News Releases

UWI’s Nikoli voted in to Commonwealth Youth Council in Malta

For Release Upon Receipt - November 26, 2015

St. Augustine

Thank you to everyone who has shown me love who never even knew me” 

ST. AUGUSTINE, Trinidad and Tobago. November 26, 2015 – Nikoli Jean-Paul Edwards, Secretary of The University of the West Indies (UWI) St. Augustine Guild of Students, has been elected Vice Chairperson, Policy, Advocacy and Projects on the Commonwealth Youth Council.  

The Council, which represents national youth bodies from 53 countries, elected a new leadership team on November 24 at its General Assembly at the Commonwealth Youth Forum in Malta. Edwards is among nine executive members who make up the council. He is one of two Caribbean nationals elected to the council. The other is Regional Representative, Caribbean and the Americas – Sujae Boswell from Jamaica.  

The Commonwealth Youth Council is a coalition of national youth councils and other youth-led bodies and the recognised voice of the more than 1.2 billion young people aged 29 or under in Commonwealth member countries. The executive is responsible for advocating on behalf of young people on issues such as employment, equality and climate change, and encouraging youth-led action on development challenges throughout the Commonwealth. Their two-year mandate runs until 2017. 

Pro Vice-Chancellor and Campus Principal, Professor Clement Sankat expressed his confidence in Edwards as an ambassador. “I wish to congratulate Nikoli, our Guild Secretary on his appointment at the Commonwealth Youth Council. This is yet another way in which The UWI through its staff and students is making its presence felt in the global academic community, and Nikoli will prove to be an excellent ambassador for us. My best wishes to him.”  

Deputy Principal, Professor Rhoda Reddock added, “We expect great things of him in this position which opens up new possibilities for expanded connections between young people from the Caribbean and students from the UWI with their counterparts in other countries of the Commonwealth. We are proud of his achievement.” 

Speaking after the announcement of the results, Edwards said “My friends and family have been a stronghold, always present in good times and bad! I am forever indebted to The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine. If it was not for some key individuals and the UWI as a whole, I honestly would not have been able to contest the elections. Finally thank you to everyone who has shown me love who never even knew me. This was my inspiration and what made me understand that this was not for me, but rather for everyone in need of a voice. I take representation seriously and I feel as though it's my life's mission.” 

The General Assembly was a key component of the five-day 10th Commonwealth Youth Forum – jointly organised by the Government of Malta, the Commonwealth Youth Council and the Commonwealth Secretariat – held on the eve of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Malta from 27 to 29 November. One of the new executive’s first tasks will be to present the recommendations and priorities of the 400 youth leaders who attended the Youth Forum and General Assembly to Commonwealth leaders. Official youth delegates from each country voted on the composition of the executive, with polls opening on Tuesday 23 November and closing on Wednesday 24 November. Delegates had the opportunity to see the candidates in action first-hand during election primaries. Campaigning began in October when the 45 candidates released their manifestos. 


Editor’s Note: Full Release from the Commonwealth Youth Council available at: 

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.)