Copy

The latest news and events from the Welsh Centre for International Affairs. Update your profile to receive the e-news in Welsh. 

Thank you to all our supporters

In this longer than usual final e-news of the year, you'll find reports on recent events and some of the highlights of our year.  

We'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who supported us throughout the year, giving donations, volunteering time, making suggestions and participating in events. We couldn't achieve any of our work without you. 

Enjoy reading and share feedback about what you'd like to see in the e-news in 2017. 

Thanks,

Susie Ventris-Field
Deputy Chief Executive


Professor of International Law at Loyola University Chicago leads talk on Africa's deindustrialization.

Held at the Cardiff's Temple of Peace on 21 November, Cardiff University, the WCIA, along with law schools in Wales welcomed Professor James Gathii to discuss how global trading rules are contributing to Africa’s deindustrialization, for the Annual international law lecture. 

Professor Gathii was joined by Celine Tan, an expert in international economic law from Warwick Law School.

It was a particularly pertinent subject amidst uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the effects this will have on global trading, especially trading relations with developing countries.

The event was well received and attended by representatives from the Welsh Government, European Commission (Wales Office) Staff, the former Lord Justice of Appeal Sir Malcolm Pill, amongst many other academics, legal practitioners, and students. 

Cat Jones, Head of the Hub Cymru Africa said: “For Wales based groups supporting projects, and campaigning for Fair Trade in Africa, Professor Gathii gave a helpful insight into the challenges facing small farmers and independent traders, and explained how World Trade Organisation rules are often stacked against poorer countries.

The inspiring lecture has given plenty of food for thought to groups planning projects.”

Professor Gathii's distinguished record of scholarship, teaching and practice in the field of international human rights and trade have made a lasting impact on law and policy in Africa and around the world.

See photos of the event and a blog by one of our volunteers. 

"We must remain optimistic in face of post-Brexit confusion" says AM Adam Price

Amidst speculation about Brexit, WCIA brought together a panel of experts to look at what Brexit means for international relations, equality and human rights, and trade and business.

The event, which took place on 30 November at the the historical Temple of Peace was chaired by Cat Jones of Hub Cymru Africa with Sir Emyr Jones Parry, Simon Hoffman of Swansea University's College of Law, and  Adam Price AM, the Shadow Minister of Business, economy and finance on the panel. 

Opening the discussion, Simon Hoffman spoke of what Brexit would mean for children's rights, in particular asylum considerations for children and unaccompanied minors.
 
"Brexit is a disengagement from a strong champion of children's rights. EU law contains specific protection for children, particularly for children seeking asylum unaccompanied, such rights to legal advise and representation, medical attention and education.

"If we removed the EU framework without adequate replacement, the most vulnerable children are at risk. And there is no suggestion yet in post Brexit discussion about asylum procedures for children having[-'l[l any sort of priority." 

Sir Emyr Jones Parry then took the podium to discuss the consequences of Brexit on international relations and foreign policy. He voiced his concerns about no "having a seat at the table" for international negotiations in the same way post-Brexit. 

"Will we foul our relationship with the EU? We will be unable to use EU as a leverage internally and externally. EU relationship with NATO is fundamental, but now it is at risk of being very difficult."

This was followed by Adam Price AM who spoke about the consequences on trade and certain areas of trade which are sensitive to consequences of Brexit such as agriculture, where we export 90% of goods to the EU.

Despite risks and confusion involved. Adam Price urged the audience to remain hopeful about the future.

"There'll be no clarity, but we have to remain optimistic. We have to be hopeful. We live in a time of extreme fluidity where anything can happen. So have to be active, go join a political party, join a protest, speak to people."

This seemed to strike a chord with the audience, who received the panel well. In particular, an audience member said "It confirmed a lot of what I thought, it has given me some clarity. I am inspired to go out and be more active. Nice to know there are other people who feel the same way and willing to speak up."

To see more about this event, click here.

WCIA making global issues accessible to people in Wales in 2016

Inspiring a wider range of people in Wales to learn about and act on global issuesis the mission of WCIA. 2016 saw WCIA take a step towards reaching a larger range of communities in Wales, through a range of activities, from public events to a growing volunteering programme.

This year, our public events ranged from Islam to Brexit, and were well received and attended by the local community and professionals alike. 

With religion at the centre of international news, the 'Contexualising Islam in the 21st Century' event in April attended by 70 people helped to make this global issue more accessible to Welsh communities. 

Professor Grace Davie from Exeter University explored the importance of religion in the public sphere in her talk, noting that if we cannot allow for religious diversity then there is something very wrong with our democracy.

The 'EU Referendum: The Issues Debate Wales' event in June gave people the opportunity to hear evidence on both sides of the debate before voting. 

The talk featured three panels, each with representatives from the Remain and Leave campaigns, along with an academic expert to present the facts. This allowed those in attendance to form an opinion from a balanced presentation of information about how Brexit would affect Wales.

Deputy Chief Executive, Susie Ventris-Field said: "Our public events are vital to adding for creating opportunities for critical thinking and public debate in Wales." 

Along with these events, WCIA's volunteering programme has become central to their success, providing volunteers with genuine opportunities to develop their skills and employment prospects.  

Susie said: "Volunteers are involved with almost every aspect of the organisation, from helping out at events, and managing all areas of communication, such as social media and the monthly newsletter, and collecting and analysing data."

Events this year have taken place at the historical Temple of Peace building which is, as an ethical events venue, provides a source of income for the charity and is an integral part of WCIA's identity.

This year a Venue Manager, Emily Williams, was appointed and is promoting the building as the venue with a heart in Cardiff. All the income received from venue hire is used to contribute to the WCIA's work in supporting international development, peace and human rights and global education. 

Read more about the Temple of Peace here, WCIA's past events  here, or for more information about volunteering please click here. 

Wales for Peace supporting communities to uncover Wales' Peace heritage in 2016


By exploring how the individuals, movements and stories have contributed to Wales' ‘peace heritage’, schools and communities have learned about their heritage and reflected on the implications for today. 

The Wales' National Book of Remembrance is now fully digitise, the Belief and Action exhibition was launched, volunteers led the public on tours of the Temple of Peace and Wales for Peace worked with CADW to host the Weeping Window poppies at Caernarfon Castle alongside the Remembering for Peace Exhibition.

From January 2016 the National Book of Remembrance for the First World War was centre stage at the Remembering for Peace exhibition. Collaboration with the National Library of Wales allowed the book to be  transcribed and made available online, with help from volunteers - who played an essential part in the project.

More than 300 volunteers and community members, have been supported to share the heritage of the peace movements which have helped shape Wales’ national being, such as the women’s movement, the Urdd, and Eisteddfods, amongst many others. 

It is this involvement by volunteers and community alike, that made the the Poppies: Weeping Window display a success. The display at Caernarfon Castle was made up of 6,000 ceramic poppies, and was accompanied by the Remembrance for Peace exhibition which featured the iconic Welsh Book of Remembrance. It made for a world class visitor experience for the Welsh community ahead of Remembrance day 2016.

Craft activities, workshops and conferences accompanied the exhibitions stimulating community groups to explore previously hidden histories around the impact of WWI, and understand the importance of peace. 

For example, in the Belgian Refugees lecture in February, UCL lecturer Christophe Declercq explored how Wales cared for 4,500 Belgian refugees during WW1. It illustrated lessons for the current European 'refugee crisis'. 

Attendees commented the lecture had provided ‘food for thought’ in light of contemporary events, making people “more sympathetic” towards modern-day refugees. 

This stimulated call to gather together the 'hidden histories' of the Belgian refugees and how they contributed to Wales. 

More information about Wales for Peace can be found here.

A year with Hub Cymru Africa

Keeping with their central objective of strengthening the capacity of the Wales Africa and Fair Trade communities, 2016 saw Hub Cymru Africa successfully contribute to a globally responsible Wales.

Fairtrade Fortnight (29 Feb - 13 Mar 2016) kicked off the year on a high. The theme ‘Sit down for breakfast, stand by for farmers’ was used as an opportunity by Fair Trade Wales and the wider HCA team to raise awareness of the struggle producers around the world face to provide enough food for their own families. 

HCA were visited by Nimrod Wambette, an experienced coffee farmer from the foothills of Mount Elgon in Uganda who toured Wales, meeting groups, businesses and politicians to talk about coffee production and the challenges he faces. 

Almost 3,000 people took part in breakfast activities across the country, with 30 events in 14 counties. There are opportunities to involved in Fairtrade Fortnight 2017 here. 

This was followed by 'East Africa through the Lens: Kenyan and Tanzanian perspectives in March,' a partnership event with Sub Saharan Advisory Panel.

HCA and SSAP hosted Kenyan High Commissioner, His Excellence Lazarus Amayo and the Tanzania Deputy High Commissioner, Mr Msafiri Marwa in Cardiff to meet Universities, Wales Africa activists and members of the diaspora community. 

The visit gave an opportunity for Wales based International Development Organisations operating in Tanzania and Kenya to discuss their work with the Commissioners and members of the diaspora. 

July saw HCA working in partnership with the Wales for Africa Health Links Network, at the Wales Africa Health Conference - focusing on health partnerships in Africa with featured speakers from Wales, England, Scotland and Namibia. 

Workshops looked at the impact of specific health topics including mental health, maternal health, non-communicable diseases and disability in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

The Wales International Development Summit, in November rounded off a busy year for Hub Cymru Africa.  

Part of the Wales for Africa 10 year celebrations, the summit looked at the role of imagery in storytelling and how powerful images can make a difference with Peter Di Campo of the #EverydayAfrica project. Nassra Juma Mohammed, the Women’s Zanzibar football head coach, was also in attendance to talk about gender empowerment through sport. 

Workshops focused on education, climate change, communications, diaspora, Fair Trade and health and an audience discussion on the implementation of the new Well Being of Future Generations Act – looking at what this legislation means for the people of Wales.

Read more about Hub Cymru Africa here. 

Hire the Temple of Peace

Hire our prestigious venue in the heart of Cardiff for conferences, exhibitions, wedding receptions and much more. 

More information and availability.


Annual Report 2015-16
 

Blog

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Read

The Shepherd Family of Ystalyfera and Pontypridd in the First World War. Read

The story of E. P. Jones, Pontypridd. Read

Annual Law Lecture: How global trading rules are contributing to Africa’s deindustrialization and what we can do about it. Read.

A Welsh spanner in the works? Brexit: the story so far. Read.

From war to Olympic glory, the Refugee Olympic Team are competing for tolerance. Read.

The Orlando Mass-Shootings: Homophobia or Terrorism. Read.

Political Tourist: The Final ChapterRead.

Political Tourist Part 6: Discovering and Sharing Heritage for Truth and Peace. Read.

Read the latest blogs from our contributors.

Event resources
 

What will Brexit Mean? Storify and blog.

Annual Law Lecture: How global trading contributes to the industrialization of Africa. Photos and blog

#LightaCandle16 - International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women. storify and blog

EU Referendum: The Issues Debate Wales, 8 June. View event report.

‘Charity begins at home?’ Talk from the Chief Executive of Oxfam GB, Mark Goldring, 24 February. Post event report, photos, video of routable discussion, video of Mark Goldring talk.

‘The Role of the Commonwealth in the 21st Century’ Talk from Baroness Scotland, Secretary General of the Commonwealth, 22 March. Event story.
 
‘Contextualising Islam in 21st Century Britain’ Talk from Professor Grace Davie, 13 April. Event report and pictures

'Syria, ISIL and the Middle East: The US Perspective' Talk from Thomas Williams, Minister-Counselor for Political Affairs at the US Embassy, 28 April. Event pictures and report

Support the WCIA 

Find out more.


Volunteer with the WCIA

Gain skills and experience, meet people and support the WCIA. We’re looking for a website volunteer and general volunteers.


Other Volunteering Opportunities

UNA Exchange provides a range of international volunteering opportunities including; work camps; step by step programmes; medium to long term projects; European voluntary service; and group projects.


 
Copyright © 2016 Welsh Centre for International Affairs (WCIA), All rights reserved.