Thursday, 14 May 2009

International Development Secretary to launch World Justice Festival

Douglas Alexander MP, the International Development Secretary, is to open Edinburgh’s fourth World Justice Festival (EWJF) next week.

Mr Alexander will speak about the UK Government’s development response to global economic and environmental crisis at the ‘Building Justice out of Crisis’ conference in the City Chambers.
His speech, on Friday May 22, will focus on what steps are needed to create a new regime to deliver justice and sustainability for the world’s population.

The unique Edinburgh World Justice Festival (EWJF) was inspired by the massive Make Poverty History demonstration and the G8 alternative conference, held in Edinburgh in early July 2005.

EWJF organisers include UNISON Scotland, Edinburgh Campaign Against the Arms Trade, Friends of the Earth, Medecins Sans Frontieres, Stop Climate Chaos Scotland and the World Development Movement.

Mr Alexander said:
“Millions of people in Britain campaigned four years ago to make poverty history, but millions worldwide face a future of poverty if the world fails to tackle climate change. We have to move to a low-carbon future if we’re going to create a better life for all - here and around the world.

“I am delighted to take part in this important event and congratulate the many organisations which have put together an impressive programme.”


For further information please contact:
Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) 07715 583 729(m)
Sara Thoms (Department For International Development Press Office) 0207 023 0849 (w) 07932 954867 (m)

Notes for Editors

1. Other speakers at the Building Justice Out of Crisis event include: Allyson Pollock, Centre for International Public Health Policy, Edinburgh University; Iain Macwhirter, Sunday Herald journalist and Rector of Edinburgh University; Benedict Southworth, World Development Movement. Mike Kirby, Convener of UNISON Scotland, will be in the chair.

2. The event takes place at Edinburgh City Chambers from 12.30pm -3.30pm. Douglas Alexander is due to speak at 12.35pm, with a question session at 1pm.

3. Other EWJF highlights include: a European Election hustings, a film by Dalkeith High School pupils on the injustice of climate change; a discussion on Mordechai Vanunu, human rights, arms sales and nuclear disarmament; and a debate on what is needed from the UN Climate Change talks in Copenhagen.

4. The full programme is at


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