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Foreign Policy Centre

Ideas for a fairer world

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> Shelter from the storm?

Date: Tuesday 29th April 2014

Time: 6.00pm-7.30pm

Venue: Committee Room 9, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA

Speakers:

  • Chris Bryant MP, Shadow Minister and Vice-Chair Russia APPG
  • Dr David Lewis, Senior Lecturer, University of Exeter
  • Maisy Weicherding, Researcher-Eurasia, Amnesty International
  • Jago Russell, Chief Executive, Fair Trials International
  • Claire Rimmer Quaid, Senior Project Officer, European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE)

Chair: Baroness Stern CBE

This Westminster Seminar event will launch a new Foreign Policy Centre publication, kindly supported by the Open Society Foundations, entitled Shelter from the storm? The asylum, refuge and extradition situation facing activists from the former Soviet Union in the CIS and Europe. The event will look at some of the key issues around asylum, extradition and the provision of refuge for human rights defenders, political and religious activists and other controversial figures from the former Soviet Union.It will examine the extent to which Russia and other CIS countries abide by their obligations under European and international law when facing extradition requests from fellow signatories to the Minsk Convention. It also will explore European asylum and immigration policies and how they impact on activists from the former Soviet Union.

The event is free and open to all.

Please RSVP to events@fpc.org.uk

Download Shelter from the storm? (210 kilobyte PDF)


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> South Africa in BRICS: Salvation or ruination?

DATE: Monday 28 April

TIME: 4.00-6.00pm

VENUE: Committee Room 15, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA

Speaker: William Gumede, author of South Africa in BRICS: Salvation or Ruination and Associate Professor and Convener in Political Economy, University of the Witwatersrand (Johannesburg)

As South Africans prepare to go to the polls for the 2014 presidential elections, what does the future hold for one of Africa's leading economies?

Developing economies are increasingly regarded as potential global growth engines which could power the world economy. Alongside China, Brazil, Russia and India, South Africa belatedly became part of the BRICS alliance, forged to provide leading developing countries with a greater voice with respect to global action.

Yet, might the differences between members in this disparate bloc far outweigh the similarities that bind them, compounding competition and tension within the group? Might the keenness of once eager investors have been cooled by the groups' more modest economic performance? This is

illustrated by China's immense economic restructuring which has led to contractions in its growth rates, which formerly boasted double digits. This is in addition to the turbulent currency crisis which fuelled further rises in already relatively high inflation and interest rates experienced across many emerging markets, earlier this year. As the US economy experiences a fragile recovery this has reduced the need to stimulate the economy and keep interest rates low. As such, the US Federal Reserve has begun to ease its injections of liquidity into the wider banking system. How might the BRICS in general and South Africa in particular, insulate its own markets from the turbulence generated by the fall in monetary stimulus which has considerably reduced investment inflows into developing economies?

More importantly, beyond political advantage, might the real gains of such an alliance for an economy like South Africa now seem far more limited than otherwise envisaged? Furthermore, with the advent of a so-called second generation of emerging economic giants which include Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey (MINTs), might South Africa have sneaked into the wrong club?

This event is free and open to all. If you would like to attend, please RSVP by email to events@fpc.org.uk

Download FPC Seminar - South Africa in BRICS (80 kilobyte PDF)


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> What role can financial inclusion play in driving employment-led growth?

Financial inclusion and jobs: Drivers of development and growth in Africa?

How might improving the access, distribution and use of a wide range of affordable and appropriate financial services and products (financial inclusion) facilitate job creation and stimulate balanced economic growth across Africa? In addition, how might the private sector build partnerships to champion strong leadership, sustainable innovation and responsible engagement in order to help develop an enabling environment where universal financial inclusion and employment-led growth can thrive?

FPC Roundtable series: Building an agenda for action to shape a post-2015 development agenda

At a proposed series of three roundtable discussions and through the publication of a report supported by Barclays, the Foreign Policy Centre seeks to explore how greater financial inclusion has the potential to help drive the development of new businesses and new jobs, thereby igniting development transformation across Africa. In an effort to support action to help redefine the international development agenda post-2015, the event series seeks to explore the interface between financial inclusion and employment creation – two pressing global public policy priorities.

The event series is scheduled to take place during February 2014 to June 2014. Following the roundtable discussion series, the FPC will produce a report (to be launched in the autumn/winter of 2014) that will build on the discussions and insights exchanged during the course of the event series. The report will capture the salient issues discussed and key findings identified.

Should you have any queries about this upcoming event series, please feel free to contact the FPC on events@fpc.org.uk.

Read more…

Download Summary note - Roundtable 1 (110 kilobyte PDF)