News Releases

Diplomatic Academy of the Caribbean Takes Off

For Release Upon Receipt - May 21, 2014


The Diplomatic Academy of the Caribbean has already graduated its first cohort of 23 students in a brief ceremony witnessed by His Excellency Anthony Thomas Aquinas Carmona S.C., President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

The Academy, a joint project between the Government of Trinidad & Tobago and its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and The University of the West Indies (The UWI) through its Institute of International Relations, was successfully launched at the St. Augustine campus of The University of the West Indies on May 6. It was immediately followed by the intense 5-day inaugural module on Contemporary Diplomacy: Issues and Processes, facilitated by Professors Jorge Heine and Andrew Cooper from the Balsillie School of International Affairs, co-editors of the Oxford Handbook on Modern Diplomacy.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon delivered greetings via video message at the launch which attracted Government Ministers, the Secretary General of CARICOM, the Dean of The Korea National Diplomatic Academy, members of the Diplomatic Corps and other dignitaries from across the Caribbean. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon praised Trinidad and Tobago’s commitment to advancing 21st-century diplomacy so as to “enhance the understanding and practice of contemporary diplomacy with a distinctive Caribbean perspective”.

Trinidad and Tobago’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Dookeran underscored the importance of the Diplomatic Academy of the Caribbean to the region and beyond. He stated, “The Diplomatic Academy provides a unique platform that will allow for the development of foreign policy collaboration and, at the same time, an opportunity for engagement in the world around us as we prepare to meet the ever-changing challenges of diplomacy in the 21st century”.

Participants at the inaugural module were guided through the fundamentals of public diplomacy and the balancing of national, regional and global interests as well as contemporary challenges diplomats face. There was also a session on Digital Diplomacy and ‘Twiplomacy’ (Twitter Diplomacy) along with practical training including a simulated United Nations meeting.

According to Professor Andy Knight, Director of The UWI’s Institute of International Relations, “Unlike other diplomatic academies, the Diplomatic Academy of the Caribbean was envisioned as a training facility that would give prospective and current Caribbean diplomats the competence to practice a new form of diplomacy that would be relevant to the changed condition of the 21st Century”. The Academy is being established initially on a two-year project basis, with the objective of meeting a clearly felt need, in the absence of any proper training and learning facility of its kind regionally.

Protocol and Diplomatic Law, the next module, will be staged in two cycles – the first, June 23rd to 27th and the second, June 30th to July 4th.  Interested persons should e-mail , call 868 662 2002 extension 8208 or visit

About The Diplomatic Academy

The Diplomatic Academy of the Caribbean is a global academy for Caribbean Diplomacy, the first of its kind in the region, seeks to provide learning and training to a cross-section of target groups and beneficiaries involved in international cooperation negotiations and transactions within the CARICOM region and beyond.

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 and more than 50,000 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.