Annan makes impassioned plea for rich countries to open up trade for

“You, the world’s trade ministers, must show those people that you have heard their cries for fairness,” Mr. Annan said in an opening message to the ministerial meeting of the 146-nation World Trade Organization (WTO) in Cancún, Mexico. The message was delivered on his behalf by Rubens Ricupero, the Secretary-General of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).”You must give them confidence that, from now on, your negotiations and decisions will really meet their needs and reflect their aspirations. You have an awesome responsibility, and a great opportunity. Your decisions can make the difference between poverty and prosperity, and even between life and death, for millions upon millions of people.”Here in Cancún, I implore you to say: ‘No!’ to trade policies that aggravate poverty and ‘no!’ to trade practices that undermine aid. And I urge you so say ‘yes’ to bold but sensible steps that will revive the global economy and set a new course for development,” he added.Noting that the reality of the international trading system did not match the rhetoric, Mr. Annan declared: “Instead of open markets, there are too many barriers that stunt, stifle and starve. Instead of fair competition, there are subsidies by rich countries that tilt the playing field against the poor.”It was a “moral imperative” to follow through on a preliminary agreement at a meeting in Geneva making it easier for poorer countries to import cheaper generics made if they are unable to manufacture them themselves to fight diseases like AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.On agriculture, Mr. Annan said: “We must eliminate the subsidies that push prices down and make it impossible for poor farmers in developing countries to compete…These barriers and subsidies in developed countries must be phased out as fast as possible.”Opportunities must also be opened for developing countries through effective liberalization of trade in textiles, by specific agreements allowing them to participate actively in the growing trade in service and by faster transfer of technology, he added.”The answer is not to turn our backs on the potential of open markets. That would be disastrous,” he declared, noting that too many countries had been left on the margins.”The answer is to unleash their potential. Just as we need to improve the multilateral security framework, so we must rebuild faith in the multilateral trade framework. Without progress now, today’s bitterness may well become tomorrow’s backlash.” read more

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Registration open for digital pedagogy conference

Educators from across North America will be on campus next month to learn more about weaving technology into teaching.Registration is now open for the fifth annual Digital Pedagogy Institute Conference, to be held at Brock Aug. 9 and 10.The two-day conference includes presentations, workshops and digital tool training that focuses on innovative uses of digital technology to enhance and transform undergraduate and graduate teaching in the humanities and social sciences.Topics explored during the conference include best practices, case studies, the state of digital pedagogy in higher education and digital pedagogy collaborations between faculty, educational developers, librarians and students.“Hosting for the second year, Brock is proud to be able to bring together international educators and practitioners to share their knowledge and experience with technology in higher education,” says conference co-ordinator Justin Howe from Brock’s Centre for Digital Humanities.“Being able to bring together people from diverse fields with a common focus of interest and interesting applications has proven a very rewarding opportunity for the Centre for Digital Humanities, building new partnerships and collaborations for institution and participants alike.”Nearly 100 educators from across North America are expected to attend this year’s conference, which will feature 30 presenters on a wide variety of digital pedagogy topics.The conference also features three keynote speakers. They include:Claire Battershill, a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow at Simon Fraser University, is an author and co-creator of a number of digital pedagogy resources. She will be speaking about digital resource development and collaborative pedagogy.Jennifer Jenson, the Director of the Institute for Research on Digital Learning and a professor at York University, is an internationally-recognized scholar on digital games and gender as well as technology and education. Her talk will explore pedagogy through the animated series South Park.Ray Siemens is a Distinguished Professor in the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Victoria and directs the Digital Humanities Summer Institute and the Electronic Textual Cultures Lab. His keynote talk will be “Making Open Social Scholarship Work.”The conference program and registration information are available on the Faculty of Humanities website. Deadline for registration is Aug. 6.The annual conference is a partnership between Brock University, the University of Guelph, the University of Toronto Scarborough and the University of Waterloo.Brock’s organizing committee includes the Centre for Digital Humanities, the Centre for Pedagogical Innovation and the James A. Gibson Library. read more

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