An audience of nearly 500 joined the conversation with political theorists and philosophers, development scholars, journalists, physical scientists and NGO practitioners at the launch conference for Nyaya: The Global Justice Programme at the University of Delhi.
The conference, “Global Justice and the Global South,” featured more than 40 presentations by researchers from around the world, including South Africa, Mexico, the United States, Canada, the UK, Germany and China. About half of those presenting were Indian academics, from the Delhi area and universities around the country.
The conference was organized by Academics Stand Against Poverty global Board of Directors Member Ashok Acharya, with assistance from ASAP President Thomas Pogge and Board Member Luis Cabrera, as well as a large team of Delhi University volunteers.
“We couldn’t have expected more from this conference,” Acharya said. “It certainly has brought issues surrounding global justice to the centre of academic dialogue in India. This augurs well for the Nyaya initiative at the University of Delhi and the future of research and advocacy on global justice in India. Everyone who attended this conference has remarked that both in terms of the quality of scholarship and the diversity of issues covered, the deliberations were extraordinary and inspiring.”
The conference also served as an important learning experience for participants from outside South Asia, Cabrera said.
“Many participants had never visited India before, and the early feedback indicates that they have come away with a much better understanding not only of the daily challenges so many people face in large South cities such as Delhi, but also what a rich tradition of social justice theorizing and research there is in India,” he said. “Hopefully we’ve started a fruitful, ongoing exchange amongst justice theorists and researchers in many countries.”
Keynote speakers at the opening session, April 25, included Pogge, who at his opening session offered recent figures on global poverty and shared new data for his argument that large poverty reductions publicized by the Millennium Development Goals campaign are mostly sleight of hand, achieved through changing methods of counting the poor in mid-stream.
Delhi University Vice Chancellor Dinesh Singh then shared insights from his own study of Indian figures such as former Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi. He cautioned the audience to conceptualize global justice carefully, and proposed that they approach international moral issues from a standpoint firmly rooted in the local.
Journalist P. Sainath, author of the influential book Everybody Loves a Good Drought: Stories from India’s Poorest Districts, then offered a rousing, impassioned critique of political and economic trends in the country. He drew links between the liberalizing, freer-trade economic policies India has followed since the early 1990s and increasing inequality, farmer suicides and access to basic resources.
On Day 2, globally prominent biotechnologist V. Sitaramam, retired of the University of Pune, offered detailed empirical evidence challenging rigid poverty lines and arguing for a more nuanced view of poverty that takes multiple variables into account. Prof. Brooke Ackerly of Vanderbilt University delivered the closing keynote on Day 3. She shared recent field work in Bangladesh and argued for a conception of human rights focused not on distribution of goods but on a relational approach. Until the rights of all persons are secured, Ackerly argued, none are.
The conference was supported by a grant from the British Council’s UKIERI programme and by the School of Open Learning at the University of Delhi. A number of conference participants will be contributing instructional videos for classroom use at the School of Open Learning, which serves students mostly from deprived backgrounds.
Future conferences and collaborations are in the planning stages. For details on those or other ways to contribute to the developing Nyaya Global Justice Programme, please contact Dr. Ashok Acharya at email@example.com.
ASAP México celebrará su Primera Reunión Oficial el próximo martes 4 de febrero de los corrientes a las 16:00 hrs. en la Sala José Gaos, Instituto de Investigaciones Filosóficas de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM).
Se extiende la más cordial invitación a todos los interesados a unirse al Comité Organizador del Capítulo para discutir sobre dirección estratégica de ASAP México. La agenda de la reunión es la siguiente:
- Discusión sobre la visión y objetivos de ASAP México
- Sesión informativa sobre las directrices del Capítulo
- Planeación de las futuras reuniones
Sede: Sala José Gaos, Instituto de Investigaciones Filosóficas, Circuito Maestro Mario de la Cueva s/n, Ciudad Universitaria, CP 04510, Coyoacán, México, D.F.
Para mayor información por favor póngase en contacto con el Dr. David Mena Alemán al correo: firstname.lastname@example.org.
On January 14th, 2014, Academics Stand Against Poverty had its second presentation in Spain. The launch of ASAP Spain was organized by the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona in November 2013, during Thomas Pogge’s visit to Barcelona. In this occasion, some members of ASAP Spain were provided the opportunity to present the organization at the San Telmo Museoa (San Telmo Museum), a fascinating institution of culture in San Sebastián, which has expressed an interest in furthering its collaboration with ASAP.
After a brief introduction of ASAP’s mission by Txetxu Ausín, Carissa Véliz provided an overview of the ongoing ASAP projects, including the Health Impact Fund, the Institutional Reform Goals, Moral Psychology and Poverty Alleviation, Know Your Rights, and the Global Poverty Consensus Report. She also expressed ASAP’s interest in finding new partners and volunteers in Spain. Her presentation was followed by a presentation of the Health Impact Fund project by David Rodríguez-Arias.
A number of local and national media covered the event, which was broadcasted by the radio (Onda Cero and Radio Popular) and diffused by local newspapers (El Diario Vasco and Noticias de Gipuzkoa) through interviews and reports.
The team of ASAP Spain hopes to keep growing in number and reach through collaborations with academic, political institutions, and companies. If you wish to propose a project or would like further information about ASAP, please contact Paula Casal, Board Member and Chair of ASAP Spain, at email@example.com.
Call for Participation: Global Justice and the Global South
April 25-27, 2014 at the University of Delhi
Nyaya, the Global Justice Program at the University of Delhi, in partnership with the Yale Global Justice Program and the Centre for the Study of Global Ethics at the University of Birmingham, is proud to present its inaugural conference, Global Justice and the Global South.
Overview: Nyaya was launched in order to bring more South scholars and students into the global justice dialogue and to increase opportunities for engagement and networking.
Nyaya’s inaugural conference will be held April 25-27, 2014 at the University of Delhi. It will bring together global justice theorists, philosophers, development scholars, and NGO representatives from South and North countries to present original work and share their views on key theoretical and political problems. Themes include but are not limited to: cosmopolitan theory and its relationship to local traditions, especially in South countries; extreme poverty; health inequalities; human rights; protection from violence; the effects of climate change; illicit financial flows; and gendered inequalities.
Participation: Please submit a paper proposal including your name, affiliation, and an abstract of 300 words or fewer to firstname.lastname@example.org. Submissions will be considered continuously until January 15, 2014, and notification of acceptance status will come in about two weeks.
Funding is available for domestic travel for participants in India. A limited number of stipends are available to fund overseas travel for junior scholars. To apply for funding, please submit at CV, your paper abstract, and a brief statement (300 words of fewer) of you interest in participating to email@example.com.
Ashok Acharya, University of Delhi
Thomas Pogge, Yale University
Luis Cabrera, University of Birmingham
Launch of ASAP Spain at Universitat Pompeu Fabra
By Paula Casal, ASAP Board Member and Chair of ASAP Spain
The Spanish launch started at 9:30 am on November 29th, 2013, at the Auditorium Mercé Rodoreda of the University Pompeu Fabra. The auditorium was flanked with stands with ASAP t-shirts and recent publications, including new translations of Thomas Pogge’s work, and all the seats were full.
The day began with an informal reception. Guests included UPF´s Vice-rector of Social Responsibility, Monica Figueras, who came to express her personal and institutional support, and UPF’s former rector Josep Joan Moreso, who now works on global justice and constitutionalism, and who also expressed his endorsement of ASAP.
Once participants picked up their name tags and found their seats, Louise McNally, UPF’s Vice-rector of Research, speaking on behalf of the new Rector, Jaume Casals, expressed the Rector’s regrets that he could not attend and UPF’s support of ASAP’s work to foster research that benefits the world’s poor. She also explained some of the efforts that UPF has already made to adhere to principles of global justice, such as adopting energy savings policies and switching to Fair Trade coffee. She then introduced Nuria Almirón, who presented plans for further efforts for social responsibility at UPF. Almirón, Monica Figueras, ASAP Board Member Paula Casal, and others at the UPF Ethical Sustainability Working Group, have written a plan for introducing sustainability, global justice, gender equality, and respect for other species as “transversal” themes to be taught alongside other disciplines in which the UPF offers degrees. It also involves practical measures such as cruelty-free, low CO2 meals and new ethical requirements for UPF suppliers.
Paula Casal then commented on the regrettable absence of Ramón Fernández Durán from ADENAT and Paco Fernández Buey from UPF, whom she said would have taken part, had they still been living. She also expressed her regrets that Juán
Hernandez Vigueras, member of the Scientific Committee of ATTAC and co-founder of Tax Justice Network, could not be there, having had to cancel his talk because he was ill. She then introduced ASAP President Thomas Pogge, who explained the causes of global poverty and the context in which ASAP developed, and Professor Luis Cabrera, who presented ASAP, its goals, composition, activities and projects. Having answered questions from the audience, the participants broke for a vegetarian brunch.
After the break, there was a round table on poverty alleviation solutions chaired by Rafael Vilasanjuán, director of the Institute of Global Health in Barcelona. The discussion opened with remarks by ICREA Professor Giorgios Kallis from Universitat Autonoma of Barcelona, who argued against the assumption that poverty should be eradicated through growth and explained why growth (in both the North and the South) is both insufficient and unnecessary for achieving a reduction in global poverty. Then Gonzalo Fanjul, formerly research director at Oxfam and now research associate at the Institute of Global Health, spoke about the positive effect of immigration on poverty reduction, the inhumanity of modern detention centers, and the need to change current policies on immigration. Thomas Pogge then explained how the Health Impact Fund could simultaneously address the problem of lack of research on the diseases of the poor and the so-called “last mile problem”—the challenge of effective administration of medicines in poor areas that lack the facilities to store them and the personnel to administer them correctly. Finally, ASAP Board Member Luis Cabrera explained his project “Impact: Global Poverty,” which records the cases of academics who have made an exceptional impact on poverty reduction. All four participants then answered questions from the audience as well as from their chair, Rafael Vilasanjuán. The conference ended with a lecture by Professor Leif Wenar on our role in determining which (often illegitimate) rulers are granted the right to extract resources from their country and sell them to on the international market, and the solution he has devised to combat this problem. Professor Wenar’s moving lecture was chaired by ICREA Professor Andrew Williams and followed by numerous questions from the audience.
Several participants then inquired about membership and internships and offered to help with further events.
The day ended with a dinner with the speakers, David Alvarez, now ASAP’s representative in Portugal, David Rodríguez-Alvarez, ASAP’s representative in Madrid, Nicole Selame, a Chilean who defends the right to access to the sea for Bolivia and other landlocked countries, and Ana Polo, speech writer at the Barcelona town hall, where the previous evening Thomas Pogge and Mara Dierssen had revived the Disputatio medieval tradition, debating over global health. The Disputatio was organized by ICREA Professor Genoveva Marti, director of the Barcelona Knowledge Hub of the Academia Europaea, and also a contributor to the newly formed ASAP Spain.
In addition to the coverage offered in La Vanguardia, El Periódico, Ara and Paperblog, David Rodríguez Arias published an extensive article on Thomas Pogge’s visit and views in the open access journal Dilemata, which subsequently released a monographic issue devoted to Responsibility and Global Justice with the participation of ASAP members Txetxu Ausín (Dilemata‘s director), Carissa Véliz, and Mitu Sengupta.