On Tuesday January 14, the International Relations Minister Eluned Morgan launched Wales’ first International Strategy.
The aim of the strategy is to promote the country as an outward-looking nation ready to work and trade with the rest of the world.
Our CEO Susie Ventris-Field has issued the following statement:
“At the WCIA, we are pleased to see a commitment to a globally responsible Wales as one of the three main priorities of the strategy.
“A strength of the new strategy is its clear messages about Wales as a welcoming nation to people from all backgrounds, countries and cultures, including those seeking sanctuary.
“The commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and human rights in the values are important and we can see this reflected in other parts of the strategy, for example, in relation to the promotion of Wales as a Fair Trade Nation and Nation of Sanctuary.
“It is also promising to see the connections made between the innovative new Curriculum for Wales and the delivery of this strategy.
“The next steps for us will be to scrutinise the strategy in more detail with our partners in the sector to ensure the commitment to global responsibility is reflected throughout, and we’ll also be paying close attention to the implementation of the strategy.
“For example, we will want to see a focus on the three chosen industries support our responsibilities to the rest of the world, for example, in reducing our emissions, eliminating poor labour practices from our supply chains, and a commitment to cooperation and peace.
“We’ll also want to understand in more detail how the Welsh Government will build on the existing strengths of the Wales Africa programme.”
In December last year, we worked with partners across the International Sector to provide feedback about the draft.
You can read our collective response here
Vale pupils outshone their opponents to take first place at this year’s Wales Schools Debating Championships.
On Monday 16 December, Ysgol Gyfun Bro Morgannwg pupils Sara Jones and Rhys Griffiths were crowned the 2019 winning team at Tredegar House, Newport.
The winner of this year’s Individual speaker award went to Amelia Furlong from Cardinal Newman RC School, for her motion on; this house would ban plastics from 2025.
This year’s runner up Individual award went to Alice Kember from Howells Schools. This is the 18th and final year of the Wales Schools Debating Championship, which has involved up to 60 schools competing each year.
Topics debated on the day included democracy, mental health issues, democracy and justice.
CEO of the WCIA and debating final judge, Susie Ventris –Field
said: “As always with this competition, I feel inspired listening to young people set out arguments on difficult topics and often having to argue a view that is not their own.
“It is great to see them develop empathy, public speaking skills and critical thinking. These are such essential life skills and it had re our determination to find funding for the future”
The WCIA team would like to thank Tredegar House for hosting and The Hodge Foundation for their support over the years.
A judge in the final and Head of BBC Radio Cymru, Colin Paterson, said: “I took part in schools that argued when I was younger, and it has given me a lot of skills to do the job that I do now, as I had not taken an academic route.
“You can see that this competition gives people the confidence to debate, to rebut, how to formulate and express arguments and I think using these skills is extremely important. “
On the 29th of November, the Temple of Peace hosted its first Ethical Christmas Market as an alternative to Black Friday -one of the biggest day of shopping in Britain. It was the perfect moment to rethink our shopping habits. There was something of Christmas in the air – visitors were welcomed with festive songs, smells of mulled wine and colourful stalls.
We talked to a woman who bought her baby’s first Christmas ornament :
“I suppose for me, particularly since having Freddie, it’s just trying to make some decisions whether that’s kind of more sustainable decisions. Kind of be more aware of, you know, the little planet that he is inheriting! Just trying to do our bit really. We bought a little dinosaur today which is his first Christmas decoration. So it’s remade from old saries and it’s quite nice to have a little story behind it!”
Indeed, all the stallholders were charities and organisations which promote sustainable development goals. It was the occasion for them to gather, talk about the issues that are close to their heart and share good practices.
For the organisation Health Help International, being Ethical means “buying directly from the people who make the items, because they are trying to make a living from what they are selling. […] The people we are engaged with [located in India and Africa] are usually disabled people or they are mothers of disabled children. They are artists who are trying to look after their families. Or, in India particularly, they lost their main income earner, their husband has had an accident and can’t work anymore so the women have to try to keep things together.”
“We buy directly from them and they use local products to make their items. Then we bring them to the UK and all the money goes directly back to them. This is what we interpret as ethical.”
It is very inspiring to see that there are already so many options to help us on our path to a more ethical way of shopping. To sum up, here are a few tips we learned from both customers and stallholders at the Ethical Market : / We decided to sum up for you a few tips we heard during this Ethical market.
The first step is to try. Everybody can be more ethical! Every little helps, and together we will make a difference…