As the world celebrates the life and times of Fidel Castro as a revolutionary, politician, internationalist and statesman, scholars of revolution and humankind in general have been bequeathed a treasure trove of critical and emancipatory ideas. South Africa as a country that is currently grappling with a multiplicity of challenges including leadership, poverty, unemployment, inequality, domestic violence, crime, etc. has an opportunity to learn from the life experience of Fidel Castro.
Recent years have been marked by a deepening crisis in established democracies. In the United States the take-over of the Republican Party by Donald Trump has brought about a melt-down of the political culture and defied much analysis about Hillary Clinton winning a historic election in a much divided country. Indeed Donal Trump is now the President elect of the United States of America, the world’s only military superpower.
International law defines refugees as people who have fled their homes due to conflict situations or the threat of persecution; they are not to be returned to the situations they fled from nor are they to be expelled1. Members of the international community have a duty to protect refugees, a duty which was affirmed in the aftermath of World War II with the ratification of the 1951 Refugee Convention2 which gave birth to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (a programme under the United Nations tasked with the protection and support as well as in assisting with the voluntary repatriation of refugees).
September 12, 2016
Margaret C. Lee Visiting Professor
Institute for Global Dialogue UNISA
Good afternoon! It is indeed an honor to be asked to speak to you today. I have traveled the world and spoken to many groups, but I can truly say this is the greatest honor of all, to be asked to present some of my research to COSATU.
The once favorable and intimate relations between the Philippines and the United States (US) seem to be heading to a road of complications, with the Philippines under the helm of President Rodrigo Duterte showing signs and interest to steer away from the US influence.
The United Kingdom referendum on whether to withdraw or not from the European Union resulted in 52% of the voting population deciding to ‘Leave’. The resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron and the collapse of the pound sterling were immediate consequences of a ‘Leave’ campaign grounded on numerous lies and already, as the days after the result proved, a number of broken campaign promises. The referendum results were received enthusiastically among far-right nationalist politicians in other countries, despite the fact that profound splits within the UK (i.e., in Scotland, Northern Ireland, and London) were also made evident immediately afterward.