Saturday, February 7, 2009

Fifth South Intellectual Platform Meeting

The fifth South Intellectual Platform (SIP) meeting was held on 7th February 2009 at Chateau de Bossey. Almost 40 colleagues participated in the meeting.

The full-day SIP meeting was chaired by H.E Mr. Benjamin W. Mkapa, President of Tanzania (1995-2005) who is also the Chairman of the South Centre. President Mkapa provided an overview of the global situation and prospects, and what it means for the developing countries. Dr. Yash Tandon, Executive Director, South Centre presented the reflections coming out of the previous SIP meetings.

Professor Norman gave a presentation on "Cuba: The Debt is Unpayable" based on the speech he delivered in Cuba on the receipt of the degree of Doctor of Economic Sciences, Honoris Causa, at the Great Hall of the University of Havana on 3 December 2008. This was followed by remarks byMr. Jorge Ferrer Rodríguez, Minister Counsellor of the Permanent Mission of Cuba to UN in Geneva.

The first session was on "Did South Show Leadership in 2008?" where reflections were made by Chief Emeka Anyaoku (on US Presidential Election), followed by Mr. Bagher Asadi (on Climate Change) and Ambassador Kwabena Baah-Duodu of Ghana (on the Ghanian Election and what good governance means for the South).

The second session was on "Where Should South Show Leadership in 2009?" where reflections were shared by Mr. Yilmaz Akuyz and Mr. Deepak Nayyar (on financial crisis and how the South will be impacted). Mr. Rashid Bawja from Pakistan shared his views on poverty alleviation in South Asia. Mr. Martin Khor provided an overview of the new and ongoing challenges the South is facing including those related to trade and financial crisis.

The third session was on "South South Cooperation or Competition". Reflections were shared by Ms. Leticia Ramos Shahani (on migration and national development issues) and Ambassador Mr. Lumumba Stanislaus-Kaw Di-Aping of Sudan and the current Chair of G77 and China in New York (on the role of G77 and China, and the challenges ahead for it in 2009).

The Fifth South Intellectual Platform ended with vote of thanks by the Chairman on the stewardship of Dr. Yash Tandon as the current Executive Director of the South Centre and the work and dedication of all the South Centre staff. Mr. Martin Khor was welcomed as the new Executive Director of the South Centre from 1 March 2009 onwards.