Oliver Lees

About Oliver Lees

Oliver is a recent graduate of La Trobe University in Melbourne, where he studied International Relations and Mandarin. He is primarily interested in international development, the Asian region (specifically China), climate change issues, conflict resolution, and cross-cultural communication.

UN Peacekeeping Faces Funding Crisis 1

Funding for the United Nations (UN) Peacekeeping Force has been drastically reduced in recent years, with over US$1.9 billion owed to the organization in contributions from its members. Since its inception, peacekeeping has been harshly scrutinized by the international community, with glaring failures in Rwanda and Srebrenica in 1994 and […]

Australia Shirks Climate Responsibility At Pacific Island Forum

At the Pacific Island Forum held in Tuvalu last week, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison did not budge from his conservative position on climate change. Eighteen heads of states representing their island nations did their utmost to convey the immediate threat posed by the climate crisis, but were ultimately unsuccessful […]

South Sudan’s Peace Deal Extends With No End In Sight

Three months into South Sudan’s extended peace deal and little progress has been made towards brokering a power-sharing agreement. The deal was struck in order to reinstate Riek Machar as Vice President, whose position was stripped in 2013 after President Salva Kiir accused him of planning a mutiny. For five […]

Education Of Women And Girls Essential Piece In Development Puzzle

The question of how to successfully assist states as they develop has plagued experts and organizations for years. Each state is home to its own set of culturally specific circumstances, meaning that the process of development can not simply be achieved with a substantial wad of cash and a team […]

Statelessness: A Tragic Side Effect Of Our Modern World

Consider for a moment, your citizenship. For most people our nationality, and therefore our citizenship, is something we were born with, something we inherited and are in no danger of ever losing. Yet, around the world today, there is an estimated 10 million stateless people. That’s 10 million people without […]

Overseas Democracy Promotion Forgotten In “America First” Era

The Trump administration has exhibited a sharp departure from the United States’ legacy of overseas democracy promotion since taking office in 2017. As the title suggests, this “America First” presidency is based squarely around the fulfilment of U.S.-centric objectives, with a shrinking degree of attention reserved for matters carried out […]

In Hong Kong, Past Protests Fuel Progress

Following an unprecedented outpouring of two million people on to the streets of Hong Kong, chief executive Carrie Lam has announced the suspension of the planned extradition bill — a document that would allow the Chinese government to extradite individuals to the mainland at their own discretion. As pressure continued […]

Water Wars: How Scarcity Exacerbates Conflict

Around the world, water scarcity is increasingly changing the face of conflict. Beyond its being essential to human survival – one can only live a few days without consumption – water is also required for basic hygiene and agricultural production. In 2013, the Global Water Institute found that 43 countries […]

Wirathu Arrest Warrant Could Help Muslims In Myanmar 1

Ashin Wirathu, a leading monk in the ongoing persecution of Muslims in Rakhine State, was this week issued an arrest warrant by a Myanmar court, on the basis of “exciting or attempting to excite disaffection towards the government.” The warrant is significant not for the charge itself, but more as […]

Militia Violence Continues To Displace Colombian Farmers 1

Two years on from the monumental peace agreement which brought an end to Colombia’s 52-year civil war, the state still remains significantly unstable. Following decades of conflict between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), local militia groups have seized the opportunity created by the ceasefire’s power […]