UWI Vice-Chancellor and Prime Minister Mottley share perspectives on The Bridgetown Initiative
(The UWI Regional Headquarters, Jamaica W.I.) — The University of the West Indies will host a virtual Vice-Chancellor’s Forum on The Bridgetown Initiative this Thursday, March 30, 2023 from 12:00 pm (Eastern Caribbean/Eastern Daylight) and 11:00 am (Jamaica) via UWItv.
The Bridgetown Initiative aims to overcome some of the main shortcomings of climate finance mobilisation for small island developing states (SIDS). This is proposed to be accomplished through a bold plan to reform global finance architecture in favour of climate-vulnerable countries, particularly addressing how rich countries help poor countries cope with and adapt to climate change. The initiative was devised by a group led by Barbadian Prime Minister, The Honourable Mia Mottley and her climate finance Envoy Professor Avinash Persaud, who will both speak at the Vice-Chancellor’s Forum.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, who has convened a panel of important voices for the Forum said “Prime Minister Mottley has launched a campaign in the global space which confronts the reality that the international financial system is not fit for purpose in the context of post-colonial relations. This system still cannot be credited with promoting the development of the countries like those in the Caribbean, which 60 years ago were not represented at the table. I concur with Prime Minister Mottley’s analysis; the rubber has hit the road and we have been left to deal with problems we did not create. It is wrong and unethical that we must fund our survival with debt. We must simultaneously stimulate economic and social development while confronting catastrophes like the climate crisis. She has so brilliantly articulated within the global financing setting the very thesis of How Britain Underdeveloped the Caribbean.”
In addition to Prime Minister Mottley and Professor Persaud, the panel will be joined by Ambassador Malgorzata Wasilewska, Head, The European Union Delegation to Barbados, the OECS and CARICOM/CARIFORUM and Mr. Kevin Bender, Director Greening Sovereign Debt, The Nature Conservancy.
“This is the conversation; there must be a new set of financial institutions and rules more fit for purpose and more democratic. The UWI stands fully in support of the Bridgetown Initiative and lends its voice to the call to embrace the concept.” Vice-Chancellor Beckles added.
Topics to be covered at the Forum include: Climate Crisis and Funding Challenges; The Bridgetown Initiative – What and Why; The Bridgetown Initiative and its Role in Multilateral Cooperation in Financing Climate Adaptation; and The Bridgetown Initiative and its Role in Financing Climate Adaptation.
Moderator of the Vice-Chancellor’s Forum, Professor C. Justin Robinson, Professor of Finance and Pro Vice-Chancellor Board for Undergraduate Studies, The UWI notes “The Bridgetown Initiative is arguably the most significant global policy initiative to originate from the Caribbean.” Named for the capital city of Barbados, its country of origin, the idea for the Bridgetown Initiative was first unveiled at COP26 Glasgow and has earned public praise from figures such as French President Emmanuel Macron and IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva. The Forum will be streamed via all UWItv platforms; www.uwitv.org or www.facebook.com/UWItv and will close with a Q&A session with panelists.
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 www.uwi.edu.
(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)
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