Global citizenship lecture marks new partnership with Commonwealth Secretariat

29 January 2009

Around 150 diplomats, business people, academics, students and non-governmental organisation representatives came to UCL on 21 January for  ‘Reforming International Institutions: An Agenda for the 21st Century’, the first in a series of three lectures jointly organised by UCL and the Commonwealth Secretariat.

Karmalesh Sharma, Secretary General of the
Commonwealth

Introducing the lecture, Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma said the principles of international governance have to include transparency and inclusiveness. “Everybody has rights and expectations,” he stressed. Mr Sharma said it was a great pleasure to be associated with UCL – an institution which has always prioritised the right to freedom of thought and speech.

Professor Ngaire Woods from the Global Economic Governance Programme at the University of Oxford spoke of the urgency for dramatic reform of global financial institutions, emphasising that new rules were not enough.

Professor Richard Bellamy, Founding Head of UCL Political Science, discussed whether global citizenship could – or should – replace national citizenship. Dr David Hudson, also of UCL Political Science, examined recent calls for increased regulation of international institutions and asked whether the 1930s/’40s hold any economic or political lessons, given the current financial crisis.

The Global Citizenship lecture series marks a new partnership between UCL and the Commonwealth Secretariat, reflecting the university’s research interests and the Commonwealth’s work in the areas of democracy and development.

Speaking of the lecture series, Professor Worton, Vice-Provost (Academic and International) said: “Exploring what global citizenship means in the 21st century is at the heart of UCL’s educational vision. Through our partnership with the Commonwealth Secretariat, we are providing a platform for distinguished speakers from UCL and beyond to debate crucial issues in the world today.”

UCL President and Provost Malcolm Grant with Karmalesh Sharma, the Secretary General of the Commonwealth and Vice-Provost Michael Worton
Commonwealth

The next lecture in the series will be ‘Development Policies for a Changing World’ on 31 March 2009, featuring Ransford Smith (Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General), and Professor Orazio Attanasio (UCL Economics and Director of the Institute of Fiscal Studies Centre for the Evaluation of Development Policies).

Professor Amartya Sen, Harvard University’s Nobel Prize-winning economist and chair of the Commonwealth Commission on Respect and Understanding, will deliver the final lecture ‘Civil Paths to Peace’ on 2 June 2009.

To find out more about the series, follow the link at the top of this article.

Image 1: Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma introduces the inaugural global citizenship lecture

Image 2: UCL President and Provost Professor Malcolm Grant (left) discusses the new partnership with Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma and Professor Worton, Vice-Provost (Academic and International)

 

UCL Context
UCL seeks to provide an education for ‘global citizenship’: preparing our students for the intellectual, social and personal challenges they will encounter during their time in London - one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world - and throughout their lives as members of a global community.

In encouraging students to think of themselves as global citizens, we aim to foster creative, ambitious thinkers who are committed to ethical behaviour, have an awareness of the intellectual and social value of culture difference, and who are ready to embrace professional mobility.

Find out more about how UCL does this on the Global Citizenship website.