Saddam Hussein was toppled as Iraq’s head of state in 2003 after US-led forces invaded the country. World Questions is in Iraq with a public audience and a panel of politicians and thinkers to mark the 20th anniversary. They address today’s issues and there is passion and excitement as Iraqis debate openly whether life is better now than it was under Saddam. Foreign influence, corruption, the rights of women and Iraq’s potential as a tourist destination are all discussed by a panel facing questions from the public.
The panel: Mohamed Al Daraji: Senior Advisor on Technical Matters to the Prime Minister of Iraq Suadad Al Salhy: Senior Reporter for Middle East Eye Tara Berhan Shwani: Senior Associate International Republican Institute Dhiaa Al Asadi: Former leader of the Sadrist Bloc in Parliament
Presenter: Jonny Dymond Producer: Charlie Taylor
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World Questions: Poland
49:41After a bitter election, a new government takes power in Poland promising to de-politicise the state. But after courts are ignored, key people are sacked and opposition politicians are arrested in the Presidential Palace, is democracy being restored or undermined? Jonny Dymond chairs a panel of leading politicians as they debate the big issues put to them by the public in the Royal Castle of Warsaw.The Panel: Mateusz Morawiecki, MP: Former Prime Minister of Poland, Vice President of Law and Justice Party Senator Magdalena Biejat: Deputy Marshal of the Senate, Co-leader of Razem. Agnieszka Pomaska, MP: Vice Chair EU Affairs Committee, National Board member of Civic Platform Krzysztof Bosak, MP: Co-leader of the Confederation and Independence Party(Photo: Participants in the Poland's Independence Day march organised by nationalist groups in Warsaw. Photo by Wojtek Radwanski / AFP / Getty Images)Producer: Charlie Taylor
World Questions: Norway
49:56What next for this oil rich country which is experiencing a cost of living crisis and debate over its high levels of public spending? Jonny Dymond is joined online by a panel of leading Norwegian politicians and activists taking questions from the public across the country.The panel: Hadia Tajik: Labour MP Henrik Asheim: Conservative MP Ella Marie Hætta Isaksen: Sami musician and environmental campaigner Nils August Andresen: Economist and historianProducer: Helen Towner
World Questions: Zambia
50:08It is rich in emeralds and copper, and home to Mosi oa Tunya, or Victoria Falls. It has a youthful population and one of the most stable democracies in Africa, but Zambia faces big challenges: High food prices, persistent poverty and claims that political rights are under threat. What are the country’s priorities in a fast-changing world? And what does the success of the women’s football team mean for Zambian women’s rights? Jonny Dymond chairs as leading politicians and thinkers debate questions suggested by an audience on location in Lusaka.The panel: Cornelius Mweetwa, MP: Minister for Media and Information, Government Spokesperson Linda Kasonde: Former President of the Law Association of Zambia, and Executive Director of Chapter One Foundation Chishala Kateka: Economist and Leader of the New Heritage Party Brian Mundubile, MP: Former leader of the Opposition, and former Minister for Northern ProvincePresenter: Jonny Dymond Producer: Charlie Taylor
World Questions: Ecuador
49:43Ecuador was once a relatively peaceful country, perhaps best known for its rich biodiverse landscapes, Amazonian rainforests and the world-famous Galapagos Islands. But the murder rate has quadrupled between 2018 and 2022 – an increase caused largely by the drug trade and the violence it brings. Now the country is in the grip of an unprecedented crimewave which has seen a rise in not just murders, but also kidnappings, extortion and widespread corruption. Last month, Ecuador elected a new President, the billionaire businessman Daniel Noboa who at just 35, will be the country’s youngest ever leader. Can this politically inexperienced newcomer tackle the powerful drug cartels? With just 18 months until the next election and no majority in the National Assembly - what are his chances? Jonny Dymond presents a panel of Ecuadorean politicians and campaigners as they debate the big issues and questions from the public across the country.The panel: Andrea Gonzalez Nader: Environmental activist, entrepreneur, and politician Guillaume Long: Former Ecuadorean Minister of Foreign Affairs under President Rafael Correa Leo Cerda: Climate activist and indigenous rights defender Maria Sol Borja: Political journalist
World Questions:South Korea
49:15The Republic of Korea is one of the twentieth century’s economic miracles. Poor at the time it split from its neighbour to the north, it now has the fastest internet on the planet and is a world-leading exporter of electronics, cars and culture. Much of what is best in the world can be found in Korea but it faces many of its hardest challenges too. Sky-high property prices, the world’s fastest-ageing population, a highly pressurised and competitive society, and as they face the difficult prospect of working and raising a family, 65 percent of Korean women are choosing not to have children. Along with all this, is the worry about the country that shares the Korean Peninsula, Kim Jong Un’s nuclear-armed North Korea. Jonny Dymond presents a panel of Korean politicians and experts as they debate questions from the public across the country. The panel: Kyung-wha Kang: Former Foreign Minister of the Republic of Korea and Distinguished Professor at Yonsei University Chung-Min Lee: Former Ambassador for National Security Affairs and Ambassador for International Security Affairs. University Professor at Kaist, and Senior Fellow at The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Hee-kyoung Cho: Professor of Law at Hongik University and a columnist for The Korea Times Hawon Jung: Author of Flowers of Fire about the Korean ‘MeToo’ women’s movement
World Questions: Georgia
49:10World Questions is in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi. Leading politicians and academics take questions from a public audience. Membership of the European Union, relations with neighbouring Russia and the environment are all up for discussion in a unique debate chaired by Anu Anand.The panel: Mariam Lashkhi: MP for the governing party, Georgian Dream Party and Deputy chair of the Foreign Affairs select committee Tina Bokuchava: MP for the opposition party, United National Movement (UNM) Kornely Kakachia: Professor of Political Science at Tbilisi State University Levan Ghambashidze: PhilosopherProducer: Helen Towner
World Questions: Rwanda
50:14Open elections, freedom of speech, international meddling, and national reconciliation all come up in a wide-ranging debate with questions raised by Rwandans around the world to a selected panel: Victoire Ingabire: Opposition activist and Founder of Development and Liberty for All Party Albert Rubatsimburwa; Political commentator and writer for the New Times Gonzaga Muganwa; Journalist, former executive secretary of the Rwanda Journalists Association Frank Habineza MP; Founder of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda. Chaired by Jonny Dymond.
World Questions: Trinidad and Tobago
49:22It is the most prosperous country in the Caribbean with a rich culture, a tropical island environment, a stable democracy, and an economy based on rich resources of oil and gas. But Trinidad and Tobago is facing a surge in violent crime. The near collapse of its big neighbour Venezuela, a porous border, tens of thousands of refugees, sex trafficking and piracy have contributed to it reaching sixth place in the crime rates of the world. What can be done? How does this two island oil-rich state see its place in a changing world? Jonny Dymond chairs a panel of politicians and thinkers debating challenging questions from the public in the capital, Port of Spain.The panel: Stuart Young MP: Minister for Energy and Energy Industries and Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Anita Haynes MP: Shadow Minister for Education Marlene Attzs: Economist, University of the West Indies, St Augustine Lawrence Arjoon: Chief Executive Officer of the Heroes Foundation
World Questions: Bangladesh
49:34Bangladesh is now something of a global development poster child. Born out of war more than 50 years ago, it has hauled itself out of poverty to become one of the fastest growing economies in the Asia Pacific region. But the nation still faces many challenges - climate change threatens to overwhelm its low lying lands, corruption is endemic and many critics complain that democracy and freedom of speech are under pressure.Four prominent politicians and analysts face questions from listeners about the future of their country: Dr Salim Mahmud, the Secretary for Information and Research, Central Executive Committee, Awami League party; Shama Obaed Islam, Organising Secretary Bangladesh Nationalist Party; Shahidul Alam, photographer and social activist; Tania Amir, Senior Advocate at the Supreme Court in Bangladesh.Presenter: Jonny Dymond Producer: Steven Williams
World Questions: Chile
50:49World Questions is in Chile with a public audience and a panel of politicians and thinkers to debate the future of the country. They address the big issues: the rewriting of the nation’s constitution, immigration, crime and policing, economic growth, social justice – and the legacy of the Pinochet era. The panel: Lorena Fries: Member of the governing coalition Ignacio Briones: Former Minister of Finance Alejandra Matus: Author and academic Jose de Gregorio: Dean of Economics and Business at the University of Chile Presenter: Jonny Dymond Producer: Helen Towner Sound Engineers: Kate Barker and Ian MitchellBBC World Questions is a series of international events created in partnership with the British Council, which connects the UK and the world through arts, culture, education and the English language.