Tuesday, November 4, 2008
How to help Burma's democrats
Avaaz have put out a call to action, asking supporters to put pressure on Lloyd's of London - as "the world's oldest, most respected insurer, which cares a great deal about its global reputation" - to stop insuring the Burmese Junta, to meet with campaigners for Burma to hear their concerns, and to disclose all Burma-related risks.
They recommend that we all write to Lloyd's chairman Lord Levene about the issue.
The Observer reported, on Sunday, cross-party political pressure on Lloyd's chairman Lord Levene, with Conservative John Bercow and Labour's Glenys Kinnock quoted. This should be an issue on which British political leaders and parties can unite: Gordon Brown has shown a strong interest in Burma, and the opposition parties have also been advocates of the democracy movement.
Several big insurers have pulled out - with Willis and Aon, and global reinsurer Swiss Re declaring earlier this year that they will cease their business relationships with Burma, as have Arab Insurance Group and others.
As the Washington clocks strike twelve on 20th January 2009, listen carefully and you might just hear a swooshing sigh of relief travel around the world. The Bush Presidency will not leave the legacy its architects intended. But a critique of what should have been done differently since 2001 is not enough. This blog is about the new ideas which can create a 'new multilateralism' to tackle the global challenges we face.