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Key Role For UWI At Northern Caribbean Conference

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The Northern Caribbean Conference on Economic Co-operation (NCCEC) is an important initiative for developing collaborative approaches to the common problems of the sub-region, says University of the West Indies at Mona (UWI) Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Gordon Shirley.

Professor Shirley will be one of the main speakers at the NCCEC to be held at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Grand Cayman, on December 17. Representation at the conference is expected from the Bahamas, Cuba, the Cayman Islands, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

“The conference will examine facets for sharing information and knowledge on the, hitherto, unilateral response to challenges common to the seven neighbours,” Professor Shirley stated. Issues such as  natural hazards; the economic effects of the global financial crisis, the movement of guns, drugs and illicitly obtained money across the region; and the outward migration of some of the region’s best minds are among the issues to be discussed.

The conference also affords exploration of opportunities for collaboration in areas such as trade, tourism, transportation, remittances, and the design and implementation of hazard resistant infrastructure, Professor Shirley declared. The Vice-Chancellor will be addressing the issue of ‘Improving performance of Caribbean schools and potential for trade in education among Northern Caribbean countries.’

“The missing element in Caribbean integration is the full recognition that the Northern Caribbean is a distinct sub-regional space, based both on geography and history, within the wider Caribbean,” said Professor Brian Meeks, Director, Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies at the UWI. He will address the closing session of the conference on the ‘Way Forward’ for further dialogue and implementation of initiatives for regional collaboration.

Additionally, Professor Anthony Chen, Professor Emeritus of the Department of Physics at UWI, will discuss ‘Northern Caribbean Countries in a Changing Climate.’ Professor Elizabeth Thomas-Hope, UWI Professor of Environmental Management, will discuss ‘Trade in Services and Commodities.’

“The University of the West Indies is very pleased to be participating in the organization and delivery of this important conference,” Professor Shirley stated. “We look forward to being integrally involved in the post-conference activities as the Northern Caribbean neighbours strive to collaborate more effectively in making the next decade one of the most successful in their individual and collective histories.”

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