News Releases

UWI Open Campus Principal calls for the region to be more active and interventionist

For Release Upon Receipt - July 4, 2017


To achieve the goals and objectives set out in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) framework of the United Nations, all institutions in our various countries must be “active and interventionist” in all areas that will accelerate innovation and growth, according to Dr. Luz Longsworth, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal of The University of the West Indies Open Campus.


Speaking at the opening ceremony of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)’s “Caribbean Action 2030” regional conference on SDGs hosted at The UWI Regional Headquarters on June 28, 2017, Dr. Longsworth said, “The University joined the call to action among partners who can make a difference to the fulfilment of this ambitious Caribbean Action 2030 Agenda.” She noted that as the region’s most established higher education institution, The UWI has consistently been engaged in research and partnerships that stimulate national and regional development, but stated “It is no longer enough for the University to provide research support for these issues. The University’s 2017-2022 strategic plan centres on The UWI as an active player, partnering with governments, regional and international organisations and other institutions in all areas that will move the needle on the key issues of economic and social development which will lead to just, peaceful and prosperous societies.”

Dr. Longsworth also pointed out that The UWI was already contributing to issues of immediate importance of the region “…from the threat of the sargassum on our tourist industry to the Zika virus that threatened the health of our region, the implications of BREXIT, issues of de-risking in the banking sector and others. This, in addition to the creation of partnerships on all continents to harness expertise has led to the formation of the SUNY UWI Center for Leadership and Sustainable Development which is framed around the SDGs, joint centers for research in Africa and China, and talks are advanced with Europe and Latin America for the establishment of similar centers. These partnerships are strategically placed to pull together human and other resources in the joint efforts to successfully address each of the sustainable development goals in the Caribbean”, she declared.

Following the opening ceremony, Dr. Longsworth and the UNDP’s Regional Director for Latin America & the Caribbean, Ms Jessica Faieta, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to formalise a joint mission to advance the agenda of poverty alleviation, democratic governance and peace building, climate change and disaster risk and economic equality.



Photo caption

The UWI and UNDP sign an MOU aimed at promoting social and economic growth in the Caribbean.

L-R:  Ambassador Dr. Richard Bernal, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Global Affairs, The UWI; Mrs. Laleta Davis Mattis, University Counsel, The UWI; Ms Jessica Faieta, UNDP Regional Director for Latin America & the Caribbean; Dr. Luz Longsworth, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal, The UWI Open Campus; Mr. Bruno Pouezat, UN Resident Coordinator & Resident Representative for UNDP Jamaica and Mrs. Stacy Kennedy, Director of Development, The UWI.


About The UWI

Since its inception in 1948, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged, regional University with well over 40,000 students. Today, UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with four campuses in Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Open Campus. The UWI has faculty and students from more than 40 countries and collaborative links with 160 universities globally; it offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology and Social Sciences. UWI’s seven priority focal areas are linked closely to the priorities identified by CARICOM and take into account such over-arching areas of concern to the region as environmental issues, health and wellness, gender equity and the critical importance of innovation. Website:

 (Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)