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Is regional integration the pathway to human development?

For Release Upon Receipt - March 10, 2010

St. Augustine

NETRIS seminar at UWI Institute of International Relations explores regionalism

Can regional integration provide a realistic, appropriate window of opportunity for more effective governance for development? It is a question to be explored at an upcoming conference, hosted by The University of the West Indies (UWI) Institute of International Relations (IIR) from March 11th to 13th, 2010.

Themed “Researching and Advancing the Good Governance Dimension of Regional Integration”, the IIR conference is part of NETRIS (Network of Regional Integration Studies), an initiative that focuses on regional governance for human development, rights and the security, economic and social dimensions. The NETRIS initiative, which involves seven partners and two associated institutes throughout the Africa-Caribbean-Pacific (ACP) region, seeks to activate a collaborative network of higher education institutions in the ACP regions.

The three-day conference will be launched with a formal ceremony in the IIR Boardroom on March 11th from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Speakers at the launch include: Professor Clement Sankat, UWI Pro Vice Chancellor and St Augustine Campus Principal; H.E. Mr. Stelios Christopoulos, Delegation of the European Commission; and Mr Eric Maertens, Senior Supervisor for NETRIS in the United Nations University – Comparative Regional Integration Studies, College of Europe (CoE/UNU-CRIS). The IIR is collaborating closely with CoE/UNU-CRIS, the coordinating body of NETRIS, to host the seminar.

At the NETRIS conference, members of IIR Faculty, including Professor Norman Girvan and Dr Mark Kirton, will meet with representatives of the partner institutions from South Africa, Senegal, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Tanzania, the Cameroons, Fiji, the Netherlands and Belgium to discuss issues related to strengthening the research capacity of the partner institutions. Issues to be discussed include regional governance and institutional building, the prospects and challenges for Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) in a changing environment of integration efforts, the regional dimension and security and the economic dimension of social and economic integration.

The NETRIS initiative is part of EDULINK, a network of cooperative projects financed by the European Union (EU) and implemented by the ACP Secretariat among higher education institutions in the ACP Group of States and the fifteen EU member states that are signatories to the 9th European Development Fund.

For more information, please visit the NETRIS website at, or contact Professor Timothy Shaw, Director of the Institute of International Relations, at or (868) 662-2002 Ext. 2010 or (Fax) 663-9685.

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About the Institute of International Relations

The Institute of International Relations (IIR) @ The University of The West Indies (UWI) is situated on the St. Augustine Campus in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. The UWI IIR houses the most comprehensive collection of information resources in the world on the international relations of the Caribbean. The postgraduate Institute publishes the Journal of Caribbean International Relations, offers excellent research, teaching and consultative assistance to all stakeholders, and organises, sponsors or co-sponsors workshops, conferences and seminars relevant to the international relations challenges of the region. The mission of the Institute is to enhance understanding of Caribbean international relations, applying multidisciplinary perspectives, while contributing to related regional and national human resource development needs. Established in October 1966, IIR offers Diploma & MPhil/PhD in International Relations & MSc in Global Studies. It is proud of its more than 1,100 alums and recently hosted ACUNS’ 22nd AGM (see In 2008/9 it offered its MSc at ADEK in Suriname. IIR postgrads undertake annual study tours to Georgetown (CARICOM), Suriname (SADEK), Cuba and/or Panama. The Institute has close working links with the ACS, ECLAC, ILO, UNDP, UNIC & UNATT among others in Port of Spain and in 2009 has been involved in events around the Fifth Summit of Americas and the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).


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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.