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Tag: Chapter: UK
Where Does the Movement to Curb Illicit Financial Flows Go From Here? ASAP UK Workshop Outcome Document Now Available
Academics and activists debated the future of the movement to curb illicit financial flows at an ASAP UK workshop in London on October 23, 2012. Event speakers Martin Kirk, Global Campaigns Director at The Rules, Toby Quantrill, Policy Advisor on Tax Justice at ActionAid UK, Alice Lépissier, Research Assistant at the Center for Global Development, and ASAP President Thomas Pogge offered diverse proposals for how activists might capitalize on political momentum coming out the G8 and G20 summits.
In this profile article, Gabriel Neely-Streit speaks with conflict and reconstruction expert Prof. Paul Jackson. Over the past three years, Prof. Jackson has been advising authorities in Nepal on integrating some 20,000 Maoist former guerrillas into the Nepali Army or civilian life.
Henry Shue, Oxford Professor of Politics and International Relations and member of the ASAP Advisory Board, contacted the ASAP team this week with a message for members: help protect access to affordable generic medicines in the Pacific Rim.
He says he hopes many ASAP members will participate in a campaign, initiated by Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), pressuring the United States and other countries to ensure the availability of generic medicines in the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal currently being negotiated.
According to MSF, leaked reports from the trade negotiations show that the US has proposed strict intellectual property rules that would undermine access to generic medicines, which are essential to MSF\’s work and play a major role in healthcare systems across developing countries.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will cover at least half a billion people in 11 Pacific Rim nations — Vietnam, Peru, Mexico, Malaysia, Chile, New Zealand, Brunei Darussalam, United States, Singapore, Canada, and Australia — and may be extended to include ten additional countries. TPP negotiations began in 2010 and are scheduled to conclude in October 2013.
With MSF, Shue is calling on ASAP members to contact the United States Congress and other governments negotiating the TPP and demand that access to generic medicines be protected in the trade deal.
ASAP provided a background brief titled \”After 2015: What Do We Know? Where Do We Go From Here?\” to participants in a civil society dialogue on the MDG successors, held in London on November 1 and 2. The event was organized to allow civil society groups to present proposals the High Level of Eminent Persons, appointed to advise the United Nations General Assembly on the contents of the development framework that will succeed the MDGs in 2015. Prior to the meeting, the High Level Panel published a list of six discussion questions to guide the meeting, addressing themes like jobs and livelihoods, inequality, inclusive growth, and ecologically fragile areas. ASAP responded to these six questions and laid out four principles that should underlie the post-2015 framework.
ASAP\’s background brief is available for download.
Ravina Khela, the incoming Chair of the ASAP Students-Birmingham Chapter speaks to Sophia Ireland about her role as Midlands Youth & Schools Co-ordinator, Oxfam. Ireland shares insights on Oxfam’s approach to poverty alleviation, and she offers some tips for students who may want to apply for an Oxfam internship or pursue a career in development more generally.
Members of the new ASAP Students chapter at Delhi-area universities staged a successful launch workshop bringing together experts on food security and exclusion. Students from the University of Delhi, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Ambedkar University Delhi came together on the Delhi University campus to engage on crucial issues of poverty, to strategize and elect officers for the new chapter.
They were joined by a five-member delegation from the ASAP Students chapter at the University of Birmingham in the UK, as well as by ASAP Board Chair Thomas Pogge, who was visiting Delhi to speak to various audiences about his Health Impact Fund initiative. Pogge led the students in dialogue about current and potential ASAP projects, and ways in which the two chapters could work together to have concrete impact on poverty-related issues in India, the UK and elsewhere.
Suparna Priyadarshini, a PhD student at Delhi University, was selected as the first Chair of the Delhi ASAP Students chapter, and several other members were chosen for officer posts. The group will be advised by Dr. Ashok Acharya, ASAP Board member and Associate Professor of Political Science at DU. An initial emphasis at the chapter will be the inauguration of the All Rights India project, aimed at helping the very poor learn about and actually claim their social entitlements.
At the July 19 workshop, discussion focused initially on problems with the way India’s government counts the poor. Utsa Patnaik, professor emeritus of economics at JNU, provided detailed evidence showing that the number of those unable to buy sufficient food has dramatically increased in recent years, even as government poverty-line figures have decreased. Dr. Arindam Banerjee, assistant professor of economics at Ambedkar University, provided further detail on ways in which the government\’s counting methods ignore recent worsening of conditions in how the poor actually live. In terms of access to food, shelter, decent housing and other indicators, he said, India\’s new economic dynamism has not filtered down to the poor.
Narayan Sukumar Associate Professor at Delhi University, gave an impassioned talk about the persistence of discrimination against lower-caste persons in universities across India, as well as outside the academic sector. Despite laws formally banning caste discrimination, he noted, it remains pervasive in virtually all aspects of university life and the broader Indian social context.
For information on the ASAP Students Delhi chapter, including on how to join, contact Suparna Priyadarshini at email@example.com
Undergraduate student leaders from the Birmingham UK ASAP chapter gained invaluable insight into the lives of the global poor in taking the poverty-line challenge. They pledged to spend no more than £1 per day on food for five consecutive days. That limit is approximately equivalent to the World Bank’s global poverty line, or the level below which a person is said to be living in extreme poverty.
Here are Thomas Pogge\’s closing comments at the “Impact: Global Poverty” meeting to launch ASAP in the UK, held at the University of Birmingham. He offers thoughts on the global potential of ASAP, as well as pitfalls to avoid. / Start with the thought that the central purpose of ASAP is to reduce poverty. Upstream from this purpose we must ask: what is poverty, what are we to measure our work against? Here, it is important to communicate with poor people themselves. Poor people may not make a strong distinction between poverty and other vulnerabilities; they may see lack of resources as intimately intertwined with vulnerability to violence, for example, and with indignities suffered from officials. Maybe we should then also see their problem in broader terms.
By Joshua Lindsey-Turner
Students from the University of Birmingham\’s ASAP chapter hosted a panel of experts from across the development sector. More than 70 students, staff and members of the public attended the debate and contributed to the discussions. This was the first event hosted by the Birmingham Chapter and it has formed the foundations for a series of events planned for the Autumn and New Year.
The panelists at the May 30 event ranged from leaders of local development groups, to national figures and academics. Neil Squires, Head of Health Advisory Services for the UK Department for International Development, and Dr. Philip Amis of Birmingham\’s International Development Department, offered diverging views on the processes and aims of large-scale government development aid. From Oxfam, Sophia Ireland explained how charities and NGOs are seeking to move away from traditional shock tactics – featuring photos of starving children, for example — to secure donations, and toward approaches that reflect the long-term nature of most poverty issues. Dr. Muhtari Amiu-Kano of Islamic Relief, an aid organization working in several countries, argued for the importance of fair trade and arms restrictions.
Questions and audience dialogue focused on the future of development aid post 2015, and questions ranged from issues surrounding strategic aid to Afghanistan to the importance of education for African girls.
The debate was chaired by Joshua Lindsey-Turner and Bianca Moodie, the first Chair and Vice-Chair of the Birmingham Chapter. It was supported by funding from the School of Government and Society at the University of Birmingham.
To find out more about the Birmingham ASAP Students Chapter, you can Like the group on Facebook or follow it on Twitter.
More information: Luis Cabrera firstname.lastname@example.org