Tag Archives: un

In Full: Nick Clegg’s speech to the UN

Nick Clegg has been doing all sorts of good things at the UN General Assembly in New York this week. Last night it struck me that when I was my daughter’s age, the men with all the power in the world were incredibly scary. There was Reagan with his talk of star wars and neutron bombs and stern-faced Soviet leaders. I feel a lot safer in a world where Nick Clegg’s and Barack Obama’s ideas have some influence. Yes, I know Obama isn’t perfect, but he’s light years from the Cold War attitudes I grew up with.

Here, in full, is

Posted in Europe / International and News | Also tagged and | 4 Comments

Opinion: Raise your hand on Malala Day

Just under a year ago, I wrote a piece about the shooting of a girl who dared to demand her right an education. Today, that girl will address the UN and meet Ban Ki Moon to discuss access to education worldwide. Today is Malala Yousafzai’s 16th birthday.

Education is a right that we often take for granted in the UK. But millions of children worldwide miss out on an education. Where parents cannot afford to send their children to school, cannot afford for their children not to work, or even when places are provided but they cannot provide the uniform or materials, those children will never have the opportunity to change their lives. They will live and die in poverty.

Girls are more likely to miss out on education than boys. When finances are tight, many families will choose to educate sons but not daughters; sons will go on to work, but if daughters are expected to raise a family and stay at home then educating them is seen as pointless. Often, raising children is something done at school age– in sub-Saharan Africa, 1 in 5 girls is married before the age of 18. Once they are married, they will not return to school as this video shows.

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Hussein-Ece and Brinton on stalking, under-representation of women and gender-based violence

November 25th saw the UN’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. This occasion was marked by a debate in the House of Lords last Thursday.

Just reading the Hansard account of the debate made me feel sick. There was a former surgeon describe the hours of surgery it took to reconstruct one woman’s face after a violent attack by her partner. There were descriptions of how girls as young as 12 were subjected to Female Genital Mutilation in this country despite laws against it. Where is the worst place in the world to be a woman? Reputedly …

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LibLink: Jeremy Browne MP on the Government’s actions to prevent torture

Liberal Democrat Foreign Office Minister Jeremy Browne  in the Guardian about the Coalition’s strategy to prevent torture throughout the World and about the independent enquiry which will investigate whether Britain was implicated in torture after 9/11:

We know that we face a long and difficult road ahead. But our vision is for people to be treated fairly and able to speak freely in every country. We should never be comfortable with a world where journalists, lawyers and activists endure ill treatment for criticising their governments. This is a core part of what this coalition stands for, and we will continue to

Posted in Europe / International, LibLink and News | Also tagged , , and | 2 Comments

The Independent View: The Liberal Democrats’ chance to tackle global poverty

Nick Clegg was not around for the whole of the Lib Dem conference this year. After giving his keynote address he got on a plane and flew to New York, as the UK’s most senior representative to the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Review Summit.

The MDGs were agreed in 2000, and signed by world leaders from 189 nations, pledging to halve extreme poverty by 2015.

However, a decade later the MDGs are badly off-track. The MDGs Review Summit is a chance to accelerate progress and keep the promise to the world’s poor.

Nick Clegg made his first UK public speech on international development on 15th September, explaining how the UK Government will meet its commitments to the Millennium Development Goals. He was presented with a giant suitcase, representing the hopes of the 1.3 million people across the UK who have taken part in campaigns for the MDGs over the last year.

The weekend before the MDGs Review Summit began, 1,324 campaign actions took place in 74 countries, calling for a breakthrough plan to meet the MDGs. In the UK, campaigners from the Bond network of NGOs gathered with drums, bells, whistles, pots and pans outside the House of Commons. The message, clearly expressed on banners and in chants was clear: Keep your promises: Deliver the MDGs.

The Millennium Development Goals are clear, measurable, and achievable. They are the best articulation of what progress on tackling global poverty might look like. Delivering them will involve supporting civil society in poor countries, maintaining aid levels, stopping climate change and reforming the international financial institutions that too often harm poor countries instead of helping them.

Nick Clegg has reaffirmed his commitment to the MDGs to NGOs, to party activists, and to countries of the world at the UN.

As the below video shows – people in the UK have consistently shown their support for government action on development. With five years to go until the 2015 deadline, the Liberal Democrats are well placed to make sure the UK’s part of the deal is kept.

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Jo Swinson’s video from the UN

Last Saturday at the Bloggers’ Unconference, our final interview of the day was with Jo Swinson MP – which was particularly kind of her, since she’d flown back from New York the day before, and must have been jet-lagged.

Falling at the end of the day, the discussion we had with Jo was one of the most informal of the day, but was all the better for that. Her enthusiasm for finding new ways of communicating really shone through, and she talked to us about creating the video below. In particular, she was really keen to show us her new Flip video camera, which is extremely portable and can be used by just the one person, without needing fancy lights, an off-camera microphone or an extra person working as camera operator.

Jo used her Flip to make a series of mini videos about the work she was doing at the UN, and quite simply to give some basic impressions of what visiting the UN buildings in New York are like. The buildings are iconic, but not particularly fancy. Working in the main office block is like working in any slightly old fashioned tower block. She also takes time out of her schedule to show us a moving statue rescued from the rubble of Hiroshima – on the face, undamaged and intact; on the rear, scraped raw by the heat and debris of the nuclear explosion.

If you follow LDV’s twitter feed, you may also have seen this message promoting a short audio interview with Helen Duffett asking Jo the questions.

Posted in Blogger Interviews and Online politics | Also tagged , , and | Leave a comment



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