04 Apr

The First “International Conference on Small Island States and Sub-National Island Jurisdictions”, March 11-14, 2018 will be hosted by USM. The theme of the conference is: “Island States and Island Territories: Sharing Stories of Island Life, Governance and Global Engagement”. The main focus of the conference is on the differences and similarities between those islands that are fully independent “Small Island Developing States” (SIDs) and those that maintain some type of link with the former colonial power, the so-called “Sub-National Island Jurisdictions” or SNIJs. One of the primary aims of the conference is to discuss the life, governance and global engagement on, for and with SIDS and SNIJs. One facet of the University of St. Martin’s 2017-year plan is to advance a trajectory for educational tourism. In so doing, USM continues to position itself, not only as an institution of higher learning but also as a sought-after conference destination in the Caribbean region. In keeping with this vision, USM has partnered with the UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability, the University of Prince Edward Island and the University of Malta to co-organize and host the conference.

The International Steering Committee of the conference is co-chaired by Professor Godfrey Baldacchino and Dr. Jim Randall. It comprises scholars from academic institutions including the University of the West Indies, University of Amsterdam, Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies and Sheffield University. USM’s Dean of Academics, Mrs. Genève Phillip-Durham described the opportunity to co-host the conference as monumental, “especially since the bi-national island of St. Martin is in fact home to two different sub-national island jurisdictions and is in close proximity to other SNIJs like Anguilla and the USVI, as well as SIDs such as St. Kitts and Dominica. The conference would allow persons who live these realities, a forum to participate and contribute to conversations which have direct implications for them, so it is imperative that stakeholders in academia, government, private sector and civil society groups participate”.

Mrs. Phillip-Durham and Mr. Arjen Alberts have been appointed as co-chairs of the local organizing committee and are supported by the following committee members: Mr. Erwin Wolthuis, Ms. Jose Sommers, Ms. Khalilah Peters and Ms. Marcellia Henry. The committee held their inaugural meeting last Thursday at USM and were keen on the opportunity to contribute to the execution of the Conference. According to Mr. Alberts, these committee members were appointed because of their respective expertise and competencies in the field of governance, culture, education and event organisation.

The call for papers is now in circulation and paper submissions which engage critically with multiple levels of island living can be submitted for consideration to brinklow@upei.ca.

Further details can also be found on the conference website http://projects.upei.ca/unescochair/call-for-papers/ or by contacting the co-chairs of the local organizing committee at Geneve.phillip@usm.sx or Arjen.alberts.sxm@gmail.com.

 

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