international ‘think- tanks’ who have committed their expertise to the work and development of the Centre.

Advisory Board

The Vice-Chancellor or his/her nominee (ex-officio)
The Director of the Centre (ex-officio)
To be nominated/invited by the University Council:

  • One representative of Fiji Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
  • One member from the Fiji Business Community
  • One member from the Fiji Academia
  • One member from the body of Adjunct International Fellows or Associates of the University
  • One eminent representative of the Fijian Diaspora

The Advisory Board is responsible for

  • recommending to the University Senate policy, priorities and program of the Centre, and providing advice on the curricula for the University’s teaching and research program;
  • advising the Director on the appointment of adjunct International Fellows and Associates; and
  • assisting the Director in raising funds and increasing the national, regional and international profile of the Centre

Funding

The Centre will be funded through government aid programs, Foundations, endowments, bequeaths, gifts, donations, consultancy earnings, and fees from administration services provided by the Centre for projects funded by international aid organisations.

Past Donors: An Acknowledgment

  • Government of France
  • AusAid, Australia (through the Government of Fiji)
  • Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIF), Fiji
  • International Centre of Excellence in Asia Pacific Studies (ICEAPS), Australia
  • Asia Pacific College of Diplomacy (APCD, Australian National University
  • Pacific Apollo Hospitals
  • Dr Michael Sushil Chandra (Iowa, USA)
  • Dr Karam Singh (Sydney, Australia)
  • Australia New Zealand Bank (ANZ), Fiji
  • Westpac, Fiji
  • Punja & Sons, Fiji
  • Hari Punja, Fiji

Programme Overview and Structure

CIRA’s postgraduate programmes in International Relations are designed to prepare graduates to make use of their academic studies in practical career applications. All Postgraduate and Masters Programmes are structured to assist the professional development of diplomats, public servants, political analysts, journalists and others requiring sophisticated analytical skills to interpret and assess the implications of global and regional issues. This program will also assist those hoping to prepare themselves for careers with Government, industry, media, international organisations and NGOs where a thorough grounding in international relations is helpful.

Admission Requirements

The admission requirements for postgraduate studies listed in the University Calendar also apply to the above programmes. Postgraduate application forms can be downloaded from the University website, completed, and sent to the Manager, Student Academic Services, The University of Fiji, Private Mail Bag, Lautoka, Fiji, by the end of September.

Mode of Offer

Courses will be offered through an intensive mode at the Suva campus.

Course Fee

For citizens of Fiji and Forum Island countries: $750 per course
For citizens of other countries: $1500 per course

Enrolments

Enrolments are now open for Postgraduate Certificate in Peacekeeping, Postgraduate Certificate in International Relations, Postgraduate Diploma in International Relations and Masters in International Relations and Diplomacy.

Program: Ongoing

Postgraduate Certificate in Peacekeeping
Postgraduate Certificate in International Relations
Postgraduate Diploma in International Relations
Masters in International Relations and Diplomacy

CIRA’s postgraduate programmes

International Crisis Group (ICG), Brussels
Mr Gareth Evans, President of ICG is the Patron of CIRA

Asia Pacific College of Diplomacy
Australian National University

School of Foreign Service Georgetown
University, Washington – DC

Diplomacy Education (DiploEdu)
Geneva

The University of Fiji – Saweni Campus

Postal Address
Private Mail Bag
Lautoka
Fiji Islands
Physical Address
Queens Highway
Saweni
Lautoka
Fiji Islands
General enquiries
Ph: +679 664 0600
Fax: +679 664 0700
info@unifiji.ac.fj
Admission enquiries
Ph: +679 664 0600
Fax: +679 664 0700
Mobile: +679 9999100 / Short code: 5276
admissions@unifiji.ac.fj

The University of Fiji – Samabula Campus

Postal Address
P O Box 4245
SamabulaFiji Islands
Physical Address
1 Kula Street
Samabula
SuvaFiji Islands
Ph: +679 337 3614
Fax: +679 337 1084
Mobile: +679 999 9111 / Short code: 5277