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People of the Commonwealth: Critical Conversations

International Solidarity for Economic Justice

Jump to Guests
Nadira Hira
Professor Philip Alston
Professor Jayati Ghosh
Dr. Marlene Attzs
Owen Tudor
Njoki Njoroge Njehu
Date & Time
2:00pm, 23 June 2021 - 3:30pm, 23 June 2021
About the event

Global problems require global solutions. If countries cannot cooperate on the big issues of our time—on everything from carbon emissions to tax havens—then we risk accelerating a global race to the bottom, with the burden of crises being shouldered by the poorest and least powerful among us.

Global solidarity has been put to the test during Covid-19. We’ve seen some great success stories, but the failures are many: from the unequal distribution of vaccines and medicines to the crushing debt burden that less developed countries now face. The world can—and must—do better.

Our ability and willingness to work together will determine the future. Without greater global solidarity, we are unlikely to rise to the challenges of climate change, poverty and global inequality.

This Critical Conversation session will bring together policy experts and activists to explore how the Commonwealth and its Member States can work together to deliver economic solutions for people and the planet.

Join us and together we’ll ask: can the Commonwealth bring strong and visionary leadership to advance solidarity within and between nation-states?

This event has taken place. You can watch it here:

Nadira Hira Moderator
Professor Philip Alston Panellist
Professor Jayati Ghosh Panellist
Dr. Marlene Attzs Panellist
Owen Tudor Panellist
Njoki Njoroge Njehu Panellist
Nadira Hira

Nadira’s a writer. But as media’s blossomed, so has she—from an award-winning journalist into a sought-after host, recognised Millennial expert, and passionate advocate for the common good who’s graced pages and stages from Fortune to VICE to the United Nations.

Known for her distinctive style, both sharp and uniquely empathetic, Nadira’s appeared on the likes of NPR, HBO, CNN, and MSNBC. She’s captivated audiences at Google, Disney, Comic-Con International, the UN’s Global Festival of Action, and marquee events around the world. And she’s relished examining contemporary culture from all angles in many a print outlet, among them Newsweek, Essence,
Smithsonian, MTV News, and Fortune, where she did some of her favourite journalism as a staff writer profiling such singular subjects as Shawn ‘Jay-Z’ Carter, the rollicking ancient art trade, and twentysomethings in the 21st century.

A would-be poet, professional sports fan, and proud graduate of Stanford University, Nadira’s eternally grateful to be a Caribbean-American kid, raised in the great state of Connecticut, who calls Brooklyn, NY, home.

Professor Philip Alston

Professor Philip Alston is the former United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, a position he held from 2014 to 2020. Before that he was Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions. He was closely involved in the drafting of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and served as Chair and member of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

A leading practitioner, scholar and teacher of international human rights law, Professor Alston is currently the John Norton Pomeroy Professor of Law at New York University School of Law and co-Chair of the NYU Centre for Global Justice.

Professor Jayati Ghosh

Jayati Ghosh taught economics at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi for nearly 35 years, and is currently Professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, USA.

She has authored and/or edited 20 books, including ‘The making of a catastrophe: Covid-19 and the Indian economy’, Aleph Books forthcoming 2021; ‘Women workers in the informal economy’, Routledge 2021; and ‘Never Done and Poorly Paid: Women’s Work in Globalising India’, Women Unlimited, New Delhi 2009; co-edited ‘Elgar Handbook of Alternative Theories of Economic Development’, 2014; co-edited ‘After Crisis’, Tulika 2009; co-authored ‘Demonetisation Decoded’, Routledge 2017; and published around 200 scholarly articles.

She has received several prizes, including for the 2015 Adisheshaiah Award for distinguished contributions to the social sciences in India; the International Labour Organisation’s Decent Work Research Prize for 2011; the NordSud Prize for Social Sciences 2010, Italy.

She has advised governments in India and other countries, including as Chairperson of the Andhra Pradesh Commission on Farmers’ Welfare in 2004, and Member of the National Knowledge Commission of India (2005-09). She is the Executive Secretary of International Development Economics Associates (www.networkideas.org), an international network of heterodox development economists. She has consulted for international organisations including ILO, UNDP, UNCTAD, UN-DESA, UNRISD and UN Women and is member of several international boards and commissions, including the UN High Level Advisory Board on Economic and Social Affairs, the Commission on Global Economic Transformation of INET, the International Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation (ICRICT) and the recently created WHO Council on the Economics of Health for All.

She also writes regularly for popular media like newspapers, journals and blogs.

Dr. Marlene Attzs

Dr. Marlene Attzs is a Lecturer in Economics at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Trinidad and Tobago. She has served as Head of the Economics as well as Deputy Dean in the Faculty of Social Sciences, UWI. She has more than 20 years’ experience as an economist focussing primarily on the economics of sustainable development. She currently serves in an administrative capacity within the University, bringing to bear her academic skills to support the University’s strategic objectives.

Dr. Attzs’s research portfolio primarily focusses on sustainable economic development issues confronting Caribbean Island States. Her specific research interests include sustainable development, climate change adaptation, and gender mainstreaming. She has worked as a consultant in many Caribbean countries and also consulted for Governmental and Non-Governmental agencies in Trinidad and Tobago, regional institutions such as the Caribbean Development Bank and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, as well as internationally with the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in Washington, D.C.

Between 2005 and 2006, Dr. Attzs was based at the IDB Headquarters in Washington as a Consultant in the Sustainable Development Division, with responsibility for coordinating the Bank’s Natural Disaster Network, which comprised the national focal points for disaster risk management across the Bank’s Member Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

She is currently one of the Foundation’s Civil Society Advisory Governors.

Owen Tudor

Owen Tudor worked as a civil servant before gaining a philosophy, politics and economics degree from Oxford University and then worked in local government in the United Kingdom. He has been a member of the Fabian Society National Executive and sat on the editorial board for the Labour Party’s journal New Socialist.

He was recruited off a union picket line to work for the TUC in 1984 working on youth, training, disability and social insurance issues before taking over health and safety, disability and industrial injury compensation in the mid-1990s. As well as founding the TUC’s weekly safety representatives bulletin Risks, he represented the TUC on the tripartite Industrial Injuries Advisory Council and Health and Safety Commission, as well as the Social Security Advisory Committee and the Civil Justice Council, of which he was a founder member. He sat on the board of the European Agency for Safety and Health in Bilbao and on the EU Advisory Committee on Safety and Health in Luxembourg.

In 2004 he became a member of the TUC senior management team as head of the European Union and International Relations Department, covering international solidarity, trade and migration policy, labour standards and global supply chains as well as Brexit. He has been a Director of the Ethical Trading Initiative and was an alternate member of the ETUC and ITUC governing bodies. He is a former Director of the Occupational and Environmental Diseases Association, Trustee of the British Occupational Health Research Foundation and of the Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID), as well as the Ethics Committee of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine. He is a member of the UK Executive Committee of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, the Advisory Council of the Foreign Policy Centre and the Politics without Borders Advisory Board.

He was elected as Deputy General Secretary of the ITUC in December 2018.

Njoki Njoroge Njehu

Ms. Njehû is a committed grassroots organizer/mobilizer and activist.

A Pan-Africanist, feminist, and popular educator, Ms. Njehû’s expertise includes women’s land rights, gender justice, community rights, and environmental justice.

She is co-founder & Executive Director of Daughters of Mumbi Global Resource Center (DOM), an independent non-ethnic, non-partisan Nairobi-based network. Prior to her 2005 return to Kenya, Ms. Njehû served as Director of the 50 Years Is Enough: U.S. Network for Global Economic Justice & Campaign Manager (Toxic Trade Campaign) for Greenpeace International . She has testified three (3) times before the U.S. Congress, on debt, HIV/AIDS and other crises facing Africa.

Ms. Njehû is the coordinator of the Pan-African Fight Inequality Alliance, Chair of the Board Urgent Action Fund- Africa (UAF-Africa) and Board member of Natural Justice.

Ms. Njehû has been profiled and widely quoted in print and broadcast media, including: Time Magazine, The Daily Nation (Kenya), The Financial Times (U.K), The New York Times, The Sankei Shimbun (Japan), The Washington Post, BBC, CNN International, and various radio & TV stations in Kenya

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