Dean of Law and Social Sciences speaks at Global Citizen Forum
18 December 2017
Professor Craig Barker, Dean of the School of Law and Social Sciences at LSBU, was amongst world leaders and global celebrities speaking at the Global Citizen Forum, held in Montenegro on 19-20 October 2017.
The two-day Forum, billed as ‘an exclusive opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with global leaders, industry visionaries, entrepreneurs and celebrities’, comprised a number of panel discussions.
During the Forum Prof. Barker had the opportunity to speak with Prime Minister Gaston Browne of Antigua and Barbuda and some of his diplomatic staff.
“Diplomacy and diplomatic law are my areas of expertise,” he said, “It is always a pleasure to speak directly to those involved in the process of diplomacy and to pick their brains, which is something I rarely get the chance to do.” In his paper Prof. Barker was asked to address the international legal aspects of global citizenship. He emphasised that notions of citizenship and nationality are social constructs that are maintained, to a large degree, by international legal structures that separate and divide communities, rather than bring them together. Nevertheless, international law, if developed responsibly, is capable of helping the world overcome many of the problems it faces, such as climate change, conflict and social incohesion. Crucially, he argued, the concept of global citizenship should not be available only to the wealthy but should be seen as something that is open to all.
The most significant global challenge under discussion at the 2017 forum was climate change and the devastating impact of recent hurricanes around the world. Actor Robert De Niro spoke passionately about Hurricane Irma and its impact on the sparsely populated island of Barbuda.
A wide range of speakers also talked about a variety of issues with the hope of facing up to challenges and identifying opportunities and solutions. Cherie Blair introduced her Foundation for Women, which aims to help women from less developed countries become entrepreneurs and set up their own businesses, while rapper Akon spoke about his Lighting Africa project aimed at bringing electricity to over 600 million Africans who currently do not have access to electricity.