Remarks by CARICOM Secretary-General at Opening Ceremony of Regional Headquarters of UWI (Mona)
- Published on Thursday, 28 June 2012 13:53
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Georgetown, Guyana ((CARICOM Secretariat): Remarks by CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin Larocque at the Opening Ceremony of the Regional Headquarters of The University Of The West Indies Mona, Jamaica, 27 June 2012:
"I thank the Chancellor and the Vice Chancellor for inviting me to this ceremony this evening to herald the opening of the Regional Headquarters of the University of the West Indies (UWI). This splendid building itself is an example of the kind of collaboration among regional institutions, agencies, the private sector, private individuals and governments that must be fundamental to the integration process and the development of our Region.
The coming together of the UWI, the governments of Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Trinidad Cement Limited (TCL) and others in the interest of the development of our human capital has made this evening possible. This is a fine example of public-private partnership and regional institutions working together to achieve a desirable end.
The UWI has been at the heart of the development of the English-speaking Caribbean for more than 60 years and in that time many of the decision makers of this Region, in diverse fields, have had their groundings in this institution. UWI has not only entrenched itself into the life of the regional society but has acquired a well deserved reputation for excellence in many disciplines. I have no doubt that the fruition of the idea behind the establishment of this headquarters building, of bringing together the centres and institutes of research cutting across many disciplines, but dedicated to one goal, will enhance that reputation, as it brings greater efficiencies to the operations of the University.
The pursuit of that goal, of building human resource capacity to promote the development of our Region, continues with the ongoing expansion in academic and research programmes geared to both national and regional advancement. To bring that goal even closer, this commitment to developing the Region has not only spanned the Anglophone Caribbean. It is heartening to hear that under your stewardship, Vice Chancellor, the Association of Universities and Research Institutions of the Caribbean (UNICA) has been revitalised and that there is beginning to be greater synergies among the University systems in our Region. This revitalisation I am advised is as a result of the assistance rendered to Haitian universities and their students, led by the UWI, after the catastrophic earthquake of 2010. The potential that it has for broadening the scope and reach of tertiary education as well as promoting greater regional integration makes for an exciting future.
In this emerging scenario, the UWI is positioning itself to be a leading light in the new conformation, even as it strives to become more of a ‘learning organisation’.
As the Community moves towards building a knowledge society and economy, the role of tertiary education institutions is pivotal. It is within the walls of those institutions, including the UWI, that the Community will look for the development of the quality of intellectual and cultural capital which will make the Region competitive and contribute to overcoming underdevelopment.
The Vice-Chancellery, with its remit to serve as the “nerve centre” of the institution, has a crucial role to play in the achievement of the vision of the University. The quality of strategic guidance and leadership available to all campuses as well as the quality of engagement with governmental and nongovernmental stakeholders at all levels, will all be important determinants of the success of UWI as a truly cohesive regional organisation. It will also assist that perception of the UWI as a truly regional institution serving both campus and non –campus territories alike.
I am confident that the co-location of the disparate offices comprising the Vice Chancellery, will contribute to the overall continued improvement in the quality of experience for students, faculty and other stakeholders and ultimately the type of development that we all crave for our beloved Caribbean.
I Thank You."
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