Activities

A SELECTION OF SOME OF THE EVENTS THAT EASTBOURNE UNA HAS HOSTED

UNA Eastbourne have welcomed the news of War on Want’s successful advocacy in fighting the toxic effects of ‘corporate courts’ through the ISDS treaties and mechanisms which put corporate profits before public services. The success of Ecuador in protecting the economic and environmental interests of its citizens against corporate avarice is to be applauded.

The noble goals of the UN to bring about a more just and equitable world will never be realised unless there is a continuing and enduring public awareness and active commitment to hold to account these agents of exploitation who seek profit over public good.

The news of War on Want’s success in this area was greeted with particular delight as it followed an earlier event hosted by UNA Eastbourne in which Mark Dearn from War on Want came to Eastbourne to speak about the impact of post-Brexit trade deals.

Mark Dearn

 

On February 23rd UNA Eastbourne hosted an event at the Town Hall which examined the impact on our lives of future trade deals that Britain may enter into post-Brexit.  Mark Dearn (pictured above) was our speaker for the evening.

Mark Dearn is the senior trade campaigner at War on Want, and a board member at the Trade Justice Movement UK.  He has been leading UK and European campaign work on trade deals with America (TTIP) and Canada (CETA) over the past two years.  He has written and commented widely on trade deals, including for the BBC World Service, The Guardian, The Independent and The Economist among others.

Campaigners fear that food safety, the rules around big banks and the status of our NHS may all be jeopardised by a new set of trade deals that will  be negotiated secretly post Brexit.

Mark Dearn gave a hugely informative talk outlining just how damaging certain trade deals could prove to be on our society.  What he said was, that although many people do not realise it, Britain is intending to approach all the countries with which the EU has negotiated trade deals and simply ask for the same trade deal for Britain post-Brexit.

He highlighted how Britain, when negotiating trade deals recently as part of the EU, has always pushed for regulations on the banking sector to be reduced.  Donald Trump has already made statements about how he would also like to see regulations on banks reduced.  A trade deal with America seems likely to remove all the regulations we currently have to avoid another banking crisis like that of 2008.

Trade deals are not just about removing tariffs from imported and exported goods.  They will also give businesses in another country the freedom to operate in our country.  This raises alarm bells for all those who care about our NHS.  If American healthcare corporations are free to start bidding to run parts of our healthcare service then any hopes we have of returning to a state run healthcare sector will be diminished.

Trade deals will mean the setting up of secret corporate courts in which private sector businesses could sue our government if they put in place any regulations that may limit the profits their business could make in our country.  Investor State Dispute Settlements (ISDS) have already cost many of the world’s governments frightening amounts of money.  They could be a barrier to our government returning our NHS to a state run healthcare system.  Even if we were in the future to end any trade deals we have, the private corporations have the right to sue our government for another 20 years hence.

After listening to Mark paint a bleak picture of a Britain with little banking regulation, little regulations on foods and medicines and with a rapidly declining healthcare service far removed from the NHS we love, I am sure I was not alone in feeling somewhat depressed.  But Mark seemed to feel that the strength of the public feeling towards our NHS offered a key tool in fighting damaging trade deals.

If campaigners can highlight how seriously damaging trade deals would be to our NHS then they would stand a good chance of successfully fighting against them.

Saturday 4th June 2016 Brexit – The Main Economic Considerations A presentation that aimed to give factual information regarding how a vote to leave the EU could affect the UK Economy.  Presented by Dr Peter Holmes, Reader in Economics at The University of Sussex.

Wednesday 12th October 2016Parameters of Global Deforestation with Respect to Climate Change. Presented by Ian Elgie FRGS.

Saturday 14th November 2015

Dr Ajay Bhave LSE Grantham Institute for Research on Climate ChangeOur Changing Climate – Your Changing Future  On 30th November 2015 Paris hosted COP21 – a crucial UN conference to achieve a new international agreement on climate and hold golbal warming at a safe level.  Timed to just precede the Paris conference the UNA Eastbourne held this one day public conference of climate change.  The conference aimed to increase public awareness of how our climate is changing and this may affect us.  This event began with a networking reception with exhibitions from local NGOs and public organisations followed by some expert speakers on climate change.

July 2014 Youth members to Uganda

UNA youth members who travelled to UgandaIn July 2014 four UNA Youth Members travelled to Eastern Uganda to volunteer their services.

They stayed at the esteemed Bungokho Rural Development Centre in Mbale where they engaged with trainees in agricultural techniques, tree planting and field work with women’s empowerment groups.

10th November 2014 Contemporary Manifestations of Islamophobia in Britain Presented by Tracey Davanna, lecturer in Politics at Sussex Downs College and PhD student on the topic.  The talk was well attended with standing room only.

1st December 2014  Futebol Nation – an analysis of the social and political issues surrounding the World Cup in Brazil Presented by Steve Bassett, lecturer in Sociology at Sussex Downs College

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