International development society host 6th annual conference

The International Development Society (IDS) hosted their 6th annual International Development Conference on 24 February. The theme was “War, famine and strife; humanitarian crises in the 21st century”. The event was open to anyone who had an interest. In the past, it has hosted speakers from the World Food Programme and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

This conference’s guest speakers were from charities and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that addressed the event’s theme, as well as workshops for attendees. The first speaker was Dr Janaka Kayawickrama, one of the University of York’s members of staff. His talk, which specialised in social anthropology, addressed ‘Seven Theses on War, Famine and Strife: The Challenges in Contemporary Humanitarian Affairs’. Ahmed Al-kolaibi, a former fellow, came from the York Centre for Applied Human Rights talked about the civil war in his home country of Yemen and his experiences with this. His talk was followed by Rob Mather who discussed  the work done by the Against Malaria Foundation, of which he is the CEO.

A project, called “Messages to my Sister”, by Women for Women resulted in the attendees being invited to write postcards of support to various women around the world.There were prominent guests, such as Baroness Caroline Anne Cox, member of the House of Lords and CEO of Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust (HART). Having founded the trust, she explained to attendees what her organisation does and their ongoing projects, using her political influence for good.

The conference concluded with Dr Maria Holt of the University of Westminster on the stories of Palestinian refugee women, and Richard Kotter’s presentation on the Rohingya displacement crisis. The conference addressed a range of issues, engaging students and demonstrating how people face crises in the 21st century.

The IDS Chair, Tanya Nyatanga, told Nouse: “I was delighted with how well the conference went, and it’s a true testament to the hard work and dedication of my committee, especially the conference team. It’s always our headline event and it’s been one of the most successful conferences we’ve ever held. The people who attended were so thoughtful and engaged, and the speakers were very interesting and informative. I’m very excited to see the direction the new committee take the society, and the conference, in.”

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