Active citizenship in memory of Mandela – Bachelet

first_imgOn stage at the Cape Town city hall for the Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture 2014, from left: Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, Mandela’s widow Graça Machel, Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory chief executive Sello Hatang, Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille, and veteran South African actor John Kani. (Image: Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory)• Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory+27 11 547 [email protected] Central StreetHoughton2198South AfricaLorraine KearneyThe challenges of social integration were increasing, and it was essential to update democracy. “We must take on the challenges of the future, not just consolidate our wins.”Chilean President Michelle Bachelet expressed these sentiments in delivering the 12th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture, in the City Hall, Cape Town, on Women’s Day – 9 August.The lecture was particularly significant as it was from the City Hall that Mandela first addressed South Africans and the world following his release from prison on 11 February 1990. It was also the place from where he first spoke to South Africans as their president on 9 May 1994. And it was also particularly poignant as it was the first annual lecture to be given since his death on 5 December last year – a fact mentioned by more than one speaker.Women’s Day, a national public holiday, commemorates the day in 1956 when about 20 000 women of all races marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to demand that women not be required to carry passes.Watch Chilean President Michelle Bachelet deliver the 12th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture:The topic of Bachelet’s lecture was “Building social cohesion through active citizenship”. She also focused on education and community participation in democracy.She paid tribute to Mandela, saying his life had been based on a “profound certainty that there are no differences that justify discrimination, violence, abuse or oppression”. He had shown that the only viable path was one of cohesion and unity. She also honoured Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, one of the many dignitaries in the audience, for having convened the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and for the similar process in Chile.It was one of several historical similarities between the two countries on their path to democracy that she listed: “It can be said we share a common wound, a common pain, but we also share a sense of common pride.”In speaking about democracy today, Bachelet said: “Economic growth and reducing inequality are essential, but are not enough. The growing new middle class brings new challenges that pose new tasks. Confidence in institutions is weakening – this is a global trend. This puts at risk our democracy… Society has changed, the world has changed, and people around the world are asking more of their governments,” she said. “Today, legitimacy and justice are more than just legality. More and better democratic policies of inclusion are needed.”And to get there, changes must be driven by society. Representative democracy was no longer enough; people were now demanding participation. “But to take part requires more than just voting. This is key to modern democracy.” Indeed this was the core of her lecture: society was opening spaces and forums where these new demands could be reflected. It was time for structural changes, but there was no magic recipe for this. “But the wrong path is denying citizens their participation.”Bachelet pointed out that sub-Saharan Africa had experience strong economic growth in recent years, but half the population still lived on less than $1.25 a day “This strong economic performance is not filtering down. It is the same in Latin America and the Caribbean. There is some encouragement in the growth of the middle class, but the inequality gap is high and is growing.“We need more equal distribution of wealth.” To get there, the public sector needed strengthening.Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Michelle Bachelet and Sello Hatang at the lecture. (Image: Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory)Gender equalityIn building a socially cohesive, democratic society in which all people participate meaningfully, there needs to be equality between the sexes. Yet, Bachelet pointed out, cultural, economic, social and political discrimination against women remained one of the “most scandalous unequal situations on the planet”. Six out of 10 poor people were women; 75% of women could not get a bank loan because they were in unstable or unpaid jobs. Sexism was rife and there was a lack of representation in business.She spoke about policies being set up in Chile to assist women. “[Equality] needs to be promoted in every country. We need to make gender equality a state objective.” But to do so “requires us to rethink our ways of cultural identity. We need to ask: ‘How can we make living together possible?’ It is a complex task in permanent evolution.”Chile, and the world, had a lot to learn from South Africa, and from Mandela’s attempts to build a unified nation. To get there, structural changes were needed – and effort had to be made to make cultural changes. “Above all, we must build a culture that allows us to recognise our self in others. To do this requires active citizens … Chile is proposing that people take this responsibility to grow social cohesion.”Importance of educationBachelet also spoke about improving education, as a crucial tool to ensure a democratic, socially inclusive nation. The challenge was “not only access to education, but also quality education”. Structural changes were needed to achieve this; it should be an economic, social and political goal simultaneously.She quoted Mandela, saying that education was the most powerful weapon to change the world, but added that action was needed to reach this goal. Non-negotiable was passion, the ability to listen and the active participation of citizens who could also listen to constructive criticism.In ending her lecture, Bachelet referred to South Africa as the cradle of humanity: “In this land that is the birthplace of the human species, we can dream of a new humanity… We have hope to build a common future.”At the press conference after the lecture, she said: “Mandela has been the leader who inspired me all my life. He has taught us so much.”Returning to education, she announced that in 2015, Chile would launch 50 Nelson Mandela scholarships for post-graduate students from Africa to attend Chilean universities. A statue of Mandela would also be commissioned for a public park in Santiago, and Chile planned to convene a “conversation” involving South Africa, Chile and other Latin American countries going through a transitional justice process so that they could learn from each other.Her lecture was well-received by an audience that consisted of dignitaries, activists and ordinary folk, as well as Nkosi Zwelivelile Mandla Mandela, Mandela’s grandson. The Nelson Mandela Foundation website reported that he found the lecture to be insightful. Bachelet made it clear that being an elected official meant you had to continue to speak on behalf of people, the Mvezo chief said.“This is to ensure service delivery and to be a true reflection of what is happening in the country… We must strive to make a better world. Her excellency has called us back to the drawing board, and has raised questions: have we done enough to recognise indigenous people? Is there still a role in post-apartheid South Africa for traditional leaders?” he said.Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, who delivered the Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture in 2004, was also upbeat as he walked out of the hall. Showing the victory sign, he said the lecture had been “wonderful to listen to”, and Bachelet had been “fantastic”.last_img read more

Brexit and the Future of UK Immigration

first_imgDays after another shock election result in the United Kingdom, CFGI 2017 Symposium attendees were eager to hear from George Koureas and Axel Boysen of Fragomen Worldwide on the election’s impact. During their presentation titled “The UK and EU: A Proactive Approach to Brexit and Immigration Changes,” Koureas and Boysen discussed the state of immigration in Europe and the UK and offered recommendations on how HR professionals can navigate the uncertainty.The presentation shed light on immigration policy changes in the UK, which predate the Brexit vote and aim to reduce immigration and emphasize enforcement. They highlighted many of the challenges that businesses now face because of stricter immigration policies, includingLine managers who are unaware of their immigration compliance responsibilities;The possibility that Tier 2 employees have changed job titles or office locations and UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) has not been notified; and,Failure to notify the UKVI when Tier 2 employees are no longer sponsored.Koureas and Boysen made several recommendations to address these challenges and navigate a new immigration landscape, particularly the importance of involving local Human Resource professionals.“This may sound simple, but the solution is to involve HR,” said Koureas. “It’s important to have a set of written policies and make sure that they are communicated clearly. You need to have someone who is responsible for immigration and understands the process.”Despite the uncertainty because of the June 8th election and Brexit, the presenters noted that there hasn’t been any large-scale immediate policy change because of the Brexit vote. The UK will remain a member of the EU until exit negotiations conclude and free movement between the UK and the European Economic Area will remain unaffected for the time being.CFGI is advancing fair, innovative and competitive immigration policies around the world. Learn more about our global advocacy here.Spencer Manners is an External Affairs and Membership Intern at SHRM. He previously held internships at Major League Baseball Advanced Media as well as the Ram Council Foundation. As a current Political Communication Major at The George Washington University he hopes to pursue a career at the crossroads of policy and communication.last_img read more

Retailer Surprisingly Defying Trump’s Trade War with China

first_imgFor a company that has heavily relied on China to make its sneakers and apparel almost since day one, Nike is sure showing no signs President Trump’s nasty trade war with the country will shred its profits in the year ahead.Experts Yahoo Finance have talked to give high marks to Nike’s recent innovation spurt across its various product lines, allowing it to raise prices globally to offset increased sourcing costs, as the main reason for its success amidst the trade war. A casual trip to Nike’s website or app reinforce that message… the footwear, apparel and accessories style convey a sense of fashion and technical leadership that had gone missing at Nike two years ago. No more is Nike playing second fiddle to Adidas. Sorry Kanye. Meanwhile, others point to… Yahoo! Finance Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.  Sign up nowlast_img read more

Didn’t want to be just a figurehead: Kumble

first_imgFormer India captain Anil Kumble on Tuesday said he resigned as National Cricket Academy’s chairman as he didn’t want to be just a “figurehead” when none of his plans found support from other committee members.Almost two months after a controversy broke out over an apparent conflict of interest, Kumble stepped down and his resignation was accepted by the BCCI’s Working Committee, which met here on Monday.”I had a plan which didn’t have much alignment with other committee members. I didn’t want to be just a figurehead,” Kumble told reporters here.Asked why his plans didn’t find support with others, Kumble said, “I don’t know but I was very keen to contribute and even put together a proposal.”Punjab Cricket Association’s general secretary M P Pandove will be the caretaker chairman of the NCA till a full-time appointment is made.Initially, “lack of time” was said to be the reason why Kumble stepped down as NCA chairman but on Monday, the retired leg spinner said that he was left with no other option.”I had a three-year vision to make NCA a better academy.I had made 10 presentations during my tenure as chairman with the hope that my vision could be accepted. Even on Sunday I had discussed this at the NCA meeting in Chennai. But it was not in alignment with the rest of the committee,” Kumble said.”I felt that it made no sense to be a chairman when I was not being heard. I had no other option but to move on in life,” he added.advertisementlast_img read more