White Band Man To Speak At SNP Conference

27 September 2005
Kumi Naidoo, Chair of Global Call to Action against Poverty, the International Coalition behind the Make Poverty History campaign, is to speak at the Scottish National Party Annual conference.

Mr Naidoo will speak on Scotland and the G8 as the guest of Alyn Smith MEP. He will discuss the failure of the G8 to meet the popular demands of the Make Poverty History campaign and look at what people in Scotland can do next.

Commenting on the event Mr Smith said

"This man is inspirational. From his anti-apartheid actions as a teenager in his native South Africa to his appointment to UN bodies and his chairing of the campaign to globalise civic society, he has followed a clear and principled line.

"It was the inspiration of Kumi Naidoo and people like him that led to the 225,000 people who marched in Edinburgh and the hands around the world that demanded action from the G8 on world poverty.

"After the G8, Kumi said "the people have roared and the G8 have whispered", it's a sentiment that I agree with, the G8 let the world down in July. The Make Poverty History campaign in all its global forms has to keep going, and it is important that Scotland, as the initial focus of the campaign, does not forget.

"All of us who marched in Edinburgh in July remember why we did it and what we wanted to see. Those who have the power to change the world for the better must always be reminded that they are there on sufferance, that they can only rule with our permission.

"The torch we all carried in July needs to be relit here in Scotland, and I think that Kumi Naidoo is the person who can do that. It's a privilege for me to be involved in organising this event, and I hope that it will help to keep Scotland's conscience focussed on ending world poverty and invigorating international civic society."

Mr Naidoo will speak in the main conference hall at 12.30 on Friday 22 September.

Note to Editors

Biography for Kumi Naidoo and link to GCAP

Kumi Naidoo is the Secretary General of CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation, an international alliance of civil society organisations dedicated to strengthening citizen participation and civil society worldwide.

Kumi was previously the founding director of the South African NGO Coalition during which time he served on the task team to draft new NGO legislation. He has also worked extensively in adult education and social and economic justice work in South Africa. He has published several articles on NGOs, civil society and youth and resistance politics in South Africa.

An activist of the ANC since a very young age, he was expelled from school at age 15 for his anti-apartheid activities and subsequently went into exile for a number of years. He returned to South Africa in the early 1990s and was centrally involved in the first democratic elections in 1994.

Kumi holds a doctorate in political science from Oxford University where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He also serves as the chairperson of the Partnership for Transparency Fund, which supports civil society efforts to eradicate corruption.

He was appointed by the UN Secretary General to the Panel of Eminent Persons on UN Civil Society Relations. CIVICUS has been playing an active role in uniting civil society organisations around the MDGs and to develop a common advocacy agenda around the MDGs.

As a result of this work, Kumi is now chairing the International Facilitation Group of the Global Call to Action Against Poverty, that are planning joint civil society mobilisations around trade, debt, aid and demands to national governments in 2005. www.civicus.org