News Releases

OAS Assistant Secretary General to speak at UWI colloquium

For Release Upon Receipt - April 8, 2009

St. Augustine

Two days before the Fifth Summit of the Americas, Assistant Secretary-General of the Organisation of American States (OAS), Albert Ramdin, will deliver a keynote address on the second day of an international colloquium organised by The University of the West Indies (UWI) Institute of International Relations (IIR). Ramdin’s address, which is carded to take place on Wednesday 15th April, 2009 from 12 noon to 2 p.m. at the IIR Boardroom, is themed ‘The Western Hemisphere: Beyond the Summit of the Americas’.

In the fifteen years following the First Summit in Miami in December 1994, the world has changed considerably, and new institutions are now challenging older ones. The colloquium, organised in collaboration with the Institut québécois des hautes études internationales (Université Laval) and the Centre for International Governance Innovation (Waterloo, Canada), will take a critical look at what the upcoming Summit means for the future of hemispheric regionalism as a relevant level of integration for the Americas.

Ramdin’s presentation is one of three sessions in the three-day colloquium that are open to the public and free of charge. Another public session is the formal opening, which takes place at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday 14th April, and which will include presentations by Professor Norman Girvan (Professorial Research Fellow, IIR) and Ms Alexandra Bugailiskis (Assistant Deputy Minister, Latin America & the Caribbean & Summit Sherpa, Canada). Professor Girvan and Ms Bugailiskis will discuss the place of the Caribbean in our turbulent world and the importance of the 5th Summit of the Americas.

The third public event is the closing session, at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday 16th April, which will be a roundtable discussion bringing together representatives from selective think tanks over the Americas who will discuss the current state of inter‐American relations and offer suggestions for improved cooperation. Participants include Carlo Dade (FOCAL), Francisco Rojas (FLACSO), Cristina Equizabal (LACC), Andres Serbin (CRIES), Paulo Sotero (WWC) & Tim Shaw (IIR).

All three public events will take place at the IIR Boardroom, The UWI, St. Augustine.

Several books will also be launched at the three-day event, including The Summitry of Small States: Towards the “Caribbean Summit” (CIGI); Diplomacies of Small States: Between vulnerability & resilience (Palgrave Macmillan); and Americas Diplomatist Magazine.

The colloquium is partially funded by the Government of Canada, through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT).

For more information about the colloquium and other associated events, please contact Professor Timothy Shaw at or or call (868) 663 9685 or 662 2002 Ext. 2010 or 2011.


Over the last six decades, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged University with over 40,000 students. Today, UWI is the largest and most longstanding higher education provider in the English-speaking Caribbean, with main campuses in Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, and Centres in Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Christopher (St Kitts) & Nevis, St Lucia, and St Vincent & the Grenadines. UWI recently launched its Open Campus, a virtual campus with over 50 physical site locations across the region, serving over 20 countries in the English-speaking Caribbean. UWI is an international university with faculty and students from over 40 countries and collaborative links with over 60 universities around the world. Through its seven Faculties, UWI offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Pure & Applied Sciences, Science and Agriculture, and Social Sciences.