April 6th 2011

Islamic finance and the Public Good

islamic finance

In March, Ann Pettifor was honoured to be invited by Ms Zarinah Anwar CEO of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Malaysia, and Dr Farhan Nizami of the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies to attend a conference at Ditchley Park on “Shariah, Finance and the Public Good”.

But before the hard work of deliberation, delegates attended a splendid dinner at the Banqueting House, Whitehall, where they were welcomed by His Royal Highness, Dr Raja Nazrin Shah, Crown Prince of Perak, Malaysia.

In an opening address HRH asked the group to consider whether transfers of ‘artificial wealth’ served the public good; and whether Islamic finance could be distinguished from conventional finance? Prince Nazrin Shah suggested that trust in financial services has all but evaporated, and that such trust would not be restored until finance could demonstrate its concern with the public good. Continue Reading

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Local partnerships for international development

Jeremy Brussels

Last week Jeremy Smith was in Brussels for the launch of a new publication, “Decentralised development cooperation – European perspectives”, for which he was the main author (read on to download English and French versions of the publication).

It has been produced by Platforma, the Europe-wide network of local and regional governments for international development, to showcase the role, cost-effectiveness and value of partnerships between cities, towns and regions from Europe with their counterparts in lower-income countries across the world.  Jeremy’s warm thanks go to Lucie Guillet and Sandra Ceciarini, of the Platforma and CEMR secretariats, for their very considerable help in this work. Continue Reading

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March 18th 2011

Local governments creating their future together in Sarajevo

Saravejo

On 10th to 11th March 2011, the symbolically-resonant city of Sarajevowas the venue for the biggest-ever gathering of elected mayors, councillors and senior local government officials from across south-east Europe.

Over 1000 people came together for the NEXPO Municipal Fair and conference, organised by NALAS, the network of local government associations of the region.  Ai Director Jeremy Smith worked with NALAS in the organisation of the event, in moderating conference sessions, and in drafting the final conclusions, set out in the Sarajevo Declaration. Continue Reading

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February 28th 2011

A global moment

Gene Sharpe

“This is a global moment unlike any in memory, perhaps in history” writes Tom Engelhardt, author of “The American Way of War”.

There have been global moments before – like the Kennedy assassination, news of which sped around world by radio; the fall of the Berlin Wall and 9/11.

But none of those moments have made me feel quite like I do now: that thanks to global media networks I am an eyewitness, a spectator at a momentous and historic event: the transformation by ordinary Arabs, of their human condition. An uprising, largely peaceful and dignified, that nevertheless deserves to be defined as revolutionary. One bound to impact for generations on individual, personal relationships as well as on wider social, economic and political relationships. One that will likely alter the balance of power in our world. Continue Reading

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February 8th 2011

Gordon Roddick’s big idea

gordon roddick

Ann Pettifor was honoured to be named as one of Gordon Roddick’s‘ethical pioneers changing the way we live’ in the Observer, Sunday 6th February 2011.

Gordon Roddick is no stranger to inspiring social and environmental change. He pioneered Fairtrade and co-founded The Body Shop and The Big Issue. Read his take on why we “can’t carry on operating under the same old system” as he outlines his hopes for a more sustainable – and fairer – way of life. Continue Reading

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January 11th 2011

Helping create the City of 2030

From 16th to 21st November 2010, Mexico City hosted a huge gathering of city mayors and leaders from across the globe, for the World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders. Organised by United Cities and Local Governments, the Summit discussed the big crises and challenges facing cities and communities, looked ahead to the City of 2030, and debated ideas for a greater input by local governments into global governance – on issues as diverse as climate change, Millennium Development Goals, and “city diplomacy”.  I was there to help UCLG – which I had helped set up 7 years ago – develop the themes and concepts for the Summit programme together, and to draft the final outcome documents. Continue Reading

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October 5th 2010

Pettifor on panel with Roubini in Kuala Lumpur

world capital symosium

Ai’s Director, Ann Pettifor was invited by the Chairman of Malaysia’sSecurities Commission Tan Sri Zarinah Anwar, to join a panel of distinguished speakers at the second Annual World Capital Markets Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 27-28 September, 2010.

The panel addressed issues related to global economic and financial governance, and included Dr. Nouriel Roubini, Professor of Economics at Stern School of Business, New York University; Sir David Tweedie, Chairman, International Accounting Standards Board, UK; Hung Q tran, Deputy Managing Director of the Institute of International Finance; and Naoyuki Shinohara, deputy Managing Director of the IMF. Continue Reading

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August 31st 2010

Ai at the Global Maternal Health Conference

The gardeners are squatting low in the heat, planting and greening the pavements and sidewalks of Delhi. They are under pressure to complete, because the Commonwealth Games are imminent. Lots of talk in the papers about delays and corruption, coupled with suppressed glee at the pickle Pakistan cricketers now find themselves in. The talk in Delhi is that the Monsoon has been heavier, and more prolonged than usual, but we are enjoying the dry steamy atmosphere at the Habitat Centre, where the Global Maternal Health Conference is in full swing.

And maternal health is in the news too. Continue Reading

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August 9th 2010

‘Cutting the diamond’ on climate change

green jobs

How to mobilise public support for cuts in global greenhouse gas emissions? This is an issue, a ‘diamond  stone’ – that I and a group of British campaigners have spent a great deal of time analysing –  as we struggle to ‘cut’ or analyse the stone in a way that will reflect and illuminate the issues at the heart of this threat to human security. We need to do that if we are to inspire, unite and mobilise a a wide swathe of human society in support of cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.

The need is urgent. Continue Reading

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July 5th 2010

The rocky road to media credibility

debt

On my wall hangs the original of a cartoon of 12 June, 1999 by the FT’s Ingram Pinn. It is of an African bent over double by a burden of debt, while G8 leaders sit at a table perched precariously on top of the burden – ignoring the suffering African.  The impoverished man is surrounded by campaigners, hollering at the G8 and with banners proclaiming: “Cancel the Debts” “Jubilee 2000”.

Behind that cartoon lies a story. Continue Reading

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