'Global South Perspectives on the Russia - Ukraine War and Consequent Geopolitical Tensions'
Universal Peace Federation UK
Date: 31st October, 2023
In Person at 43 Lancaster Gate, London, and Online
Moderator: Robin Marsh UPF UK Secretary General
Lt Gen Abdul Qayyum: Former Three Star General and Senator, Pakistan
Keith Best TD MA: Chair, Universal Peace Federation UK
Mr. Ishtiaq Chaudhry: Chairman of Al Noor Foods, Philanthropist
Livestream of Programme Link Here
Photos of the Programme Link Here
On October 31st there was a third session of 'Global South Perspectives on the Russia - Ukraine War and Consequent Geopolitical Tensions' featuring the above distinguished speakers. This session comes during the Israel-Hamas war which entered into the discussions as well. It was good to have speeches from Lt General Abdul Qayyum and Keith Best who are both seasoned geopolitical analysts. Mr Ishtiaq Chaudhry, who received an Ambassador for Peace award for his extensive humanitarian efforts, offered an inspiring and compassionate account of the need for philanthropy to alleviate poverty and ill health while complimenting Government service provision in Pakistan. There was an extended question-and-answer session following the panelist's speeches. This allowed a wider participation from both the audience online and in the Lancaster Gate Ballroom.
“Now may be the most dangerous time the world has seen in decades” – not my words but those of Jamie Dimon the world’s most powerful banker, chief of JP Morgan. Global conflict can happen when what appears to be at first unrelated events all coincide and bring forth a cataclysm. Without creating a sense of despair I shall indicate why we are closer to Armageddon than at any time in my lifetime" Best continued to draw parallels to other conflicts like the First World War that had arisen unpredictably in a period of tension.
He concluded, 'As Mother Teresa said “Today, if we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other - that man, that woman, that child is my brother or my sister.” Or, as summed up by Martin Luther King Jnr “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.” That is why UPF reaches out to others, especially those who are different in colour or creed and seeks to bring them together, understand each other and live in harmony. Quite literally, our lives depend on it.'
His comments and responses to the audience's Q and A are in the livestream video.
Lt Gen Abdul Qayyum: Video Link here
Lt General Abdul Qayyum (See biography below) is a renowned geopolitical analyst appearing regularly on Urdu channel TV screens as well as being a newspaper columnist. While commenting that there are currently 32 conflicts around the world, he added that the Mughal King Akbar brought an era of interfaith co-existence, called 'absolute peace' and a golden age of prosperity. In war time it is very difficult to cope with climate change, provide education, health care or poverty alleviation. The absence of war is only a negative peace. Dormant conflicts can suddenly flare up into major conflagrations. We have to be very careful to make efforts to resolve these dormant issues. The need for UN renewal especially for the removal of the five veto-wielding nations and the uniform implementation of UN Resolutions and International Law is necessary for peace and prosperity to be enduring. Lt Gen Qayyum also emphasised the role of interfaith relations in bringing harmony between different cultural spheres in the world.
Mr. Ishtiaq Chaudhry: Ambassador for Peace Awardee: Video Link here
Mr Ishtiaq Chaudhry
Mr Mohammed Ishtiaq Chaudhry is originally a native of Pakistan Mohammed Ishtiaq came to the UK almost 30 years ago with nothing in his pocket. With strength and determination he has achieved huge success in the business world He has built with Alnoor Foods Ltd a legacy of service and philanthropy. Mr Chaudhry has used his influence to spread the culture of philanthropy across an expensive social network including fund-raising for multifaceted international projects. He has also earned multiple awards during the course of his career including ‘Food Business of the Year’ at the 2017 inaugural London Asian Business Awards.
Mr Chaudhry is also chairman of OPL an organisation set up in 2013 to assist the people of Pakistan to vote in elections without threat of corruption or misrepresentation. This organisation has since branched out helping communities hit hard by the COVID-19 lockdowns as well as helping bring recognition to local heroes.
In one of his ventures, namely the construction of the Bewal International Hospital in Mr Ishiaq’s hometown in Pakistan, he was able to raise over £1.5 million. He continues to support the running of this hospital. Many people are being treated at a local hospital for the first time in their region’s history because of his ongoing efforts.
Keith Best Biography: Currently also Chair & CEO Wyndham Place Charlemagne Trust, Chair Charity 2020, Executive Chair World Federalist Movement (WFM/IGP), Secretary Parliamentary Outreach Trust, European Movement; Patron of The European-Atlantic Movement (TEAM); media appearances on migration and other matters; Freeman City of London. Author several books and articles (latest, chapter in Religious Soft Diplomacy & the United Nations ); keynote speeches both in the UK and abroad; visiting lecturer various universities. Formerly CEO of national charities SurvivorsUK, Freedom from Torture, IAS (Immigration Advisory Service), Prisoners Abroad; Vice Chair of the European Council on Refugees and Exiles; served on Foreign Secretary’s Advisory Panel on Torture Prevention; practising barrister and Member of Parliament (Anglesey/Ynys Môn); Parliamentary Private Secretary to Secretary of State for Wales; named in the Society Guardian as one of the 100 most influential people in public services in the UK; Major in airborne and commando forces. Speaks French and Welsh; married, two daughters. Ran London Marathon and abseiled down the highest hospital tower in the world (Guy’s) for charity.
Lieutenant General Abdul Qayyum: (Urdu: عبدالقیوم) is a retired three-star general of the Pakistan Army who has been the chairman of the Pakistan Ordnance Factories and chairman of board of Pakistan Steel Mills. He entered the Pakistan Military Academy, Kakul, in May 1966 as a cadet and was commissioned in the Pakistan Army in April 1968 and retired as a three-star general in January 2004. He remained the chairman of the Pakistan Ordnance Factories from September 1998 to January 2004. He contributed a column to daily Nawa-i-Waqt every Friday under the title Fikr-o-Khayal for about 7 years from 2007 to 2014. He appears frequently in television talk shows as a politico-defense analyst. The retired general joined politics in April 2012 and is now part of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League (N). He has also been a member of the senate of Pakistan since March 2015. He has been chairman of Senate standing committee on Defence production for the last four years and is also member of senate Defence, Kashmir, Antinarcotics and Statistics.