Event details
Event Start Date: 23/11/2018
Event End Date: 23/11/2018
Time: 9.00am–5.00pm

Venue: Central Lecture Block 7, UNSW Sydney (E9 on the campus map)

 Kaldor Centre Conference 2018

Refugee Diplomacy: Negotiating protection in a changing world

23 November 2018

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.

See the full conference program.

Keynote Speaker

Anne C Richard served as US Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration in the Obama Administration (2012-17). In this role she led US diplomacy on refugee and humanitarian issues, and negotiated with Australia regarding resettlement of refugees from Manus Island and Nauru. She is currently a Centennial Fellow at the Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University and is affiliated with its Institute for the Study of International Migration. Previously, she held senior roles at the International Rescue Committee (2004-12), the US State Department, Peace Corps and the US Office of Management and Budget. Ms Richard is a graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and has a Master's degree in Public Policy Studies from the University of Chicago.


Please contact us at kaldorcentre@unsw.edu.au regarding sponsorship opportunities.

Conference Fees

Early bird fee (by 26 October 2018)
      Standard Registration $160 
      NGO/Student Registration $100

Regular fee (after 26 October 2018)
      Standard Registration $200
      NGO/Student Registration $140

 @kaldorcentre #Kaldor2018


8.30–9.00                 Registration

9.00–9.30                 The year in review  [Download speech]

                                  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  [Download speech]
                                  Anne C Richard, former US Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration

                                  Chaired by Andrew Kaldor AM, Founder, Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, UNSW Sydney

10.30–11.00              Break 

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

                                  Cooperation, compromise and commitments: The Global Compact on Refugees
                                  Professor Guy S Goodwin-Gill, Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, UNSW Sydney

                                  The link between safety and orderly migration
                                  Marianne Dickie, Visiting Fellow, Australian National University College of Law

                                  Refugee rights at risk: Evolving barriers to asylum, eroding protections
                                  Bill Frelick, Director, Refugee Rights Program, Human Rights Watch

                                  Chaired by Thomas Albrecht, UNHCR's Regional Representative for Refugees for Australia, New Zealand,
                                  Papua New Guinea and the Pacific and member of the Kaldor Centre Advisory Committee

12.30–1.30                Lunch

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

                                 Second track diplomacy on displacement in the region: The Asia Dialogue on Forced Migration
                                  Travers McLeod, Chief Executive Officer, Centre for Policy Development

                                 'Refugee diplomacy' in turbulent times: Perspectives on the role of civil society in the Asia-Pacific
                                 Tamara Domicelj, Regional Refugee Protection Advisor, Act for Peace

                                  Responsibility-sharing and the Asia-Pacific
                                  Professor Penelope Mathew, Dean of Law, Griffith University

                                  Chaired by Renata Kaldor AO, Founder, Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, UNSW Sydney

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
                                  John Quinn, former Australian Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations
                                  and Conference on Disarmament in Geneva

                                  Chaired by Leanne Smith, Associate Director, Whitlam Institute, Western Sydney University and member of the Kaldor Centre Advisory Committee

4.45–5.00                  Vote of thanks

                                  Professor George Williams AO, Dean of Law, UNSW Sydney

The Kaldor Centre would like to thank


Wotton+Kearney, Not-for-profit sponsor             Hall&Wilcox, Not-for-profit sponsor  


The Ian Potter Foundation, Keynote speaker sponsor 

for their support enabling community organisations to participate in the Kaldor Centre Annual Conference 2018.


The Kaldor Centre plays a vital role in developing legal, sustainable and humane solutions for displaced people around the world.