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Dynamic international activist speaking in Welling

Media advisory
30 November 2007

Dynamic international activist speaking in Wellington

Dr Kumi Naidoo, Secretary General of CIVICUS and chair of Global Call to Action Against Poverty, will speak on the topic of 'Civil Society and the Challenges of Development'.

A veteran of the anti-apartheid struggle, Dr Naidoo is an energizing and forthright speaker. He will comment on issues of significance to civil society including anti-terrorism legislation, the stance of the New Zealand, Australian, Canadian and United States governments towards the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the growth of ‘celebrity activism’. Mr Naidoo has been a strong advocate for developing countries and against the control of anti-poverty campaigns by organisations from rich nations.

Centre for Global Action meeting rooms
Level Two
James Smith’s Building
Corner Cuba and Manners Streets
Wellington

1:30 - 3:00pm Monday, 3rd of December 2007

Dr. Kumi Naidoo chairs the Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP) and has been Secretary General and Chief Executive Officer of CIVICUS: World Alliance for Civic Participation since 1998. Since its launch in 2005, GCAP has grown into a global coalition of anti-poverty campaigners from over 100 countries, including New Zealand's own Make Poverty History Campaign. CIVICUS is an alliance of over 500 civil society organizations, networks, and individuals in more than 100 countries, dedicated to strengthening citizen and civil society action throughout the world.

Kumi Naidoo was born in South Africa and was actively involved in the struggle against apartheid from the age of 15. In 1986, Kumi was arrested and charged for violating the state of emergency regulations in South Africa. Upon his release from prison, Kumi was subject to persistent police harassment and went underground for one year before living in exile in England until 1989. During this time, Kumi was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University and earned a doctorate in political sociology.

After Nelson Mandela's release from prison in 1990, Kumi returned to South Africa and has worked on a wide range of issues including the legalization of the African National Congress (ANC) as a political party and acting as official spokesperson of the Independent Electoral Commission. Kumi also organised the National Men's March Against Violence on Women and Children in 1997.

Kumi was the first civil society leader to be invited to give the World Bank Presidential Fellows Lecture in 2003 and was recently appointed by the U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to the eminent Persons Group on United Nations-Civil Society Relations chaired by former Brazilian President Fernando Cardoso.

ENDS

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