Irina Fedorenko, WHT DPhil Scholar at the School of Geography at Oxford, has presented a case for supporting youth entrepreneurship and youth-led NGOs at the panel at the House of Lords on May 24.
The President of the United Nations General Assembly released the final text of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) last year in 2015. The post 2015 outcome recognizes that ‘Children and young men and women are critical agents of change’. This was the result of the Rio+20 Summit in 2012, which mandated the creation of an open working group to come up with a draft agenda. The transition from Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to SDGs offers the youth both a bigger opportunity and challenge to bring about a change in the world we live in. In my view, the starting point for any youth should be to think of himself or herself as a global citizen. I was privileged to be a part of the cohort selected to attend the Youth Assembly at the United Nations at UN Headquarters in the New York City in February 2016. I had the opportunity to meet delegates from more than 70 countries and to learn about their perspectives on their role in implementation of SDGs. In the note below, I have highlighted my experience of attending this conference in one of the most powerful organizations of the world and on being shortlisted as a finalist for the outstanding delegate at United Nations.
In 2015, Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) marked the 20-year anniversary of the signing of the Dayton Peace Agreement. Today, the legacy of this agreement still affects the citizens, politics, economy and society. A Weidenfeld – Hoffmann Alumna, Lana Pasic, examines the effects of the agreement on contemporary Bosnia in her e-book Twenty Years After Dayton: Where is Bosnia and Herzegovina Today?
Weidenfeld-Hoffmann alumnus Shohini Sengupta writes to us from New Delhi, where she is a Research Fellow at the Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy. Her research covers law and financial regulation, providing assessment and advice for the Indian government. In this blog post, she discusses her work and her recently published article on corporate responsibility
Louis Dreyfus Scholar Simukai Chigudu recently returned to Oxford after conducting field research in Northern Uganda among women’s peace activists. His article based on this research, ‘The Social Imaginaries of Women’s Peace Activism in Northern Uganda,’ has been published in the International Feminist Journal of Politics. In this blog post, he discusses the work he did and the ideas with which he has engaged.
The metanarrative of global feminism is often constructed as a progressive and emancipatory movement emanating from the West and fostering radical politics elsewhere in the world. Such a view is not only ethnocentric but, critically, it fails to engage with the complex ways in which feminist politics travel and are evinced in specific localities. In this blog post, based on a recently published research article entitled ‘The Social Imaginaries of Women’s Peace Activism in Northern Uganda’, I seek to understand how marginalised women in the ‘Global South’ – particularly in Africa – interpret, experience and negotiate feminist ideas to wield political power within the context of their social and moral worlds.
Alexandra Henderson, CEO and Director of the Weidenfeld-Hoffmann Trust, recently attended Lord Weidenfeld’s funeral in Israel, and has shared her impressions of the day.
A small group of us close friends joined the family to witness George being taken to his last resting place on the Mount of Olives. A few years ago George had told me that his friend, Jacqui Safra, had suddenly announced that he had secured a very special present for him and Annabelle – burial plots for them both in Jerusalem. Although it seemed impossible that his body could be spirited there within forty eight hours, this is just what happened.
By Friday morning a group of around thirty had arrived from different corners of the world and we set off from Tel Aviv in a convoy of people carriers. It was a beautiful, sunny, warm day and as a newcomer to the country I was struck by the stark landscape that we drove through. Suddenly we found ourselves in a traffic jam winding our way around the hillside outside the walls of the city, tiny roads full of honking horns and impatient travellers whilst on each side, behind stone walls and gates was a sea of white. We stopped the traffic as we went up and down looking for the right gate. Eventually we saw a small group of people in sombre clothes and guessed we were at the right spot. We joined others who had come from Tel Aviv and then, just behind Annabelle, were two young men carrying the simple shroud which they put down, quite roughly, on a trolley feet away from the grave.
Hoffmann Scholar Ilan Manor, an expert in digital diplomacy and editor of the blog Exploring Digital Diplomacy, gives us a brief introduction into what digital diplomacy is and how it influences the world around us.
Technology has always impacted the practice of diplomacy. The printing press, for instance, contributed to the formation of nation states and the establishment of the role of Ambassadors. Mass media technologies such as the radio and television enabled governments to converse directly with the populations of neighboring states. The internet impacted the speed of diplomacy as diplomatic couriers and encrypted communications were replaced with more immediate means of communication such as the email.
Recent years have witnessed yet again the impact of technology on diplomacy with the migration of foreign ministries to social media (i.e., twitter, Facebook, YouTube). Often referred to as digital diplomacy, the incorporation of social media in the conduct of diplomacy may be viewed as both an evolution and a revolution in diplomatic practice.
Louis-Dreyfus Scholar Nidhi Singh reflects on spending the festive period in Oxford, including a traditional British Christmas experience in Combe.
Coming from a country like India, where Christmas is not such a big celebration, experiencing this Christmas in a western country like the UK was quite special to me. The period around Christmas and New Year can get really lonely especially for international students who usually do not have their family around. Just before the Christmas break was going to start, I had so many people asking me my plans during Christmas, as it would get really lonely here. But I failed to understand the reason behind them asking me this question, until I really witnessed the period for myself. My experience of staying back for the festive period in the UK, however, was quite different.
After huddling up in the coach at 8 am on 7th of December, the Weidenfeld Hoffmann Trust scholars (missing our friends from the Masters of Public Policy) departed from Oxford to their destination – Cumberland Lodge in Windsor Great Park. The 17th century country house, widely known for its special architectural and historic significance, is truly spectacular but without any display of ostentation. Today Cumberland Lodge, with the Queen as its Patron, is an educational charity initiating fresh debate on the burning questions facing our society. Thus the spot was a propitious setting for an exacting academic workshop and residential training.
On 21st October, eleven Weidenfeld-Hoffmann Scholars had the opportunity to travel to Cambridge to attend a lecture on “In Order to Succeed in Peace Mediation You have to be an Honest Broker” by Mr. Martti Ahtisaari, former President of Finland (1994-2000). Mr. Ahtisaari is a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and also served as a United Nations diplomat. He is a mediator, widely respected for his international peace work.
Just like our previous program on Moral Philosophy and Leadership, the scholars were highly excited about Humanities lecture at the University of Cambridge for distinct reasons. Created by Lord Weidenfeld, the program is managed by Weidenfeld-Hoffmann Trust in coordination with Cambridge Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciencs and Humanities (CRASSH). It took us around 2 hours to get there in our coach and during our travel time, the scholars indulged in discussions about their studies and living experience in Oxford.