Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia in Phnom Penh held a conference on January 5th and 6th that concluded in the launch of two ASAP chapters: ASAP Cambodia and ASAP Southeast Asia. The conference, titled “Building Thoughtful Collaborations to Help Overcome Regional Problems of Poverty,” focused on sustainable development in developing countries.
ASAP President Thomas Pogge was in attendance, along with over 200 participants from major universities in Phnom Penh and NGOs in the area. Some of the topics discussed at the conference included: gender and migration, poverty and migration, women and economic growth, women and small-scale fish processing, women and politics, inclusive growth and education reform, and human security. ASAP Cambodia is currently recruiting from universities around the country.
ASAP West Africa held its first public event on January 27th at the University of Lagos in Nigeria. About 800-1000 people attended the symposium, titled “Political Campaigns Funding and the Looming Tsunami of Poverty.”
Dr. Akin Oyebode, Professor of Law at University of Lagos, delivered the keynote address in which he spoke about politics, corruption and poverty to an engaged audience. In his speech, the professor criticized the ruling People’s Democratic Party for its corruption and stressed the need for leaders to start serving the collective interests of Nigeria’s citizens. He referred to the country as “a plutocracy masquerading as a democracy,” and stated, “public service… should be open to all men and women of noble intention, commitment to the people’s cause, and requisite goodwill.”
Other speakers at the symposium included the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Rahaman Ade Bello, Professor Adebayo Ninalowo, Professor Ralph Akinfeleye, Mr. Innocent Chukwuma of the Ford Foundation, Mr. Dapo Olorunyomi of Premium Times, Mr. Sam Omatseye of The Nation, and Dr. Femi Aribisala. ASAP President Thomas Pogge delivered a video address, in which he explained ASAP’s global mission and vision.
All but one of these speakers echoed the sentiments of Dr. Oyebode. Contrary to the keynote speaker, Dr. Femi Aribisala defended the ruling class. According to him, the nation’s leaders have leveraged their political power to alleviate the suffering of Nigeria’s citizens. The audience expressed its disagreement with this assessment, adding energy to the debate.
The media was well represented, with several outlets in attendance, including: The Guardian, Punch Newspaper, The Nation, Daily Times, New Telegraph, Tell Magazine, Unilag Television, and Premium Times.
Following the success of its inaugural symposium, ASAP West Africa plans to launch the organization in Lagos with a 3-day conference. The chapter may also organize workshops or seminars before the launch.
Rethinking Sustainability Beyond 2015: An Agenda for Citizen Action — Outcomes
Held October 2nd, 2014, 3:00-6:30 pm. ASAP Canada and the Politics and Governance Students Association co-organized this workshop.
Sustainability – defined by social, economic as well as environmental dimensions – is emerging as the centrepiece of the new global agreement that will replace the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) when they expire in 2015. In contrast to the MDGs, which focused on poverty reduction in developing countries, the post-2015 framework, with a new set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at its core, will be applicable to all countries.
Does the emerging post-2015 global framework accurately identify the multiple challenges of sustainability? How do the deepening inequalities at every level – local, national, global – affect our quest for ‘sustainability’? What forms of limits to corporate power are necessary to ensure sustainable production and consumption? How do we counter the false choice between sustainability and job creation that is presented by businesses and governments alike? Most importantly, how can citizens own these processes of transformative change?
The workshop featured brief presentations by academic experts and civil society leaders, and an intensive discussion period. Stephen Lewis, Distinguished Visiting Professor Ryerson University and former UN Special Envoy for HIV-AIDS in Africa, delivered the keynote address for the workshop. He discussed the future of global poverty and development beyond the Millennium Development Goals that expire in 2015. The video of his presentation is below.
ASAP is proud to announce that its West African Chapter will be hosting its first symposium on January 27th at the University of Lagos. The one-day symposium, titled Political Campaigns Funding and the Looming Tsunami of Poverty, will investigate the impact of political corruption on democracy, development, and access to human rights in Nigeria. In particular, it will investigate the connection between corruption and the country’s rising poverty rate. Looking towards the general elections scheduled to take place later this year, the event will bring together scholars, activists, and development practitioners to discuss how corruption can be confronted. This event is co-sponsored by Premium Times, Nigeria’s leading online investigative newspaper, which will report on the symposium discussions.
Akin Oyebode, Professor of International Law and Jurisprudence at the University of Lagos, will give the keynote address. Other notable speakers include ASAP President Thomas Pogge, Innocent Chukwuma of the Ford Foundation, and Dr. Hussein Abdu of ActionAid Nigeria.
The full schedule is available below. For more information, please contact email@example.com.
Program for the Public Discourse on Political Campaigns Funding and the Looming Tsunami of Poverty in Nigeria
Date: January 27th, 2015
Venue: Julius Berger Auditorium
Time: 10:00 am — 2:00 pm
10:00-10:30: Courtesy Call on the Vice Chancellor
10:30-10:45: Arrival of guests at the Auditorium
10:45-11:00: Opening and Introduction of Guests
11:00-11:05: Welcome Address by Professor Thomas Pogge, President of ASAP
11:05-11:15: Chairman’s Opening Remarks by Professor Adebayo Ninalowo
11:15-11:20: Remarks by the Vice Chancellor, Professor Rahaman Ade Bello
11:20-11:30: Public Discourse as a University of Lagos Tradition by The Speakers Society
11:30-12:00: Keynote Lecture by Professor Akin Oyebode
12:00-12:10: Culture of Impunity and Democratic Consolidation by Mr Innocent Chukwuma, Ford Foundation
12:10-12:20: Remarks on Keynote Lecture by Mr Femi Fani-Kayode
12:20-12:30: The Media’s Watchdog Role in Society by Professor Ralph Akinfeleye
12:30-12:40: The Dividends of Democracy and Poverty by Dr Hussein Abdu, Action Aid
12:40-12:50: Remarks by Mr Femi Aribisala
12:50-1:00: Investigative Journalism and Democratic Consolidation by Mr Dapo Olorunyomi, Premium Times
1:00-1:10: Remarks by Mr Femi Falana, SAN
1:10- 1:20: Brief Talk on ASAP, West Africa by Dr Ibraheem/Tejumaiye
1:20-1:50: Contributions from Participants
The launch event for ASAP’s Italian chapter will take place on May 9-10, 2014 at LUISS Guido Carli.
On May 9, there will be two side events on the themes of Responsibility for the realization of human rights, featuring LUISS Professors Nuzzo, Punzi, and Maffettone and Dr. Francesca Orlando, and Are we violating violating the human rights of the world’s poor?, a research seminar at the School of Political Science with two discussants.
On May 10, the official launch will take place, with presentations by Thomas Pogge, Sebastiano Maffetoni, and Antonio Punzi.
Mario Ascolese and Maria Ginevra of the ASAP Italy Organizing Committee will close the event by leading an open discussion of possible future projects for ASAP Italy.