About Track II
informal diplomacy

Our Track II programme supports informal diplomacy with thinktanks in Asia on issues and challenges facing the region.

What we do

Our 'informal diplomacy' dialogues have an international relations focus – with agendas touching on political, security and trade issues of shared interest.

Participants in our dialogues include academics, former diplomats, commentators and journalists.  Government officials sometimes take part as observers.

As part of our effort to encourage students to Think Asia in their postgraduate studies, we include youth observers on our delegations.

What does the Foundation’s ‘informal diplomacy’ look like?

The Foundation is growing the number of connections it has with thinktanks in Asia. At present, we have reciprocal, annual dialogues with the following partners:

  • ASEAN Institutes of Strategic and International Studies (ASEAN) and Asialink (Australia)
  • Indian Council of World Affairs (India)
  • Asan Institute (Korea)
  • Prospect Foundation (Taiwan)
  • Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam (Vietnam) 

The Foundation also supports and actively contributes to the dialogue between the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs and Japanese Institute for International Affairs.

Beyond these institutional, reciprocal relationships, the Foundation drives ad hoc engagement with other thinktanks in the region, as a means of supporting free and frank dialogue on issues of mutual interest.

For example, we have initiated engagement with thinktanks in China on trade and economy policy issues and the Belt and Road Initiative. 

The Foundation hosts and/or participates in on-shore roundtables for visiting scholars and experts from Asia.

We convene ‘Track 1.5’ roundtables, providing government officials with the opportunity to brief our community of experts on emerging policy issues of relevance to Asia and New Zealand.

We also take part in track II dialogues run by other organisations. These include

  • IISS Asia Security Summit: The Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore
  • ASEAN-ISIS Asia Pacific Roundtable in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


How are delegates selected for track II dialogues?

We select track II delegates from a pool of New Zealanders who have skills, experience and expertise in Asia. This group include academics, retired diplomats, journalists, and sometimes government officials (acting in an unofficial capacity).

Track II – NextGen diplomacy

How prominently does Asia feature in your outlook in life and career? How important do you believe Asia is going to be in New Zealand's future? The Asia New Zealand Foundation offers many opportunities for tertiary students and young professionals to kick start their future in foreign, trade and security policy through NextGen activity.