News Releases

Statement from Professor Sir Hilary Beckles: “Reparations Call for a Development Model”

For Release Upon Receipt - June 20, 2020


Regional Headquarters, Jamaica, Saturday, June 20, 2020. On June 19, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice-Chancellor of The UWI, President of Universities Caribbean, and Chairman of the CARICOM Reparations Commission was interviewed by the Al Jazeera Media Network.

Watch here:

The interview follows reports that British financial institutions and the Church of England acknowledged and apologised for their ties to the slave trade during the past week, and committed to fund projects to provide opportunities for minorities.

According to Vice-Chancellor Beckles, “These institutions need to come back to the site of their enrichment and participate in the legacy. This is not unreasonable. It is moral and just and the kind of standard management thinking one would expect in the 21st century. To issue statements of regret and apology from a distance as a public relations public spectacle is unacceptable and absolutely rejected by the people in the Caribbean. What they are asking for is dialogue, negotiation and the participation in a system of economic development that will help these societies to move forward.”


Note to the Editor

Clip Courtesy: Output Department, News Directorate (English Channel) Al Jazeera Media Network

About Professor Sir Hilary Beckles

Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, 8th Vice-Chancellor of The UWI is a distinguished academic, international thought leader, United Nations committee official, and global public activist in the field of social justice and minority empowerment. He is also the President of Universities Caribbean, and Chairman of the CARICOM Reparations Commission. For more, visit

About The UWI

For over 70 years The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has provided service and leadership to the Caribbean region and wider world. The UWI has 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 and five campuses: Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, Cave Hill in Barbados, Five Islands in Antigua and Barbuda and an Open Campus. As part of its robust globalization agenda, The UWI has established partnering centres with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe including the State University of New York (SUNY)-UWI Center for Leadership and Sustainable Development; the Canada-Caribbean Institute with Brock University; the Strategic Alliance for Hemispheric Development with Universidad de los Andes (UNIANDES); The UWI-China Institute of Information Technology, the University of Lagos (UNILAG)-UWI Institute of African and Diaspora Studies; the Institute for Global African Affairs with the University of Johannesburg (UJ); The UWI-University of Havana Centre for Sustainable Development; The UWI-Coventry Institute for Industry-Academic Partnership with the University of Coventry and the Glasgow-Caribbean Centre for Development Research with the University of Glasgow.

The UWI offers over 800 certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science & Technology, Social Sciences and Sport. 

As the region’s premier research academy, The UWI’s foremost objective is driving the growth and development of the regional economy. 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 2020, and the 40 best universities in Latin America and the Caribbean for 2018 and 2019. The UWI has been the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious lists.  For more, visit

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