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Refugees and Migrants: An Escalating Crisis
Gianni Rufini, Ambassador Tarald Brautaset, Rafat Al-Akhali, Simon Parker, Lyse Doucet

  • Saturday 18 June 2016, 11.30AM to 1:00pm
  • Free admission
    Booking required
  • Ron Cooke Hub, University of York (map|getting to campus)
  • Wheelchair accessible

Event details

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Our Festival Focus Day begins by examining questions around why so many people are fleeing their homes and the effectiveness of the international response. Speakers include:

  • Gianni Rufini, Director General of Amnesty International Italy
  • Ambassador Tarald Brautaset, Special Envoy for Global Initiatives, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Rafat Al-Akhali, Former Minister of Youth and Sports, Yemen, and Fellow, Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford
  • Simon Parker, Department of Politics, University of York
  • Lyse Doucet, Chief International Correspondent for the BBC (Chair)

About the speakers

Gianni Rufini is Director General of Amnesty International Italy. A former Director of VOICE, the network of 100 European NGOs working in Emergency and Humanitarian Aid (1997-2001), Gianni has also worked as a Subject Matter Expert for the NATO Joint Warfare Centre (2007-13) and is a Senior Trainer for the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism (2005-present). He has been a Research Director with the think-tank CeSPI and is on its steering committee.

Gianni is a member of the steering committee of Oxfam Italy and of the advisory board of ActionAid International Italy, and Chairman of the Ethic Committee for the humanitarian network Agire. He is also on the editorial board of the Journal of Conflict Transformation and Security (JCTS - UK). Since 1985 he has worked in development and humanitarian aid for several International NGOs (Relief International US, Movimondo, Handicap International France, ActionAid, Intersos, NCCI Iraq, UPP, ReC and others) and UN agencies (FAO, UNICEF and UNDP). Since 1996, he has been Associate Fellow of the Post-war Reconstruction and Development Unit, at the University of York.

Ambassador Tarald Brautaset is Special Envoy for Global Initiatives with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He has been in the diplomatic service since 1973 and was the Norwegian Ambassador to the UK from 2000 to 2005, then Ambassador to France from 2009 to 2014. He has been a Special Representative of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 2014.

Rafat Ali Al-Akhali was appointed as Minister of Youth and Sports in the Government of Yemen in November 2014, a post he held until September 2015. Prior to his appointment, Rafat led the Policy Reforms team at the Executive Bureau for Acceleration of Aid Absorption and Support for Policy Reforms. In that position, Rafat led the planning and implementation of key reforms in Yemen including fuel subsidies, power sector, and civil service reforms. He also led business environment reforms and government efforts in private sector development.

Prior to joining the Yemeni government, Rafat served as a Senior Consultant and Analyst for organisations such as PricewaterhouseCoopers and IBM in Canada. He has also worked in the field of development with a number of international development agencies in Yemen, and was a member of the Accessions Division at the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva where he participated in the accession process of several countries including Yemen. Rafat earned his second Master degree in Public Policy (MPP) at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford, UK, and is a Fellow of Practice in the School. He is the Co- Founder and Chairman of Resonate! Yemen, a leading non-profit foundation that specialises in the field of engaging youth in public policy in Yemen. He is also a co-founder and member of the political bureau at the Justice & Building party, a young party formed during the Arab Spring in Yemen.

Dr Simon Parker is a Senior Lecturer in the University of York’s Department of Politics. Before joining York in 1995, he was Junior Research Fellow in Sociology at Jesus College, Oxford where he was appointed in 1992 soon after completing his doctorate in the Social and Political Sciences faculty at the University of Cambridge. In 1998-1999 he was Honorary Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Italian Studies at University College London.

He became a Senior Lecturer in Politics at York in 2005 and from April to September 2007 was Visiting Professor in Sociology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. In 2010 he was Hallsworth Visiting Professor in Political Economy at the University of Manchester and in 2014 Visiting Research Associate at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Simon is Co-Director of the Centre for Urban Research (CURB) and Director of the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of York.

Lyse Doucet OBE is an award winning Chief International Correspondent and Senior Presenter for BBC World News television and BBC World Service Radio. She is often deployed to anchor special news coverage from the field and interview world leaders. Lyse has covered major stories in the Middle East for more than 20 years and is a regular visitor to the region. Before joining the BBC’s team of presenters in 1999, Lyse spent 15 years as a BBC foreign correspondent with postings in Amman, Jerusalem, Tehran, Islamabad, Kabul and Abidjan.

Lyse was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Honours list in 2014 for her services to broadcasting. She is an honorary patron of Canadian Crossroads International, and a member of Friends of Aschiana UK which supports working street children in Afghanistan.

Supported by The Morrell Centre for Toleration which is generously funded by the C and J B Morrell Trust


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