2015 was another productive year for ASAP, in which we made further strides in our mission leveraging the unique resources of academia to effect change in the realm of global justice. We brought together like-minded academics from around the world to offer urgently needed alternative analyses on the roots of global poverty, propose concrete policy solutions, and sensitize the global public at large. Read on to learn what we accomplished over the past year.
Global Justice Post-2015 Conference: ASAP co-hosted a conference with the Yale Global Justice Program (GJP) and Global Financial Integrity (GFI) at Yale University from October 30th to November 1st. Accomplished academics and practitioners including Jeffrey Sachs and ASAP President Thomas Pogge explored five themes: illicit financial flows, access to medicines, poverty measurement, climate change, and the Sustainable Development Goals. Videos from the conference are available. Stay tuned for details on this year’s event, which will be held on October 28-30 at Yale University.
2nd Annual Amartya Sen Prize Competition: In addition to hosting the conference, ASAP, GJP, and GFI accepted submissions of essays on the intelligent use of incentives to curtail corporations’ use of tax evasion and avoidance, abusive transfer pricing, and all forms of illicit financial flows. Nikolay Anguelov, Matti Ylonen, and Teivo Teivainen won the 2015 prize. We are now accepting submissions for our 3rd annual competition.
Global Colleagues Launch and Expansion: Global Colleagues, one of ASAP’s flagship programs headed by Robert Lepenies, launched its first cohort in 2015. The program fosters collaboration between earlier-career global poverty researchers in the Global South and more experienced scholars working at well-resourced institutions. Global colleagues continues to grow with the addition of new volunteers and activities for participants.
Poverty Audit: Our UK and Canada chapters built on the success of ASAP Oceania in 2013 by completing poverty audits on the policy platforms of major political parties running in last year’s elections. The audits aimed to measure the extent of the parties’ impact on global poverty. Visit the UK political manifesto poverty audit website and view ASAP Canada’s report here.
Taking a Stand on Critical Issues: In 2015, we continued our efforts in addressing climate change by calling for universities to withdraw endowment funds invested in fossil fuel companies. The full article on our efforts is available here. ASAP’s long-standing collaboration with the Washington think tank Global Financial Integrity and like-minded organizations as well as our 2014 petition to Ban Ki Moon helped ensure that the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, finalized in 2015, commit governments to achieve a substantial reduction of illicit financial flows by 2030 (Target 16.4). Furthermore, we voiced our concern about the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean region in our open letter on migration, which is available in 15 languages. The letter argued for the importance of addressing the systemic problems that are forcing people to migrate.
Global Poverty Consensus Report: The GPCR, a joint project of ASAP and the Comparative Research Programme on Poverty, was published in September. The report aims to highlight the existing academic consensus on the causes of global poverty and its remedies. More information on the project and the final report are available here.
Expansion of Chapter Network: Our chapter network continued to grow in 2015 with the addition of ASAP West Africa, Cambodia, and Southeast Asia. Our chapters in Cambodia and Southeast Asia were launched at a conference held at Paññāsāstra University that focused on sustainable development in developing countries. In addition, ASAP West Africa hosted a well-attended symposium in Nigeria titled ‘Political Campaigns Funding and the Looming Tsunami of Poverty’.
European Conference: ASAP hosted its first European conference in June at the historic Schloss Wartin castle in Germany. The conference offered participants the opportunity to share their experiences working on ASAP projects, forge new academic collaborations on issues related to global poverty, and engage in meaningful philosophical discussion on our collective duties to the global poor.
Global Tax Fairness Book: ASAP co-funded a new Oxford University Press anthology titled Global Tax Fairness. The volume is edited by Thomas Pogge and Krishen Mehta and features several of the world’s leading experts on illicit financial flows. Purchase the book here.
Oslo Principles Video: Thomas Pogge and Hudson Brown, a student at American University, created a short video on climate change and the Oslo Principles. The video argues that governments have a responsibility to avert the world’s impending climate catastrophe.
Relaunch of ASAP Website: Vice President Miles Thompson and Web Director Oskar MacGregor created a new website for ASAP, which launched in the fall.
We are grateful for the support of our members and the Frederick Mulder Foundation, which have been vital to our successful impact on global poverty. If you are passionate about ASAP’s mission and would like to support us in 2016 and beyond, please consider making a donation of $10 or more.