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Food and water security in Africa

Africa contributes a tiny amount to total greenhouse gas emissions, but is the continent most impacted by climate change.  So said Jean Ping, former President of the African Union, to the Human Dimensions of Climate Change conference at the Department of International Politics, Aberystwyth University in September, setting the scene for 3 days of debate and discussion on food and water security in Africa.
Politics and science coincided as international politicians, academics, practitioners and students grappled with complex issues from equity, poverty, land rights, agricultural subsidies and trade through to the water cycle, genomics and Phenomics (the study of a living thing's traits).

Opening the conference, Sir Emyr Jones Parry called for greater equity within and between countries and for a reduction in EU and US agricultural subsidies.
Fantu Cheru, University of America, talking about land seizures, said that it is not enough for African countries to simply put the blame elsewhere.  He emphasised the need for Africa to take a stronger stance in trade and investment negotiations.
One aim of the conference was to share practice across countries. Wales' Minister for Natural Resources and Food, Alun Davies, explained Wales' commitment and experiences in addressing climate change. He highlighted the problems caused by contradictory agricultural policy changes and recommended listening to those who know and understand the land.
This sentiment of valuing local knowledge was echoed in other presentations, which were critical of importing western ways of thinking and working into the African context to address food and water security. Indeed, the need to acknowledge and credit local skills, methods and technologies was a theme running throughout the conference.  But some guests and speakers warned of the dangers of romanticising local knowledge and emphasized the importance of collecting reliable data and basing policy decisions on evidence.
Professor Ken Booth, Director of the David Davies Memorial Institute at Aberystwyth University’s Department of International Politics, was one of the conference organisers.  In closing the conference and explaining his motivations behind organising it, he said: "We cannot be the humanity we aspire to be without bread and water."

Catch the highlights from the conference on Storify or watch all the speakers on video. There is a portal for more information on food and water security which was launched by Aberystwyth University at the event.  

Photographs courtesy of C3W.

Last chance to register for Jack Straw MP event

There is something for everyone in the WCIA's plans to celebrate its 40th birthday and the 75th anniversary of the Temple of Peace and Health.
Jack Straw MP will give a talk on 10 October, chaired by Sir Emyr Jones Parry.  He will discuss his years in the foreign office before opening the floor to questions.  If you want to participate but can't attend, UNA Wales be Tweeting under #jackstrawwcia, and you can email or Tweet us your questions.

For family-friendly celebrations, the Peace75 festival on 30 November will have story-telling, debates, discussions, cultural experiences and more! 
In other news, the WCIA signed up new volunteers at the Freshers' Fayre in Bangor and Cardiff Metropolitan Universities. They will be helping out at events and writing for our newsletter and website.  

Finally, don't miss your last chance to enter the Peace75 competition (deadline on 15 October).  

Hundreds join debates

The 2013 Wales Schools Debating Championships got off to a flying start with a record 65 schools registering to compete in 8 regional rounds across Wales.
CEWC held two training days at Glyndwr and Swansea Metropolitan Universities for pupils to learn more about the competition, gain tips and to have a go.
For many, it was their first attempt at debating but they benefited from the expert guidance of CEWC’s debating alumni, Ellen Robertson, Sarah Roberts, David Wigley, Amy Belinda Jones and Piers Digby, who have all debated for Wales at the Championships. Rhys Steele, defending Champion, gave students and teachers tips on setting up a debating society in their school.
Chris Thompson, Education Officer for CEWC, said: "We wish everyone the best of luck in the competition. If you know anyone who will be competing, remind them “rebuttal, rebuttal, REBUTTAL!”
The Championship begins in Swansea on October 1 and comes to a close almost 2 months later with the Grand Final at the Temple of Peace on 29 November. Come along to support the remaining two teams in their final debate.
In other news, back by popular demand, Philosophy for Children level 1 teacher training will take place in November. 

New recruits for UNA Wales

Music blasting from speakers; tables crammed with sweets, leaflets and freebies; people dressed in everything from cheerleader outfits to medieval armour; and thousands of students - it could only be university Freshers' Fayres.
UNA Wales and UNA Menai Branch joined student societies, businesses and other charities at Fayres in Cardiff Metropolitan and Bangor Universities to seek out students interested in international issues.
Over 100 students signed up to volunteer, come to events or to get involved in campaigning.
In other news, Peter Sutch resigned from his post at the UNA Wales Council. UNA Wales gives a huge thank you to Peter for all of his hard work. UNA Wales will be in touch with members soon about future Council developments.

Welsh international award nominations open

Nominations are open for the International Award, one of the categories of the Wales-wide St David Awards, celebrating the exceptional achievements of people in Wales.
The award, launched by First Minister, Carwyn Jones, will be awarded to those who make a difference to the quality of life in Wales.
The International category is open to nominations for people who have promoted Wales on the world stage.  The deadline for nominations is 5 November 2013.

Write for peace

In 2014, an edition of The Peace Review will be dedicated to the philosophies of peace and war.
The Peace Review: A Journal of Social Justice, is inviting contributions of essays of 2500-3000 words from writers by April 15 2014.
Guest editors are Professor W. John Morgan  (UNESCO Professor of the Political Economy of Education, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK) and Dr. Alex Guilherme (Director, Paulo Freire Center for the Study of Critical Pedagogy, Liverpool Hope University).

Our events

The Centre’s Next Steps
10 October, 2.00pm, Temple of Peace, register here.

Jack Straw MP
10 October, 6.00-8.00pm, Temple of Peace, register here.  This event is rapidly filling up.  Please register to guarantee your place. 

WCIA Annual Forum
25 November, 11.00am, Temple of Peace, register here.

First Minister Carwyn Jones
30 November, 2.00pm, Temple of Peace, register here.

Peace 75 Festival
30 November, 11.00am-4.00pm , Temple of Peace, register here.


14-15 November, 9.30am-6.30pm, Temple of Peace, register here.


Vale of Glamorgan, Rhondda Cynon Taff and Bridgend Round

7 October 2013
Torfaen, Newport, Blaenau Gwent and Monmouthshire Round
9 October 2013
Cardiff, Caerphilly and Merthyr Rounds
11 October 2013
Powys Round
15 October 2013
Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham Round
16 October 2013
Gwynedd, Conwy and Anglesey Round
17 October 2013
Cardiff, Caerphilly and Merthyr Regional Final
18 October 2013
Quarter & Semi Final
6 November 2013
Grand Final of the 2013 Wales Schools Debating Championships
29 November

Other dates for your diary

Wales Fair Trade FairLove Zimbabwe
5-6 October, Guild Hall, Brecon and Market Hall, Abergavenny.

Go Green Day, Size of Wales
18 October.
One World Week
20 October-27 October.

Annual World Charities Fair, UNA Menai Branch
26 October, 10.30am-1.30pm, £3 entry (£1.50 students), Berea Newydd Chapel, Penrhos Road, Bangor.
Ann Clwyd MP Lecture, UNA Menai and Bangor University
POSTPONED until 19 February, Bangor University.

Bruce Kent talk on Trident, UNA Cardiff & District
13 November, 7.00pm, Temple of Peace. 

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