2011 Forum

Les ressources de l’Afrique – malédiction ou bénédiction ? (French) - Moïse Nyarugabo Muhizi, République Démocratique du Congo, Senateur

The healing logic of The Commons - David Bollier, USA, Co-founder, the Commons Strategy Group

Inclusive governance for shared growth - P S Bawa, India, Chair, Transparency International, India

2010 Forum

Courage to live ethically - William Richardson, Australia, Senior Investment Manager with an Australian private equity group

Recovery with a Human Face - Katherine Marshall, USA, Georgetown University

2009 Forum

Katherine Marshall : USA, senior advisor, World Bank
Economic justice is fundamental to human security, and the financial tsunami has hit hard in the poor countries of the world. Even as the crisis seems to have spent its fury, the effects for poorer countries are just being felt. Far too little attention is going to understanding and acting on this dimension. However, history suggests that most real transformations can be linked to crisis. If we are wise and bold, we can take this opportunity to build the kind of world that we are looking for.

Sir Richard Jolly : UK, former UN Assistant Secretary-General
The current crisis has a lot to do with the way international institutions have operated. They have often allowed power, economic interests and dictatorial rule to trump democracy, human rights and human concerns. At present narrow economic values are forced on to many poorer countries as conditions of obtaining loans. We need an approach that combines efficiency, sustainability, stability, human rights and equity. And we need global democracy – not just meetings of the G8 or G20 but of the G192. The challenge of the 21st century is to see care of people and care of the planet extended on a global scale. <Download his speech>

Angelina Teny : Sudan, Minister of Energy and Mining
Africans have no hope of a pension; our only security is having more children. This population explosion has a great impact on resources and the environment. Europe is spending a lot of money to support their farmers. How do you expect the African farmer to compete? Fairer competition will help us gain the economic means to bring an end to conflict, and restore the fabric of a society that has been destroyed by war. <Download her speech>

Hameed Haroon : Pakistan, CEO and publisher, Pakistan Herald Publications
We are told the solution to the financial recession in the West is cheap credit; but the solution for less fortunate nations is to pull back expenditure They can’t both be right. I believe less and less in economics as a humanizing factor. In the crises we face, basic health, gender equality, and literacy are more important than redistributive comparisons. <Download his speech>

Mani Shankar Aiyar : India, former Cabinet Minister
The fundamental causes of the economic crisis are moral. We have corporate globalization but not political or regulatory globalization. So the benefits go to a few, be it in the developed countries or developing. Then when a crisis comes, we suddenly find enough money to hand mind-boggling sums of money to those who caused the problem. If it is possible to rescue Goldman Sachs, why is it not possible to rescue those who are in perennial crisis, the poor of the world? Why are we Indians praised for our remarkable rate of growth instead of being condemned for the 900 million Indians who live on less than $2 a day? <Download his speech>

Me Moïse Nyarugabo : Congo, Lawyer and Senator
The economic crisis has hit the Congo hard. Many of the mines – largely run by foreign companies – have packed up and their staff have left. Locally we do not have good leadership because our leaders are not held accountable. All too often, when our Government receives money it goes into their pockets. The greatest support you can give us is to strengthen the power of the grass roots of our society.

Videos

Banking on Change, Pilgrim Films

Two-thirds of India’s population of a billion people live in the nation’s 600,000 villages. Despite India’s economic growth, the disparities between wealth and poverty are enormous. Many villagers migrate to the cities in search of work and end up begging on the streets. South Indian bank manager J S Parthiban set out to do something to help their economic circumstances. He encouraged beggars to open bank accounts in New Delhi, and pioneered micro-loans to villagers in his home state of Tamil Nadu. This is his story—and theirs.

 

Initiatives

Simonetta Sommaruga  Switzerland 
Member, Swiss Council of States; elected to the Federal Council in September 2010

The financial crisis has shaken Switzerland. Like other Western countries, we benefited from the booming financial market, we lived on credit, and we allowed our largest banks to become too big to fail. The result is that the solvency of our two biggest banks is guaranteed by the State, and they pay no premium for this. So they can take even greater risks.

The price we pay is more protectionism, more xenophobia, more unemployment, less social benefits and less support for developing countries. We cannot let this situation continue. Our financial markets need stronger regulation, and this must be coordinated internationally. I want Switzerland to be at the forefront of such moves.

Katherine Marshall  USA 
Senior Advisor, World Bank; Senior Fellow, Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs

The international community mobilized trillions of dollars to meet the financial crisis, but cannot find the $50 billion for development called for in the Millennium agreement signed by 192 countries. Meanwhile several million children die each year from preventable causes.

Many people are passionately involved in attempts to remedy this situation. But there is little interaction, and often significant contradictions, especially in how to deal with the economic factors. Caux has the potential to bring people out of their silos, and get conversation going between them.

Sir Richard Jolly  UK 
Former UN Assistant Secretary-General

What does recovery with a human face mean? It means a fundamental shift in our economic focus towards the well-being of people. It means refusing to balance budgets by unbalancing human lives: often the solutions which are imposed increase unemployment when they should increase productivity. It means breaking the dependence of governments on large corporations. It means reducing military spending. These are difficult tasks. But as Sergio D’Mello said: 'Unless we aim for the seemingly unattainable, we risk settling for mediocrity.'

Look at Asia's response to the financial crisis. In a number of Asian countries, stimulus measures have emphasized social protection and action to boost demand among the poor and vulnerable – because these groups will rapidly turn additional income into jobs. Thailand is a good example. We in the West can learn from this.

Solomon Gafabusa Iguru  Uganda 
Omukama (King) of Bunyoro-Kitara, who headed a senior delegation of his people

Vast quantities of oil have been discovered in Bunyoro-Kitara, and oil companies are now working to extract it. Will this oil be a source of benefit to my people, or a curse? We need international help, and we need to play our part. Bunyoro-Kitara suffered immensely through colonial conquest and harsh colonial policies. We have lost hope and remain desperate. We also inflicted wounds on others. Since attending the Caux Forum, we have created a Forum of Kings and Cultural Leaders in Uganda. It elected me Chair. Through this Forum we advocate healing wounds our tribes inflicted on one another. We have in draft a book that highlights historical errors made by Bunyoro-Kitara, that we are asking our neighbours to forgive. We need a healing process to enable Bunyoro-Kitara, so richly endowed with resources, to break out of the vicious cycle of poverty.

The delegation led discussions on how to ensure that the resources from the oil extraction benefit the Ugandan community, and various initiatives are now under way to advance this aim.

William Richardson  Australia 
Chartered accountant and company secretary

The Global Financial Crisis has further tarnished the finance profession’s reputation – the challenge now is to bring about real cultural change. I came here to understand how others managed to live ethically in unethical environments. I met many who faced moral decay and physical violence yet continued to live their values. People shared personal stories – exposing their true selves without fear of rejection or manipulation. Caux allowed me to witness people of true courage and to find some of my own.

Conduits are needed between the social sector and the finance world, and this can happen in safe environments such as Caux.

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