News Releases

SUNY-UWI Center for Leadership and Sustainable Development embraces Global Partnerships for Climate

For Release Upon Receipt - September 16, 2019


Global Partnerships for Climate Action is the theme of a Symposium arranged by The SUNY-UWI Center for Leadership and Sustainable Development (CLSD) on Friday, September 20, 2019 at the SUNY Global Center in New York.  CLSD is a collaborative venture between The University of the West Indies (The UWI) and State University of New York (SUNY).

Since the signing of the 2030 development agenda by 193 member states at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on September 25, 2015, High-level Political Forums (HLPFs) have been organized annually to track progress on implementation of the 2030 development agenda, share evidence, scientific knowledge and country experiences and enhance the integration of strategies to balance people, planet and prosperity.

This September, for the first time since the global adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the HLPF  will convene within the 74th annual UNGA Meeting in New York beginning September 17. September 23 is set for a special Global Climate Summit. 

Dr. Luz Longsworth, UWI Pro Vice-Chancellor with oversight for the SUNY-UWI Center, notes that “the SUNY-UWI CLSD Symposium answers an urgent call for accelerated action and renewed commitment if the 2030 Agenda is to be achieved.  More substantively, it will focus on the unique role of universities in producing research, data, and innovative development solutions to tackle the interconnected social, economic, and environmental challenges faced by societies globally.  Universities as the drivers of knowledge, skills and innovation, are pivotal to nurturing the human and social capital upon which the success of the 2030 development agenda rests. Partnerships with purpose and action must be activated and sustained to achieve the global goals.”  

The Symposium will highlight development partners/academia collaboration to strengthen the interface between knowledge, policy and practice; the practical application of research into climate innovations; as well as research communication and advocacy in generating much-needed development impact at the grassroots level.  This exchange between academia and development partners will also emphasize targeted areas for action, which are evidence informed and demand-driven.

SUNY Provost Dr. Tod Laursen and UWI Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Hilary Beckles will open the proceedings. This will be followed by two panels: Panel 1 on Partnerships for Development Impact: The Climate Imperative; and Panel 2, From Evidence to Action: Moving Knowledge to Policy & Practice. Speakers come from academia, international agencies, and the private sector. They include UWI’s Professor John Agard, Professor of Tropical Island Ecology and Prof. Michael Taylor, Head of the Climate Studies Group. The Symposium, which runs from 9.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. (Eastern), will be broadcast live via

SUNY-UWI will also launch its Advanced Certificate in Leadership for Sustainable Development, a joint programme between SUNY's Empire State College and The UWI Open Campus. Further information on the Advanced Certificate is available from Ann-Marie Grant at The concept note and detailed agenda for the Symposium are available from The UWI Office of Development: and at: 




About the SUNY-UWI Center for Leadership and Sustainable Development

The SUNY UWI Center for Leadership and Sustainable Development is a direct response to the critical need to increase the leadership skills and capacities and opportunities for full civic participation among young people in the Caribbean, the Caribbean diaspora and the urban areas of New York. While The UWI and SUNY individually have significant ties to the Caribbean diaspora, which sits as a largely untapped resource for impacting sustainable economic development in the Caribbean and New York, The Center is a deliberate effort to combine these interests toward increased impact as The UWI and SUNY manage their roles as agents of change and sustainable development. Visit


About The UWI

For more than 70 years The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has provided service and leadership to the Caribbean region and wider world. The UWI evolved from a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948 to an internationally respected, regional university with near 50,000 students across five campuses: 4 Landed: Cave Hill in Barbados; Five Islands in Antigua and Barbuda,; Mona in Jamaica; St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago; and an Open Campus with over 42 locations serving 17 Caribbean territories.

The world’s most reputable ranking agency, Times Higher Education, has ranked The UWI among the top 600 universities in the world for 2019, and the 40 best universities in Latin America and the Caribbean for 2018 and 2019. The UWI is the only Caribbean-based University to make these prestigious lists and is one of only two regional universities in the world (the other being the University of South Pacific).

As part of its robust globalization agenda, The UWI has established partnering centres with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, and Africa. For further information, visit

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

About the State University of New York

The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, with 64 college and university campuses located within 30 miles of every home, school and business in the state. In 2014-15, SUNY served nearly 1.3 million students, including nearly 600,000 in credit bearing courses and programs and nearly 700,000 through continuing education and community outreach programs. SUNY students and faculty across the state make significant contributions to research and discovery, resulting in nearly $1 billion of externally-sponsored activity each year. There are 3 million SUNY alumni worldwide and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree are SUNY alumni. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit