News Releases

UWI Diplomatic Academy Spotlights High-level SIDS Conference

For Release Upon Receipt - May 16, 2024

St. Augustine

ST. AUGUSTINE, Trinidad and Tobago. Thursday 16 May 2024—On May 17th, The UWI Institute of International Relations' (IIR) Diplomatic Academy of the Caribbean (DAOC) will host a timely hybrid symposium, themed "SIDS4 and the Caribbean's Diplomatic Agenda: Quo Vadis?" The symposium calls attention to and previews the upcoming Fourth International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS4), focusing on the Caribbean's associated interests.

Antigua and Barbuda will host SIDS4, which is informed by United Nations (UN)-anchored multilateralism, from May 27 to 30, 2024. SIDS4 will bring together a cross-section of the international community to consider progress in the sustainable development of SIDS which, among others, comprise Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member states. Importantly, this high-level Conference will afford delegations an opportunity to chart the way forward for the SIDS-related multilateral programme of action for the next 10 years.          

The symposium—one of a series of activities underway this month to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the DAOC, which was established on May 6, 2014—is presented by The DAOC in partnership with the Australian High Commission and Embassy of the French Republic to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. It will feature perspectives from a distinguished panel of international experts and officials, as follows (in order of presentations):

H.E. Dr. Walton A. Webson, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Representative of Antigua and Barbuda to the United Nations.

H.E. Fatumanava-o-Upolu III Dr Pa’olelei Luteru, Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS).

Mr. Sainivalati S. Navoti, Chief of the SIDS Unit, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

Ms. Amrikha Singh, Programme Manager, Sustainable Development, Caribbean Community Secretariat. 

Ms. Diane Quarless, Director, UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) Subregional Headquarters for the Caribbean.

Dr. Matthew L. Bishop, Senior Lecturer, Politics and International Relations Department, University of Sheffield. (Discussant).

Acting IIR Director Dr. Annita Montoute will deliver welcome remarks at the event and Dr. Nand C. Bardouille, DAOC Manager, will serve as Chair of the proceedings and moderator of the panel discussion.

H.E. Didier Chabert, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the French Republic to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, will deliver remarks at the top of the programme. Ambassador Chabert will set out the French perspective in respect of SIDS4. H.E. Sonya Koppe, High Commissioner of the Commonwealth of Australia to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, will follow with remarks of her own. High Commissioner Koppe will outline the Australian perspective on thematic issues germane to SIDS4.    

The symposium will deliberate on the respective panelists' perspectives, as highlighted in the event's agenda.


Notes to Editor 

The hybrid symposium starts at 9:30 a.m. (AST/Eastern Caribbean) and concludes at 12:00pm on May 17th.

Registration, which closes today, is required for persons to attend the hybrid symposium. For those registrants who are taking part virtually, the live broadcast is facilitated via Zoom web conferencing. Location for the in-person venue: The UWI Institute of International Relations Lecture Room 1 (Upstairs).  

The agenda for the symposium is available by clicking here

For the concept note, please click here. 

About the Diplomatic Academy of the Caribbean

The DAOC is the Caribbean's premier professional development-oriented diplomatic studies centre. An integral part of The University of the West Indies’ 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 University of the West Indies

The UWI has been and continues to be a pivotal force in every aspect of Caribbean development; residing at the centre of all efforts to improve the well-being of people across the region. 

From a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948, The UWI is today an internationally respected, global 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 its Open Campus, and 10 global centres in partnership with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe

The UWI offers over 800 certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Culture, Creative and Performing Arts, Food and Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities and Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology, Social Sciences, and Sport. As the Caribbean’s leading university, it possesses the largest pool of Caribbean intellect and expertise committed to confronting the critical issues of our region and wider world.

The UWI has been consistently ranked among the top universities globally by the most reputable ranking agency, Times Higher Education (THE). In the latest World University Rankings 2022, released in September 2021, The UWI moved up an impressive 94 places from last year. In the current global field of some 30,000 universities and elite research institutes, The UWI stands among the top 1.5%.

The UWI is the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious lists since its debut in the rankings in 2018. In addition to its leading position in the Caribbean, it is also in the top 20 for Latin America and the Caribbean and the top 100 global Golden Age universities (between 50 and 80 years old).  The UWI is also featured among the leading universities on THE’s Impact Rankings for its response to the world’s biggest concerns, outlined in the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including Good Health and Wellbeing; Gender Equality and Climate Action.

For more, visit