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Portland Comms Soft Power 30 Launch - 18 July 2017

Ambassador Tom Fletcher discusses the results of the Soft Power 30 report.

This International Peace Day a striking 84% of people in the UK, US and Germany agree that ‘human beings have the right to live in peace: free from conflict’. [...] Peacebuilding is often an invisible sub-sector of international development. There is no one definition of the term, but it is considered by the United Nations and those that work in the field as a process which goes beyond ending violence to establish the conditions for durable peace and prevent the recurrence of violence.

MORE than 1,000 British troops are in a race against time to get aid to the Caribbean as yet another hurricane headed towards the batters the region. Royal Marine Commandos and engineers are continuing to gather medical supplies, food, water and building materials to send to the British Virgin Islands (BVIs), Anguilla, and Turks and Caicos after Storm Maria was upgraded to a hurricane overnight.

Ministers in the UK are considering creating an internet ombudsman to deal with complaints about hate crimes and are pressing ahead with proposals for a levy on social media companies to help pay for the policing of online offenses. [...] The idea of an internet ombudsman is already being developed in France and Australia. Each country is creating an agency to act as an independent body that will mediate between members of the public and social media firms.

A new project aims to promote co-operation between biodiversity researchers across the UK and six Latin American countries. Funded by the British Council’s Newton Fund and in partnership with the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP), Researcher Links aims to enhance scientific collaboration by promoting an international exchange of researchers between universities in UK, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Peru, Argentina and Brazil.

The UK actively promotes gender equality both at home and abroad but it falls short of defining itself by a feminist agenda. At a time when it is not clear what does define UK foreign policy, other than the looming exit from the EU, promoting a feminist foreign policy could be an opportunity for the UK to provide leadership and to promote its human-rights based values abroad at a time when both are being challenged on the world stage. 

Lambadi dance, one of the most popular tribal dances of South India, formed part of colorful presentations at the Tribal India fest in London recently. Organized by Red Lotus Events in association with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), the Nehru Centre, and the High Commission of India, the three-day event had some of the most interesting tribal dances of Odisha, Gujarat, Assam and other States showcased, apart from handicrafts and other attributes displayed at various stalls.

 

The World Bank is working with the UK Government to set up the London Centre for Global Disaster Protection (LCGDP). [...] The centre has been established in partnership with the World Bank and Germany in a bid to grow the role of insurance in mitigating damage caused by natural catastrophes in less economically developed economies (LEDCs) and encourage countries to better manage risk.

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