Najam Discusses Global Issues with Nobel Laureates

Adil Najam, Dean of the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University, participated in a panel hosted by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs on ‘global issues that cannot be ignored.’ The panel was moderated by Ambassador Ivo Daalder, President of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and former U.S. Ambassador to NATO. The panel also featured Muhammad Yunus, Chairman of the Yunus Centre Grameen Bank, champion of microcredit for the poor, and a Nobel Peace Prize winner (2006). Tawakkol Karman, President of Women Journalists Without Chains and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize (2011) for her leadership in the Arab Spring and for women’s rights, was unable to attend live but offered a recorded message that is available at the end of the event recording. 

Panelists touched on three critical issues that cannot be forgotten amid the chaos caused by the coronavirus: climate change, poverty, and human rights. Najam talked about climate change while Karman focused on human rights and Yunus on poverty. All three also focused on the connections between these three critical issues.

During his remarks, Najam – a lead author of the third and fourth assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), work for which the IPCC received the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize – said he hoped that the COVID-19 pandemic will serve as an opportunity for global leaders to realize that taking preventive action before a crisis can be so much cheaper and so much more effective than having to go through its consequences. He went on to say that if the world brushes off the improved state of the climate amid global lock downs and ignores persisting global issues, then the consequences of our collective inaction will be dire. The emergence of coronavirus, he said, was not surprising; however, the level of our unpreparedness and our bumbling response to this much-warned-about crisis has been shocking. He hoped that the world would learn from this and not make the same mistake again by ignoring the science and warnings about climate change.

A recording of the event can be viewed here or below.

Adil Najam is a global public policy expert who also served as the Vice Chancellor of the Lahore University of Management Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan. He is the Inaugural Dean of the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University and was the former Vice Chancellor of the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). Currently he is hosting a video expert interview series called #WorldAfterCorona for the Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future. Read more about him here.