MPG - 03 International Tour Report (MIT SOG)
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    MPG - 03 International Tour Report (MIT SOG) MPG - 03 International Tour Report (MIT SOG) Document Transcript

    • MIT School of Government: International Tour 20th May to 10th June 2008 MIT School of Government is the only institution in India & Asia to trainyoung aspirants in all aspects of Politics and Government. In its one year full timecourse – Masters Program in Government (MPG), it endeavors to develop selfmotivated, knowledge driven and upright leaders in political sector. As a part of the curriculum, the participants from the third batch of theMPG embarked on an international study tour to get exposure and understandingof the functioning of various Democracies in Europe. The three-week tour toEurope was conducted from 20th May 08 to 10th June 08. The participants touredsix countries and visited about 25 Democratic Institutions and InternationalOrganizations in The United Kingdoms, France, The Netherlands, Belgium andSwitzerland. The tour started with the United Kingdoms where they first visitedInternational Policy Network (IPN) in London on 21st May. IPN is a think-tank,which deals with varied subjects like Rule of Law, Property Rights, Free Market,Health, Environment, Regulations and Taxes etc. The delegation was addressedby Ms. Caroline Ben on Environment and Mr. Julian Harris on Public Health, Mr.Mark Baillie, editor IPN, summed up the briefings and narrated the challengesfacing the organization, which is active in 35 countries across the world. “MIT-SOG delegation at IPN with Ms. Caroline Ben, Mr. Julian Harris and Mr. Mark Baillie”. 1
    • After IPN, the delegation visited the famous London School of Economicsfor interaction with their scholars led by Dr. Ruth Kuttumurie, the AssociateDirector of India Observatory at LSE. Ms Kuttumuri and her colleagues interactedwith the participants and discussed various disciplines, activities andcollaborations of the school.Associate Director Ms. Ruth Kuttumuri and her colleagues At the LSEinteracting with the participants. On 22nd May 08, the delegation had its meeting at National Union ofJournalists with Mr. David Aryton, the Information Officer of the Union. NUJ is thetrade union as well as professional organization which represents almost 50percent of the entire work force of journalists. The participants were briefed about its history, activities and challenges. MIT-SOG Delegation with Mr. David Aryton, at “NUJ” office The MIT-SOG participants then visited the Commonwealth Secretariatwhere they were briefed by Mr. Amitav Banerjee, Director, Head Office of the 2
    • Secretary, Geneva, Mr. Pavan Kapoor, Special Advisor, Head of Asia & Europein Political affairs Division and Mr. Edwin Laurent, Advisor, Head of Internationaland Regional Cooperation in Economic Affairs Division.Participants At the CommonwealthSecretariat with Mr. Amitav Banerjee. The last appointment of the day was with Mr. Edward Davey, Hon’ble MPfrom Liberal Democrats Party and Shadow Foreign Secretary. MIT-SOGparticipants were surprised to see a senior MP fixing his own appointment,driving his own car, freely moving and mixing with the delegates without even anaide or security person. It was a lesson worth emulating by future leaders ofIndia. MIT-SOG delegation with Mr. Edward Davey, Hon’ble MP and Shadow Foreign Secretary at the Liberal Democrats Party office. On 23rd May 08, the Indian delegation was received at Westminster, themother of all democracies, by the Inward Visit Manager. The participants were 3
    • briefed and taken on a conducted tour of the House of Lords and House ofCommons. The Faculty members and MIT-SOG Participants at the Westminister 24th May 08 was devoted to visits to places of historical, cultural andacademic interests. The MPG 03 participants left London for The Hague on 25th May 08 in themorning. The delegation landed at the International Law City, The Hague in theNetherlands the next morning. Participants at the reception organized by GHRD at The Hague The Hague University (HU) with whom the MIT School of Government hasan informal exchange arrangement, and Global Human Rights Defense 4
    • Organization, The Hague, conducted a one-week academic program and visits toimportant institutes. On 26th May 08, the delegation was officially welcomed atHU by Mr. Ritsart Plantenga, The Director and Dean of the law Department. Hebriefed the delegation on the new initiatives about their international programs onEuropean Law and International Law. Felicitation of Mr. Ritsart Plantenga at the Law Department, H U. Participants keenly attending a lecture at The Hague University. On 26th May 08 in the afternoon, the participants moved to theInternational Court of Justice (ICJ) which has been functioning since 1946. Theparticipants were informed that the 15 judges of ICJ are elected by the GeneralAssembly of the UN for a 9-year term. The participants were lucky to attend a livehearing on Crotia at International Court of Justice. 5
    • The International Court of Justice (ICJ)From the court room, the delegation moved to the Peace Palace located withinthe same complex. Mr. Jeroen Vervliet, the Director of the Peace Palace Librarybriefed the participants on the ICJ and conducted them around its library. Mr. Jeroen Vervliet, Director- Peace Palace. On 27th May 08, the delegation visited the International Criminal Courtwhere they were briefed by Ms. Jennifer Cohen and Mr. Hans Bevers, the LegalAdvisor in the office of the Prosecutor at the ICC. 6
    • Participants at the ICC. The party rushed to Amsterdam by bus to meet Ms. Laffeber, InternationalGeneral Secretary of the Labor Party which is a coalition partner of the rulingParty of Netherlands. The young leader shared her experiences with futureleaders of India on variety of subjects like Indo – Dutch Relations, ClimateChange, Migration, Food Prices, Animal Rights and Funding of Political Partiesetc. Ms. Laffeber, The International General Secretary, Labor Party of The Netherlands Ms. Laffeber With MIT-SOG Delegation 7
    • From Amsterdam the delegation headed straight to Indian Embassy atThe Hague where the Hon’ble Ambassador Mrs. Neelam Sabarwal explained thepolicy of the Netherlands and its relation with India in a very simple, interestingand forthright manner.Mrs. Neelam Sabarwal, Hon’ble Ambassador of India in the Netherlands. Felicitation of Her Excellency Mrs. Neelam Sabarwal. While at the Netherlands, the MIT-SOG team had an opportunity to visitthe port of Rotterdam, which is the busiest harbor in Europe. The participantswere amazed at the engineering and management marvel. The participants visited The International Criminal Tribunal for formerYugoslavia (ICTY) at the Hague on 29th May’ 08. The ICTY was established in1993 by a Security Council Resolution for trials of crimes committed in formerYugoslavia since 1991. The pace and efficiency of the ICTY is reflected by thefact that it delivers a judgment in every two months. Total 161 individuals havebeen indicted by the ICTY since its inception. The delegation was also briefed onthe ongoing trials by Mr. Arun Kumar Balakrishnan, a former IPS Officer of CBI inIndia, who presently is serving as an Investigator in the office of The Prosecutors. 8
    • Participants at ICTY On 31st May 08, MIT-SOG participants were invited for interaction atSEVA, an NGO working for the upliftment of the weaker sections of the society inmany parts of the world. Mr.Radj Bhandoe, Director SEVA graciously hosted adinner, which was followed by debate on Indian, Dutch and Surinamese culture.Mr. Bhandoe, impressed every one with his intelligent, pragmatic and strongviews, which perhaps facilitate clear direction to all the dedicated volunteers ofhis organization. Felicitation of Mr.Radj Bhandoe at SEVA Mr Nizaad anchoring the debate 9
    • The last appointment of this leg of the tour at the Hague was with theForeign Press Association of the Netherlands. Ms. Kerstin Schweighofer ofGermany, the Chairperson along with Mr. Douglas Heinganoer from US and Ms.Claudia Mareu from Romania, freely interacted with the participants. It was anoccasion for a change when the journalists were answering questions of ourenthusiastic students. The next leg of the trip was a visit to Brussels and Geneva via Paris from2nd June to 7th June 08. At Brussels, the delegation was briefed at Head Quartersof NATO, the most powerful and successful politico military alliance. The threebriefings by Ms. Megan Minnion, Mr. Eilles Vander Ehinst and Mr. Daniele Riggiocovered the entire spectrum of NATO’s activities like NATO history, organization,budget, expansion, Georgia / Ukraine membership, operations in Afghanistan,US role and recent developments. 3rd June 08 was dedicated to the visits to places of historical cultural andacademic interests in the beautiful city ‘Paris’. Sight seeing at Paris 10
    • The participants arrived at Geneva at 0900 hrs 4 th June 08 and rushed tobe on time for appointment at the WTO. Mr. Joseph Bosch, Information andMedia Relations officer, interacted with the participants for over two hours. Heintimated that WTO was an Inter Governmental member-driven Organizationrepresenting 152 countries. All decisions are arrived at by consensus only. Thebriefing also covered matters like DOHA Round, Brazil-India-China. Group, FairTrade Practice and dispute settlement body. Felicitation of Mr. Joseph Bosch at WTO Mr. Joseph Interacting with the delegation 11
    • From WTO, the MIT-SOG team headed for South Centre. South Centre isan Inter Governmental organization and think tank comprising of 50 members.Prime-Minister Mr. Manmohan Singh has been the Chairman of South Centre.Here the participants had an informal but educative interaction with Mr. VikasNath and his team. The three major programs of South Centre are Trade fordevelopment Program, Innovation, Access to Knowledge – Program and GlobalGovernance for Development Program. Participants at the South Centre The last and the most valuable appointment of the day was with Mr.Swashpawan Singh, Hon’ble Ambassador and Permanent Representative ofIndia at the UN. He came to the hostel where our delegation was staying andinteracted with participants. His was one of the most educative, interesting andmotivating talk of the tour. His message to the young politicians was that we haveto solve our own problems, we are capable of it and very soon we will catch upwith the developed world. 12
    • Felicitation of His Excellency Shri. Swashpawan Singh The Ambassador and Permanent Representative of India in UN On 5th June 08, the delegation visited the office of the UN HighCommissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR) where they were briefed by Mr.Shervin Majlessi and his colleague. The briefings covered what are HumanRights, what does the UN do for protection of Human Rights and how doesOHCHR function. 13
    • Mr. Shervin Majlessi With MIT-SOG Delegation This was followed by a visit to International Committee of the Red Cross(ICRC) where they were conducted around and briefed by Ms. Bea Vanhove. Mr.Udo Wagner Meige, Deputy Head Operations in South Asia also shared hisexperiences while he was in India and during recent tragedies like the Sri-Lankaconflicts, Nepal unrest, Tsunami in South East Asia and Pakistan Earthquakes.MIT-SOG Delegation at the ‘International Committee of the Red Cross’ (ICRC) Right across the road, the UN offices in Geneva was the next destinationwhere the participants were taken around on a two hour guided tour.Guided tour and briefings 14
    • At UN Offices in Geneva On 6th June 08, the participants called on Mr. Ajaneesh Kumar, Charged’Affaires of Indian Embassy at Bern. He even recalled the International Tour ofthe first batch of MPG in 2006 when he was posted at London. He had an openand informal interaction with the students on all issues between India andSwitzerland / EU. Mr Ajaneesh Kumar with the participants at the Indian Embassy at Bern, Switzerland. On 9th June 08, The HU and the GHRD Organized closing ceremonyattended by various dignitaries including Mr. Baldev Singh, The Dy. Mayor of The 15
    • Hague. The event began with dinner hosted by GHRD. The four groups of MPG– 03 participants, made their presentations on “Equal Rights for SexualMinorities”.Red team giving presentation The Panel of Judges The Red team won and Medals were awarded to the winners. Later, theHU organized a Graduation Ceremony in which the delegates in graduationRobes were awarded certificates of participation in “Public Management andLaw” Program. The level of understanding and cooperation reached between the HU, theGHRD and MIT-SOG is worth emulating by all those planning collaborations orexchange programs. The MIT-SOG participants returned home on 10th June 08. Acknowledgements:- We acknowledge with thanks the efforts taken by thefollowing people in making this International Tour successful. They took special 16
    • efforts in coordinating various appointments, travel itineraries, arranged forvolunteers and in general, left no stone unturned in making this trip memorable. Mr. Bimal Patel & Mrs. Rupal Patel, The Hague. Mr. Ritstart Plantenga & Ms. Olivia Balak from The Hague University. Mr. S. Sital & Mr. B. Nizaad from GHRD, The Hague. Shri. Swaminarayan Temple Trust, London. 17