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Cambridge Central Asia Forum


Roundtable on OSCE & Europe’s Strategy in Central Asia and South Caucasus to commemorate Slovakia’s Chairmanship of the OSCE

Bawden Room, West Court, Jesus College, University of Cambridge, 18th of October 2019

10:00 am Arrival, Tea and Coffee


10:30 – 11:15 am Welcome Remarks, Introduction and Keynote address


Chair: Dr Siddharth Saxena, Director, Cambridge Central Asia Forum, Jesus College & Centre of Development Studies, Principal Research Associate, Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge


Honourable Sonita Allyene OBE, FRSA, Master of Jesus College, University of Cambridge


His Excellency Lubomír Rehák, Ambassador of the Slovak Republic to the UK

Prof Peter Nolan CBE, Director Emeritus Centre of Development Studies, Director of the Chinese Executive Leadership Programme (CELP), Fellow of Jesus College, University of Cambridge

Prof Sir Bruce Ponder FRCP, FMEDSCI, FRS, Emeritus Professor of Oncology, Emeritus Director and Group Leader, Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, University of Cambridge


Keynote Address by Mr Marek Varga, Head of Politico–Military Dimension and Conflicts Unit, Department of Political and Security Affairs, Directorate General for the Slovak OSCE Chairmanship, Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic


11:15-12:30 pm Diplomatic Corps Plenary Panel


Chair: Dr S S Saxena, University of Cambridge


His Excellency Said Jawad, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the UK

His Excellency Masud Khalifazoda, Ambassador of Republic of Tajikistan to the UK

His Excellency Edil Baisalov, Ambassador of the Kyrgyz Republic to the UK

Mr Hrachya Stepanyan, Counsellor, Embassy of the Republic of Armenia to the UK

Mr Polad Mammadov, First Secretary, Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the UK

Mr Aliyor Tilavov, Counsellor, Embassy of the Republic of Uzbekistan to the UK


12:30-1:00 pm Q&A and Contributions by senior Cambridge academics: Dr Ha-Joon Chang, Director of Centre for Development Studies, University of Cambridge and Dr David Lane, Emeritus Reader in Sociology, University of Cambridge, Dr Shailaja Fennell, Director of Research, Cambridge Central Asia Forum.


1:00 pm Lunch Break


2:15-4:15pm Academic Roundtable on Regional Research relevant to OSCE Development Mission: Chaired by N. Ray, Emeritus Fellow, Jesus College, University of Cambridge


C Berman, Centre of Development Studies, University of Cambridge

J Csabay, Centre of Development Studies, University of Cambridge

Y Ji, Centre of Development Studies, University of Cambridge

A Khudaykulov, Centre of Development Studies, University of Cambridge

A. Mullaev, Academy of Sciences, Uzbekistan

R. Schivatcheva, Centre of Development Studies, University of Cambridge

P. Kalra, GCRF COMPASS, Centre of Development Studies, University of Cambridge


4:15pm Discussion and Closing remark


Biographies of Senior Cambridge Representatives at the Joint CCAF-Slovak Embassy OSCE Event

Sonita Alleyne OBE, Master of Jesus College, University of Cambridge. She is the 42nd Master and first woman to lead Jesus College since its foundation in 1496. She is the director and founder of the Yes Programme, an online careers information scheme which gives school pupils an insight into how classroom skills translate to real world careers. Her current non-executive posts include chair of the British Board of Film Classification, director of the Cultural Capital Fund, governor of the Museum of London and member of the Skills for Londoners Business Partnership Members Group - advising the Mayor of London on improving skills provision to meet the capital’s needs. She was appointed by the Mayor of London to the Board of the London Legacy Development Corporation in 2012, she is part of the drive to promote and deliver regeneration in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and surrounding areas. In her five-year tenure as a BBC Trustee, she championed diversity and inclusivity to represent all communities of the UK. Winner of the Carlton Multicultural Achievement Award for TV and Radio in 2002, she is a Fellow of both The Royal Society of the Arts and the Radio Academy. She was awarded an OBE for services to broadcasting in 2004.

Peter Nolan CBE holds the Chong Hua Chair in Chinese Development and is the former Director of the Centre of Development Studies, University of Cambridge. He is Director of the China Centre in Jesus College. He has researched, written and taught on a wide range of issues in economic development, globalisation and the transition of former planned economies. He has researched on comparative development in China and India; on Chinese agriculture; system change in China and the former USSR; poverty, famine, inequality and migration; restructuring large global firms in the era of the Global Business Revolution; the transformation of large Chinese firms since the 1980s; the evolution of China’s political economy; the inter-action between Chinese and the global firms in the era of the Global Business Revolution; and the contradictory character of capitalist globalisation. He is the Director of the Chinese Executive Leadership Programme (CELP), which brings CEOs from China’s largest firms to the University of Cambridge for a three-week training programme, taught by a combination of academics and the leaders of international firms annually.

Sir Bruce Ponder FRS is Emeritus Professor of Oncology and Emeritus Fellow of Jesus College. Sir Bruce became the founding director of what is now called Cancer Research UK's Cambridge Institute, which opened in 2007. He was knighted in 2008 for his services to medicine and won a Lifetime Achievement Award from Cancer Research UK in 2013. He heads the Ponder group. His research looks at Locus-by-locus analysis of GWAS loci to identify the causative snp(s) and their related genes has yielded useful insights. He is supported interaction with Central Asia, Iran and China for a long time and is on the steering committee of the Cambridge Central Asia Forum, often travelling to support advice development in the region.

Shailaja Fennell is Director of Research at Cambridge Central Asia Forum and a University Senior Lecturer in Development Studies, at the University of Cambridge. She has been researching the linkages between rural development, environmental and educational strategies in India, China and Central Asia since 2004. She has specialised in the sub-fields of institutional reform, rural development, gender and household dynamics, kinship and ethnicity, and educational provision. She was an international team leader on the project on public private partnerships in education within the DFID funded research consortium on educational outcomes and rural and urban poverty (RECOUP). She was a member of the team commissioned by the EU to bring about the first European Report on Development team (2008-09), titled “Overcoming Fragility in Africa: Forging a New Approach Forward”. 

David Lane is currently an Emeritus Fellow of Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge. Previously, he was Professor of Sociology at the University of Birmingham. His most recent work is the “Capitalist Transformation of State Socialism: The Making and Breaking of State Socialist Soviet and What Followed” (2014). He has written widely on socialism and post-socialist as well as on elites and classes. His current research interest is in employment.

Ha Joon Chang is Director of Centre of Development Studies, University of Cambridge. He is Reader in the Political Economy of Development in Department of Economics. He came to the UK as a graduate student at the Faculty of Economics and Politics, University of Cambridge in 1986 and earned his PhD in 1992. He has received two international awards, one for his book, Kicking Away the Ladder – Development Strategy in Historical Perspective, was awarded the Gunnar Myrdal Prize for Best Monograph by the EAEPE (European Association for Evolutionary Political Economy), named after the great Swedish Nobel Laureate economist, Gunnar Myrdal in 2003; and he was awarded, jointly with Richard Nelson of Columbia University, the Wassily Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought by Tufts University, named after the eminent Russian- American economist in 2005.

Siddharth Shanker Saxena is Director of the Cambridge Central Asia Programme. And  Co-I of GCRF COMPASS Programme.  He trained as an anthropologist, historian and a physicist and holds PhD degrees both in Experimental Physics and Social Anthropology.  His research interests are in the areas of religion and identity, knowledge systems, social and political development and institutional history in Central Asia and the Middle East. He also works on technology entrepreneurship and technology education in Central Asia and Russia. Siddharth Saxena has been involved in field based research in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan with particular focus on Bukhara, Ferghana Valley, Almaty, Kashgar as well as Afghanistan and Azerbaijan. He has also spent extended periods in Iran and Egypt. He was awarded a medal for service to education in Kazakhstan and Presidential Medals by Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan and also received the Magnetism Medal of International Union of Pure and Applied Physics. He is Honorary Professor of Kazakh-Turkish University and Director of Tashkent Centre for High Technology.

Nick Ray Emeritus Fellow, ARIBA, Architecture, Jesus College, University of Cambridge After qualification at Cambridge and University College, London, He worked in London for the Shankland Cox Partnership on housing and for Colin St John Wilson and Partners on the British Library. On returning to Cambridge in 1973 he practised within Hughes and Bicknell Architects, where he became an Associate and later Partner, before founding Nicholas Ray Associates in 1989, which morphed into NRAP in 2007. His most prominent buildings in Cambridge are the Quayside Development, on the banks of the river Cam opposite Magdalene College, and major additions to the Department of Chemistry. He has been responsible for new and refurbishment projects for numerous Colleges, as well as buildings and projects for the University and for private clients. His publications to date have concentrated on studies of 20th century architects (Alvar Aalto, 2005 and Rafael Moneo, 2015, both with Yale University Press), and more theoretical work (Architecture and its Ethical Dilemmas, 2005 and Philosophy of Architecture, 2014). He is currently an Honorary Visiting Professor in Architectural Theory at the University of Liverpool apart from his emeritus readership at Cambridge.

Prajakti Kalra is a Research Associate with the Cambridge Central Asia Forum and Events and Communications Officer for the GCRF COMPASS Programme. She has trained as a historian, political scientist and a psychologist. Her interests are in the areas of the history of the Mongol Empire and Central Asia. She has worked extensively on regional and international organisations (OSCE, OIC, SCO, Eurasian Economic Union and the OBOR). Her focus is building avenues of communication and exchanges based on historical precedents and bringing local narratives into global speak in order to best facilitate interaction and knowledge production. She is the research, administrative and social coordinator for the Cambridge Central Asia Forum. As the Events and Communications Officer for GCRF COMPASS her role is to develop and implement Project Communication Strategy (including maintenance of key communication portals); provide administrative support to Co-I and Project Manager; have regular oversight over social media and dissemination; collate information about news and events (including a quarterly newsletter); provide assistance with key meetings and events. Her monograph on the ‘The Silk Road and the Political Economy of the Mongol Empire’ was published in 2018 (Routledge, 2018).




Friday, 18 October, 2019 - 10:00 to 18:00
Event location: 
Bawden Room, Jesus College
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