Our report recommends that consistent class time should be devoted to discussing political affairs. We're calling for schools to do more to provide young people with opportunities to learn about political parties and processes, and engage with political debates and ideas. This is something that needs to happen to get more young people engaged with mainstream politics and to make our political process more democratic.
I am certain politicians of all parties would agree that young families should not be left to live like those currently in the camp at Grande Synthe. In supporting the work of MSF and others, we hope both the UK and French Governments will assess the humanitarian need at the camps and provide assistance.
I agree with Mark Goldring of Oxfam GB that a crackdown on global tax havens is a necessary step towards ending this rampant global inequality. Indeed, it is also a necessary step towards international development more broadly... A Labour Government will genuinely tackle tax avoidance and work for ambitious global agreements on international development that seek to tackle inequality and its drivers.
Edhi not only epitomises the very creation of the Nobel Peace Prize based upon Sir Alfred Nobel's principles of social activism through peaceful means, he is a shining example of how sheer fortitude can create a legacy of real change. I hope his story is heard loudly when the nominations for the 2016 peace prize draw to a close in the coming weeks. In these bleak times whereby we are deluged with humanitarian crisis after crisis, the world can learn much from Edhi's simple yet profoundly illuminating code of conduct - 'live and help live'.
Being in a band means there isn't always much we can do to help causes through our work. So if we're asked, we try to take the opportunities. What's going on in Syria at the moment is so obviously pertinent, so present. The politics are enormously complicated and we don't profess to know half enough about it. But at its core is the biggest humanitarian crisis of our lifetime, and human beings who simply want to survive, who want their children to be safe. So, we and some other great musicians are doing a little gig this Friday 22nd to help raise money for Syria (we're DJing).
'Happy New Year!'. 'HNY2016!'. 'Kull a'aam wa enta bi-khayr'. It's that time of year when people give each other a boost and wish them well for the year ahead. Syrians remain incredibly generous in wishing me, 'love, peace and happiness' for 2016. I return the favour, usually with an invocation that Syria see peace, or at least a better year than last year. How hard can that be? Well, hope for peace was in short supply in early 2015. Early 2016 looked better
Throughout history, girls and women have often been invisible outside the home. Even now, in 2016, there are countries where women are prevented from getting a job, from owning their own land and even from setting up a bank account. This strips them of their independence. For every aspect of their lives, these women are completely reliant on someone else. It's time to break these chains of dependency. Now we have the chance. Today, the UN Secretary General announced he is establishing an expert team of leading politicians, expert economists, charity heads and business leaders to jumpstart a global movement on women's economic empowerment. I'm privileged to be joining this High Level Panel, alongside the President of the World Bank Jim Yong Kim and many eminent names who will be announced over the next few weeks.
Inequality has been shown to impact on the durability of economic growth and increases the chances of future financial shocks; it undermines social cohesion and equality for women; and it increases political instability. In a surprising echo to Aicha's words, the self-proclaimed zillionaire Nick Hanauer wrote in 2014 that "if we don't do something to fix the glaring inequities in this economy, the pitchforks are going to come for us"... Economic and policy changes in recent decades - including deregulation, privatisation, financial secrecy and globalisation, especially of finance - have supercharged the age-old ability of the rich and powerful to use their position to further concentrate their wealth.
Despite the universal good will of the COP21 Climate Summit, we have to confront the harsh reality of an increase in temperature above 1.5C, we have to fight it and above all we have to be creative and take risks. It will require the vision and voices of activists and scientists, artists and designers, to translate the agreement of ministers into an emergency call for action that reaches everyone in every walk of life.
For now, the epidemic is officially over and families and communities are beginning to rebuild their lives, but the work of organisations such as Unicef remains as important as ever. Even before the Ebola outbreak, Liberia had one of the highest child mortality rates in the world, and combatting this continues to be one of our biggest challenges in the country.
Prime Minister Questions last week saw Conservative MP Philip Davies argue (sadly echoing the comments of an MP from our own benches over the Christmas break) that money should be taken from the international development budget to pay for the much needed extra resources to deal with the consequences of the recent flooding. This is a false choice - however, it is not the only threat to Britain's international development budget.
Fundamental questions need to be asked about the UK Government's relationship with Saudi Arabia and calling the execution of 47 prisoners, some who were political prisoners only 'disappointing' is an embarrassing stance from the Government, a Government that is far too close to a regime with serious human rights abuses.
Rape means rape. Rape means putting a penis or other object inside a person against their will. This is not sex, it is rape, and it is the furthest thing from the meaning of sex. Calling rape "sex" is like saying that the boa constrictor gave the rat an unwanted hug. Or that a punch is a forced facial caress. Or that burglary is "forced giving". It makes no sense and it is damaging.
Since the conflict escalated in March last year, 30 civilians are made casualties of war every day in Yemen. Houses and hospitals are bombed, whole civilian areas cut-off and under siege, and people are fleeing for their lives on a daily basis. After nine months of fighting, the country is sinking into a disaster of immense proportions and deeply tragic consequences.
This year, I am thrilled to step into my new role as president of Unicef UK, the world's leading children's organisation. It's a real privilege to follow in the footsteps of Lord Paddy Ashdown who has been in the position for the last six years. As we welcome in the New Year and reflect on another Christmas filled with family, friends, food and presents, it's easy to forget about those who are less fortunate than us. This year, in my new role for Unicef UK, children across the world who face violence, disease, hunger and the chaos of war are at the front of my mind.
The UK has led the way in aid to the Syria region, and the government recently took the very welcome step of offering to take in 20,000 refugees living in camps in the Middle East. But we know that Britain can also reach out a hand to some of those who have already made the dangerous journey to Europe, those at-risk children who are on their own this winter. Like those dark days in 1938, children are leaving their homes today without their families because they fear for their lives. Britain can live up to the best of our history by offering them a better future.