News Releases

UWI Diplomatic Academy Delivers First of its Kind Module in the Region on Consular Affairs

For Release Upon Receipt - June 16, 2021

St. Augustine

On June 10th, 33 mostly Consular and Foreign Service Officers successfully completed a four-day online training module conducted by The UWI’s Diplomatic Academy of the Caribbean (DAOC), titled Advances in Consular Affairs in the Modern Diplomatic Mission: A Caribbean Perspective. An UWI first, this training was designed to strengthen the capacity of the consular corps of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries. Representatives of nine CARICOM Member States took part in this training, with some based in capital and others posted in Port-au-Prince, Havana, London, Miami, New Jersey, New York, Ottawa, Toronto and Washington, D.C.

A comprehensive review of the legal framework within which the consular professional operates anchored the module, with focus also placed on international migration treaties. The module sought to provide participants with state-of-the-art and state of the practice training in consular affairs, taking a fresh look from a Caribbean perspective at: (i) migration issues and the diaspora; and (ii) salient issues at play in the age of the COVID-19 crisis and its consequential impact on the consular function.

“This inaugural module is emblematic of the DAOC’s commitment to moving ahead with curricular innovations, having regard to its strategic direction,” said DAOC Manager, Dr. Nand C. Bardouille. He underscored that: “In the wider context of the COVID-19 moment’s far-reaching effects, which have also negatively impacted the ability of CARICOM countries’ consulates to manage risks and expectations, this module is yet another timely, relevant and top-notch training deliverable that is intended to meet professional development needs germane to the field of diplomatic studies.”

The module’s lead facilitator, Ms. Gail P. Guy, a retired diplomat and protocol consultant, underlined that the module met its objectives. She highlighted the “historic nature” of the module, contending that, “it is unique in its orientation, adopting a Caribbean viewpoint and approach to training a cross-section of practitioners, who likely have not previously had exposure to this course of study here in the Caribbean.” The module’s co-facilitator, Dr. Natalie Dietrich Jones, who is a Research Fellow of SALISES at The UWI Mona Campus specializing in migration governance, observed that the training lent itself to debates on the nexus between migration studies and consular affairs.

The Minister Counsellor of the Barbados High Commission to the United Kingdom, Ms. Natalie Cox, hailed the teaching team’s knowledge and expertise. Other participants also conveyed these sentiments. Ms. Andria Narinesingh, Consul General (Ag.) at the Consulate General of Trinidad and Tobago in Miami said the module’s facilitators “brought a wealth of professional experience, practical advice and personal insights to bear, effectively blending theory and practice.” Consul General (Ag.) Narinesingh also remarked that, “the experience of this training module has greatly enhanced my perspective on my role as a consular officer and my professional skill-set.” 

Speaking on behalf of the inaugural cohort of participants in this module, H.E. Verna Mills, Ambassador of Saint Kitts and Nevis to Cuba emphasized that the module exceeded expectations. Ms. Earla Dyer, a member of staff in the St. Kitts and Nevis High Commission to the United Kingdom, noted that, “this comprehensive module is invaluable, and it should be a critical part of the on-boarding process for new Consular Officers, as well as a refresher course for seasoned Consular Officers.”

Still other participants provided positive feedback on the course content, presentation and delivery, expressing satisfaction with the teaching methodology, which incorporated peer-to-peer learning. Participants characterized this dimension of the teaching as “having greatly enriched their learning experience.”

The Director of the Institute of International Relations (IIR), Professor Jessica Byron, stated that the consular training module had been in the making for some time now. Professor Byron recalled that the management of both the IIR and the DAOC had perceived the need to develop a module on the expanding scope of consular work and updated consular practices that would serve the needs of Caribbean consular and diplomatic personnel.

A roundtable capped the training, featuring two panellists. The Director of the Consular Affairs Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Jamaica, Mrs. Ariel Bowen, was among the panellists on hand, providing best practice-oriented perspectives on key elements of module-related learning, including on diaspora policies/strategies and relations. This roundtable emerged because of a collaborative arrangement arrived at between the DAOC and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Jamaica.

In addition to the course manual, the DAOC also made additional learning resources available to participants. This includes a pre-recorded, Zoom web conference facilitated interview held between the Head of the Eastern Caribbean Liaison Service of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, Mr. Olaf Fontenelle, and DAOC staff / teaching team, focusing on one of several diaspora population groups that were under discussion in the module: farm workers.

Mr. Tyson K. McKenzie, Foreign Service Officer & Case Manager (Citizenship, Permanent Residency & Overseas Missions) in the Department of Immigration of the Ministry of Financial Services, Trade and Industry and Immigration of The Bahamas, noted “[m]y participation in this online module was very rewarding.” The Minister Counsellor of the Saint Kitts and Nevis High Commission to the United Kingdom, Ms. Elsa Wilkin-Armbrister, indicated that she would “recommend the module to other diplomats.” 

The DAOC will build on the success of its in-demand module Advances in Consular Affairs in the Modern Diplomatic Mission: A Caribbean Perspective, conferred as a certificate, by offering a second iteration of it in the 2021/2022 academic year also in a virtual format. This online teaching modality forms an integral part of efforts to further internationalize the DAOC, which aims to make its expansive diplomatic training agenda even more accessible to a wider range of constituencies within and beyond the Caribbean.




About the Diplomatic Academy of the Caribbean (DAOC)

The DAOC is the Caribbean's premier professional development-oriented diplomatic studies centre. An integral part of The University of the West Indies' (UWI) Institute of International Relations (IIR), it was established in 2014. The DAOC has a primary teaching mandate in the area of diplomatic studies, offering short, highly specialized training modules in the broad field of diplomatic studies. For Caribbean professionals seeking to expand their capabilities to advance an international career, the DAOC is a trusted educational partner. Combining a world-class suite of curricular offerings, which align with topical policy and learning trends, with a programme of advocacy and partnerships regarding the relationship between diplomacy and the Caribbean, the Diplomatic Academy provides a unique setting for stakeholders to deepen diplomatic skills/knowledge and enhance policy expertise.

The DAOC has yielded substantial and complementary benefit to the IIR, which was established in 1966 by agreement between the Government of Trinidad and Tobago and the Government of Switzerland.

Integral to the DAOC's mission is its commitment to help close human resources capacity gaps in international affairs and diplomacy in the Caribbean, by providing capacity-building and skills development training in diplomacy to up and coming diplomats and to aspiring diplomats from the Caribbean Region. This diplomatic learning and training facility also strengthens the University's capacities for research/analysis, knowledge‐sharing, advocacy, and partnerships and dialogue on the relationship between diplomacy and the Caribbean broadly conceived, with the goal of helping to facilitate policy-relevant awareness-raising on international affairs issues of import (and that are topical) to the Region.

The Diplomatic Academy derives its character from its global outlook, real-world impact and Caribbean mindedness which, in sum, constitute The DAOC Advantage™. For more information, please 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 in 2018 and 2019, then top 20 in 2020. 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.)