The NHS reform: Public Health or private profit?

Prof. Pollock is head of the Public Health Policy Unit at UCL and director of Research and Development at UCL Hospitals at UCL Trust. Her work on PFIs has been a major intervention and she has written on globalisation and Health. She will be speaking on whether the NHS Plan and Foundation Hospital Trust lead to greater privatisation of health care funding and
delivery. She has written reports on the PPP (Private Public Partnership) and the agenda for privatisation of the Welfare State. (For further information: www.ucl.ac.spp)


After the War

The second in a collaboration between the ICA and Le Monde diplomatique on the war on Iraq… leading experts discuss post-war Iraq and the implications of pax americana for its immediate neighbours (Syria and Jordan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey) and the Middle East region.

Speakers include: Charles Tripp (SOAS, author of A History of Iraq), Sami Zubaida (Birkbeck, author of Islam, The People and The State), Toby Dodge (Warwick, ed Globalization and the Middle East. Islam, economy, society and politics), Gareth Stansfield, (Exeter, author of Iraqi Kurdistan: Political
Development and Emergent Democracy), William Hale, (SOAS, author of Turkish Foreign Policy 1774-2000), Mai Yamani (Royal Institute of International Affairs, author of Changed Identities: The Challenge of the New Generation
in Saudi Arabia) and Ali Ansari (Durham, author of Modern Iran since 1921: the Pahlavis and after)

Lindsey Hilsum, diplomatic correspondent of Channel 4 News, is in the chair.


Zimbabwe, the present and future

This café aims to give a general overview of the economical and social issues Zimbabwe is going through and the consequences it can have to a wider scale in Africa. Dr Brighton Chireka, Chairman of the Zimbabwe Democracy Trust organisation in London, will discuss and answer your questions regarding the political actions of President M. Robert Mugabe.


Breaking the Bank’s Bond

Dr Vineeta Gupta (Insaaf Int.) and World Bank Boycott co-ordinators

Dr. Vineeta Gupta is General Secretary of Insaaf International, a Punjab-based human rights group committed to social justice, where she works on efforts to disclose the harmful effects of World Bank user fees on health care. Dr. Gupta and members of the WBBoycott will discuss the social, economic and environmental impact of the WB and explore means of effective local resistance to its destructive economic policies.

The Boycott is an international coalition of grassroots groups which seeks to increase financial and political pressure on the World Bank by discouraging local institutions from investing in its bonds, from which it raises 80% of its money. Since its launch in April 2000, over 75 institutional investors have joined the Boycott, including trade unions such as The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, religious groups such as Pax Christi (USA), banks such as the Co-operative Bank UK, and SRI firms such as the Calvert Group.
(For further information: www.wbbeurope.org)


London Transport: Public Service or private business?

(in collaboration with London Social Forum-Transport)

Cynthia Hayes is Coordinator of Capital Transport Campaign, Bill Hamilton is Head of Public Affairs, Transport For London. The talk will explore the current situation and possibilities for Transport in London.

CTC was set up 20 years ago to support transport at the abolition of the GLA, and is a forum of trade unions and users. They have been involved in the campaign against PPP, have worked on issues of crowding and the future
for rail passengers.

TfL was set up in July 2000 by the government to take over the running of the capital’s transport at the time when the Mayor was reinstated; Ken Livingstone is its first Chair.


Exploiting conservation and conserving exploitation in a reformed Bank

Zoe Young is a London-based researcher, writer and film-maker with Conscious Cinema and author of ‘A New Green Order? The World Bank and the Politics of the Global Environment Facility’ (Pluto Press, 2002).

The talk will focus on the quiet role of the GEF-billions of dollars of aid from Western governments for the World Bank and United Nations to ‘green’ international development- in sustaining (neo-liberal) business as usual. The discussion will also feature an extract from the documentary:
‘Suits and Savages – Why the World Bank Won’t Save the World’.


Global Nuclear Disarmament: Utopia or necessity?

It is clear today that to guarantee genuine security for future generations we have to move towards the global abolition of nuclear weapons. Bruce Kent will talk about the prospect of global nuclear disarmament focusing on nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction present in various countries and in particular in the UK.

Bruce Kent is founder and Vice President of Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Chair of the Movement for Abolition of War and VP of Pax Christi.


Reporting Africa

Ahmed Rajab is Director and Editor of Africa Analysis, an authoritative fortnightly bulletin on economic, financial and political trends in Africa. Formerly a journalist at the BBC World Service, he also contributes on a freelance basis to the BBC and CNN on African affairs. Ahmed Rajab is also a member of an advisory group at the Africa department of the Foreign Office.

He will be talking about the problems of Africa and how it is portrayed in the media, the way forward for a positive representation of Africa and the role of the independent media in that process.


International Women’s Day: Women asylum seekers in Britain

The talk will focus on the impact of the new Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 on employment, training and education of women asylum seekers in Britain.

The speakers will illustrate how the latest changes have effectively taken away the permission to work from asylum seekers and how this will further impact their access to vocational training. Roya Ebrahimi will also talk about how a stigmatising media and press coverage on asylum seekers has affected the employment opportunities for those who already hold a work permit.

Roya Ebrahimi is the Educational and Employment outreach adviser of the Refugee Women’s Association.

Julie Cornes is solicitor at Bindmans.


Venezuela in the New World order

Richard Gott is a writer and historian, formerly Latin American correspondent for the Guardian. He has written several books on Latin America, including “In The Shadow of the Liberator: Hugo Chavez and the Transformation of Venezuela” Verso publisher.