Can the UN survive the 21st Century

richard_jollyWhat can the UN do, if anything, to preserve peace and security on an international scale, in the light of the so-called ‘war on terror’? Can this be done in a way which complements, or corrects America’s role as international policeman? As a former Assistant Secretary General of the UN, Sir Richard Jolly will discuss “What role remains for the UN in preserving peace and security, and furthering development?” He was Deputy Executive Director in UNICEF overseeing their programmes in 130 countries and pioneering UNICEF’s work on debt reduction. From 1996-2000 he co-authored the widely acclaimed Human Development Report. He has produced numerous publications including “Development and Adjustment with a Human Face.” And at City University, New York, he is co-director of a history of the UN’s contribution to economic and social development.


The personal and political imagination

For decades people have worked to cancel unpayable poor country debt, but Andrew Simms explains that there is a larger, different problem – the ecological debt crisis of rich countries that now threatens the international community. He argues that this ecological debt provides the essential paradigm to analyse the predicament of the global economy. Andrew Simms is the Policy Director of nef (the new economics foundation) and heads its programme on Climate Change. His recent reports include ‘The End of Development? Global warming, disasters and the greeat reversal of human progress’ and ‘Environmental Refugees – the case for recognition’.


Ecological debt: What future for our children?

For decades people have worked to cancel unpayable poor country debt, but Andrew Simms explains that there is a larger, different problem – the ecological debt crisis of rich countries that now threatens the international community. He argues that this ecological debt provides the essential paradigm to analyse the predicament of the global economy. Andrew Simms is the Policy Director of nef (the new economics foundation) and heads its programme on Climate Change. His recent reports include ‘The End of Development? Global warming, disasters and the greeat reversal of human progress’ and ‘Environmental Refugees – the case for recognition’.


Rosia Montana: Mining for gold in the 21st Century

The gold used for the treasures found at Mycenae almost certainly came from the Apuseni Mountains in Western Romania. At Rosia Montana, a Canadian mining company, with the connivance of the Romanian government, is proposing to blow up five mountains in order to remove, by open-cast mining, what remains of the gold. In the process, Roman archaelogical remains, part of a common European heritage, and some of the most beautiful landscape in Europe will be destroyed. Sherban Cantacuzino, born in Romania and a graduate of Magdalene College, Cambridge where he read architecture, is the founder and president of Pro-Patrimonio which was set up to preserve Romania`s natural and built heritage.


Sale of the Century

Beverley Duckworth, Head of Campaigns for the World Development Movement (WDM), a pressure group campaigning for the rights of developing countries, exposes how basic services in poor countries are under threat from western governments and big business. She explains how, through the WTO, rich countries are aggressively pushing binding rules which pose a real and serious threat to people’s access to basic services, the world over, under an international treaty called the General Agreement in Trades and Services (GATS). She also explains what we can do to halt the process.


One State Palestine: Who’s afraid of Democracy?

Ahmad Samih Khalidi is a Palestinian from an old Jerusalem family and a Senior Associate Member at St. Antony`s College, Oxford who served as an advisor to the Palestinian delegation to the Madrid-Washington peace talks in 1991-1993 and a senior advisor on security affairs to the Cairo-Taba PLO-Israel peace talks in 1993.

He has written widely on Middle Eastern political and security affairs in English and Arabic and has been active in Middle East peace-making for over two decades. He is co-author of `Syria and Iran`: Rivalry and Cooperation` (Royal Institute of International Affairs, London, 1995) and of `Track-2 Diplomacy: The Middle East and Beyond` (MIT Press, Cambridge Mass, 2004) and a forthcoming work on Palestinian security concerns`

He will use his expertise to discuss the theme in depth at the cafe. There will be plenty of time afterwards for questions.


Playing by the rules? Guantanamo, Iraq and the future of International Law

What are the implications of the incarceration of combatants by the Bush administration? Philippe Sands, a professor of laws at University College London discusses this and other challenges to human rights and internationally agreed legal principles. He is also a practising barrister and his book on the Bush presidency and international law entitled- “Playing by the Rules?” -. is to be published later this year.


Oil in the Caucasus: Sowing the seeds of conflict

James Marriott and Greg Muttitt who work at PLATFORM, an interdisciplinary organisation, will be addressing issues of social and environmental justice. Since 1996, they have been studying the systemic impacts of oil corporations, and the nature of the corporate structure behind them. Since 2001, they have focussed on the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, working with a coalition of civil society groups in the UK and internationally, as well as in the three host countries. They co-wrote the book “Some Common Concerns – Imagining BP’s Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey Pipelines System” the group’s website is www.platformlondon.org


How enlargement will transform the European Union

Dr Grabbe is deputy director of the Centre for European Reform (CER) which is a think tank devoted to improving the quality of the debate on the future of European Union. Eastward enlargement is the European Union`s greatest contribution to security and stability in the 21st century. The benefits are huge but the integration of 10 new members will also put a strain on the Union`s institutions and change the way in which they currently function while transforming the face of the European Union in the process. Dr. Grabbe`s book “`The constellations of Europe: How Enlargement will Transform the European Union”` will be published later this year by CER


Chechnya and the War on Terror

Anne Le Tellac, an assistant of the Paris based human rights organisation, offers an in-depth analysis of Chechnya and how it has been affected by the West’s “War on Terror”. She will argue that the conflict in Chechnya has been through a three stage period, which has dramatically worsened after September 11th. Anne has visited the country several times and has recently published a report outlining the deteriorating situation. The report will be available at the café.