Politicians, academics and civil society debate fairer future

Politicians, academics and civil society debate fairer future

Political figures, academics, students, business and local authority leaders, representatives of faiths and development groups, and members of the public gather to talk about the global world we want - and how best to achieve it.

The panel discussion and debate on ‘Where is the world going?  A fairer future for all by 2013? takes place at 7pm on 25 October in the King’s College Conference Centre at the University of Aberdeen, hosted by the University’s Centre for Sustainable International Development. 

In 2012 David Cameron was appointed to lead a High Level Panel to oversee the production of a report on the international development agenda for 2015 to 2030 following on from the current Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).  The report was launched in May 2013 and discussed at the United Nations in New York in September 2013.

The panel and audience will discuss the future international development agenda proposed for 2015 to 2030. Questions to be tackled include whether the new programme will be more equitable, inclusive and responsive to the needs of vulnerable people, and the potential roles of civil society and the private sector in the new programme.

Scottish Minister for External Affairs and International Development, Humza Yousaf MSP will join the Rt Hon Sir Malcolm Bruce, Chair of the House of Commons Select Committee on International Development, as main speakers on the panel.

Humza Yousaf said: “Scotland has made an important contribution towards the achievement of Millennium Development Goals in many countries through the work of our vibrant and dedicated international development sector. We remain firmly committed to supporting the achievement of these important goals. That is why we have doubled our International Development Fund to £9m, doubled the £6m Climate Justice Fund and worked hard to become one of the world’s First Fair Trade Nations.

“These actions are improving the lives of some of the world’s most vulnerable people and ensuring that Scotland is recognised around the world as an innovative, responsible and caring nation, committed to supporting people out of poverty.

“Today is an opportunity to highlight Scotland’s contribution to eradicating extreme poverty by 2030, protecting the environment, promoting social inclusion and providing economic opportunities for all, and to ensure Scotland’s voice is heard as the Millennium Development Goals approach their expiry.”

Sir Malcolm Bruce said: “I am pleased that the High Level Panel, which the UK has taken a lead in, has outlined in its report the need for a commitment to eradicating extreme poverty as well as placing gender equality at the heart of its conclusions. I hope that these recommendations will be taken up at an intergovernmental level and be incorporated into the new goals.

“This event, hosted by the University’s Centre for Sustainable International Development, will allow us to explore the lessons to be learned from the MDGS and how to continue to engage people at home as well as in the international community, in these global challenges.”

Other speakers include Professor Barbara McPake of Queen Margaret’s University, Edinburgh, Gillian Wilson of the Network of Scottish Development Organisations in Scotland (NIDOS) who will speak about the important role of civil society post-2015, and Dr Hilary Homans, Director of the University’s Centre for Sustainable International Development.  The Centre was the only academic institution in Scotland to submit evidence to the House of Commons Select Committee on the future development agenda (see under Notes).

Professor McPake said: “The movement for universal health coverage offers a fantastic focal point for post-2015, making sure that health services are available and affordable where they are needed most.”

Introducing the event will be Professor Albert Rodger, Vice Principal at the University, with special responsibility for overseeing engagement with the University’s wide range of external communities and partners. Professor Rodger said: “Critical to achieving Scotland’s objectives in international development will be close partnership between our outstanding academic sector, and Scottish businesses. In this respect we are not only well placed but also well prepared for the challenge, through our acknowledged track record of partnership and innovation, and the platform we have now developed for pooling academic research and excellence across our universities.”

The final speaker will be Professor Wendy Graham of the University of Aberdeen, who will talk about the role of science and academia in shaping the new agenda,