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Thursday, 21 March 2019

On 21 March 2019, The Business Desk annual Masters Awards with the region’s businesses took place. The event attracts key influencers, decision makers, business owners and senior managers from a wide range of companies and business sectors.
It was a pleasure joining Art Business Loans, one of the main sponsors. Other sponsors included Aston University. 12 awards were presented on the evening, including two new awards – Family Business of the Year and Property Business of the Year. Short list included: Conference Aston for Innovation and Park Regis Birmingham for Investment.  

An award was also presented to the Ambassador of the Year whom played an instrumental part in marking the region to thrive. 

Thursday, 14 March 2019

On 8 March 2019, globally people celebrated International Women’s Day. The aim to raise awareness and bring about change for a more gender-balanced world. The campaign Balance For Better reminded all the impact a gender balanced world is a better world.

International Women's Day celebrations, Nishkam Centre

Many women campaigned to champion the cause and recognised the long journey women have progressed on equality. We discussed the further work needed to create a more gender-balanced world.  Nishkam centre hosted its own IWD celebrations on 14 March with diverse women across the West Midlands for a successful International Women's Day event. 

Speakers included women from the academic, voluntary and community sector. It was a great evening of celebrations. Women pledged to empower other women and expand their own networks with inclusive leaders and some of the West Midlands Deputy Lieutenants in attendance. 

Friday, 15 February 2019

BD ICT Minister Junaid Ahmed Palak MP
I was delighted to support Her Excellency, Bangladesh High Commissioner, Saida Muna Tasneem's dinner in honour for Bangladesh State Minister (ICT) Junaid Ahmed Palak MP. The prestigious event took place at the House of Lords. The dinner aimed to raise the profile of Bangladesh as the next ICT destination. 

The State Minister Junaid Palak MP shared his vision to create a digital Bangladesh and how Bangladesh will be a leading force in the ICT sector in the future during his visit to the UK.

In attendance were Conservative Peers, Lord Howell and Baroness Anne Jenkin, and MP’s, Paul Scully and Pauline Latham MP, business leads with cross party support and the Conservative Friends of Bangladesh. 

The State Minister was proud to share why Bangladesh is the next global ICT destination. With a target set in 2021 and time to build a Digital Bangladesh on intellectual economy, there are many reasons for investing in Bangladesh. With so much investments form the British Bangladeshi community who return to Bangladesh, it was a pleasure to see wider reaches to the UK to attract interest and raise its profile. 

There are 25 high tech parks planned with world class facilities, support infrastructure, skilled professionals, backed with young skilled population, and a country with the second fastest growing economy for this digital transformation. It was very positive to see the UK and Bangladesh interests come together to learn more on Digital Bangladesh.

Sunday, 11 November 2018

British Heart Foundation with Parveen Hassan  
I recently met with the British Heart Foundation (BHF) policy team to learn more about their research on Artificial Intelligence (AI) to save lives in the West Midlands. 

The charity is funding innovative research to find better ways to diagnose and treat heart failure. The BHF  also highlighted the impact and benefits on heart and circulatory conditions. 

One of the funded research projects is being led by Dr Declan O’Regan and his team at Imperial College London. They are using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to interpret heart scans and tests. The team have developed a machine learning algorithm ‘trained’ to find links between 3D heart scans and the patient’s prognosis using existing patient data. 

During the Conservative party conference, the team shared crucial information on the research led by Professor O’Regan’s team which can help inform doctors’ decisions about how to best treat people living with heart failure.

AI could transform the way scans and other tests are used to make the best decisions about treatment. The BHF policy team highlighted what can be done to further raise awareness of the importance of this research which instills public confidence, trust and transparency for patients and their data. 

Friday, 2 November 2018

Rt Hon Michaeal Gove MP, CWO Forum, Westminister 
A group of Conservative women and members of the Conservative party attended the CWO Policy Forum on “Blue policy for a Green Planet” in October 2018. Panel speakers included Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs alongside Conservative Environment Network, and 38 Degrees. 

Chaired by CPF Director Flick Drummond, in Parliament, the CWO policy forum discussed issues on some of the environment challenges faced by our planet from climate change: chemical residues, exploitation and plastic. With data, “by the year 2050, the seas will contain more plastic than fish.”

The plastic bag charge has reduced the number of plastic distributed by almost 90 per cent, and further sanctions by banning micro-beads which harm our marine life, and protecting animal welfare. The government is also working with scientists, and the private sector to develop new greener products. 

Megan Trethewey, Parveen Hassan, Flick Drummond,
Laura Townshend, 38 Degrees,
Houses of Parliament  
In late 2018, the Conservative led Government aims to take steps to make recycling easier to consumers, invest in cleaner technologies, and take tougher sanctions against fly-tippers who pollute the landscape. To protect and improve the environment, the government has already created the first environment plan published in January 2018.  

The forum was an opportunity to learn the impact on climate change, and to put across views and concerns about policy and how it should be formulated in the future with a more conscience presence in protecting our planet, including our wildlife, with the global population growing and food production. 

Thursday, 1 November 2018

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) showcased their new fingerprint testing kits, designed to lift fingerprints from ivory, which can be used to fight the illegal wildlife 
IFAW & Parveen Hassan Conservative Conference 

At the Conservative party conference, I had the opportunity to test the kit, developed by the Metropolitan Police and King’s College London, the innovative technique can reveal prints up to 28 days after poachers have touched the ivory, compared to the two or three days with current conventional powders. 

This will significantly increase the chances of identifying the criminals behind the illegal ivory trade. The creative technology will be used by law enforcement agencies around the world to test illegally traded wildlife products for fingerprints and bring criminals to justice. After taking the test, I listened to the organisers explain how the Foreign Office has been working with IFAW to build links with priority countries and to share training and expertise with local law enforcement officers and rangers.

The illegal wildlife trade is a serious organised crime with revenues worth up to £17bn a year, more than the combined income of the Central African Republic, Liberia and Burundi. Around 20,000 African elephants are killed by poachers each year. Savanna elephant numbers have declined by a third from 2007 to 2014 and over 1,000 rhinos were poached in South Africa last year alone. Wildlife in many parts of Africa is at crisis levels.

The kits donated by IFAW were also distributed to countries at the London Illegal Wildlife
Trade Conference held in October 2018 where Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith was also announced as Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference champion. IFAW continue to raise awareness and the potential impact the creative finger printing testing kits can assist to reduce illegal wildlife trade.

Monday, 1 October 2018

Speakers passionate about nature conservation and protecting the environment met campaigners at Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham. The panel included Government Champion on illegal wildlife trade conference, Zac Goldsmith MP. A long standing campaigner and member of Parliament continues to advocate to protect the environment. Goldsmith highlighted the important issue to discuss interventions and how climate change will impact us all globally. 

Parveen Hassan & Zac Goldsmith MP
The fringe event was organised by WWF, an independent organisation bringing together representatives from Government and business to discuss how the UK can lead international efforts to protect the environment. Chaired by Amy Mount, from Greener UK, the panel included Rebecca Pow MP, PPS to DEFRA. 

WWF discussions highlighted the importance in protecting freshwater environments. Freshwater is essential for our planet; people and wildlife. 

Since the Government policy to reduce plastic with a ban on microbeads in January 2018, damaging beads can cause serious harm to marine life. The UK’s ban praised by campaigners as one of the toughest in the world will help to stop billions of microbeads ending up in the ocean every year. 

There has been great interest in protecting our environment with the successful government policy on the 5p plastic bag charge, which has taken nine billion bags out of circulation.The ban puts the UK at the forefront of international efforts to tackle and reduce plastic pollution.

The panel reminded campaigners and the delegation on the need to restore nature post Brexit, and the vital resources to protect freshwater environments and tackle the mismanagement leading to pollution, drying rivers and damaged habitats.