Prospects for Change in North Korea

Wednesday 18th June 2014, Houses of Parliament
Speaker: Lord Alton of Liverpool
Chairman, APPG on North Korea

Many of the stories which emerge from North Korea – the world’s most secretive State – appear laughable. Yet, as the recent United Nations Commission of Inquiry reported, abuses of human rights are without parallel in the world.  200,000 are incarcerated in Stalin-inspired gulags and opposition and dissent mercilessly crushed.  Sixty years ago, when war broke out on the Korean Peninsula, around three million people died. Today, North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons and its status as a rogue State make its future actions wholly unpredictable.   So what are the prospects for change?

Lord Alton of Liverpool (David Alton) is Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on North Korea and has been to the country four times. In 2013 he published “Building Bridges: Is there hope for North Korea?”. He has been a Crossbench member of the House of Lords since 1997 and prior to that served for 18 years in the House of Commons. He is Professor of Citizenship at Liverpool John Moores University, a Visiting Fellow at the University of St.Andrews, and is author of eleven books. His full biography is at



Iran: A View from Inside

Tuesday, 21st January 2014 
Venue:  Portland Hall, University of Westminster
4-12 Little Titchfield Street, London W1W 7BY

We were very pleased to present this special event, jointly hosted with the University of Westminster, at which Lord Lamont gave his reflections on the many issues surrounding the politics of Iran, following his visit earlier in the month to Tehran with former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, as part of a Parliamentary delegation.

With the political situation in Iran remaining of enormous global interest, and the world waiting to see if the Geneva interim agreement on the nuclear programme would herald a new beginning to the regime’s relations with the West, the event was certainly timely.  Lord Lamont affirmed his view that engagement by the West with the current regime was important, and also addressed concerns about human rights abuses and the lack of progress towards basic freedoms for Iran's people.

The meeting was chaired by Professor Roland Dannreuther, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities 


Speaker: The Rt. Hon. Lord Lamont of Lerwick

Norman Lamont was elected to Parliament in 1972, and served in the governments of Margaret Thatcher and John Major, rising to become Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1990-1993. 
Elevated to the House of Lords in 1998, he has taken an active interest in international relations, and the Middle East in particular.  He chairs the British-Iranian Chamber of Commerce, and has spoken and written widely on the subject of the prospect of more positive engagement with Iran.


Chair: Professor Roland Dannreuther

Professor Dannreuther joined the University of Westminster in September 2009 as head of the Department of Politics and International Relations and Professor of International Relations.
He is an International Fellow at the Department of International Relations, Tbilisi State University, Georgia, and was previously Professor of International Relations at the University of Edinburgh (1995-2009); Faculty Fellow at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (2000-02); and Research Associate at the International Institiute for Strategic Studies (1992-5). His research revolves around security studies and international relations, with a regional focus on Russia, Central Asia and the Middle East.