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UWI Conference to Explore Challenges of the Independence Experience of Small Developing Countries

The experiences of Small Developing Countries and the challenges encountered will be explored at the twelfth annual Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES) Conference scheduled for March 23-25, 2011, at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel.

The Governor of the Central Bank of Jamaica, Mr. Brian Wynter, will deliver the keynote address at the opening ceremony on Wednesday, March 23, 2011 starting at 5:30 pm. A major feature of the Conference is the Sir Arthur Lewis Distinguished Lecture which will be delivered by Dr. Franklin Knight, Leonard and Helen R. Stulman Professor of History at Johns Hopkins University on March 24 at 7:00 pm.

The conference, which will explore issues relevant to the postcolonial independence experience, is a precursor to a more Caribbean-oriented conference in 2012 to mark the 50th anniversary of the attainment of independence of the first Anglophone Caribbean nations – Jamaica, August 6, 1962 and Trinidad & Tobago, August 31, 1962.

Brian Meeks, Professor of Social and Political Change and Director of SALISES as well as the Centre for Caribbean Thought at UWI, Mona said that this month’s conference titled, “Challenges of the Independence Experience in Small Developing Countries”, will look in depth at the experiences of these two islands as well as Cuba, Haiti and Guyana.

Pointing to 1962 as, “the beginning of an experiment” toward small territory statehood in the Caribbean, Professor Meeks said that 2011 marks 49 years since the beginning of the Caribbean dimension, of this profound international process” and is an appropriate time to pause and ask questions related to the levels of sovereignty and autonomy achieved, strengths and weaknesses in the economic models pursued and experiences with various schemes of regional integration.

The conference will also discuss forms or mutations of contemporary constitutional arrangements which might be more relevant to new notions of sovereignty, nation and identity and economic options, gender equality and new approaches to agricultural development, the environment, tourism, crime and security and regional integration.

Presenters at “Challenges of the Independence Experience in Small Developing Countries”, will include international and regional scholars, several members of SALISES and other faculty from UWI Mona, Cave Hill and St. Augustine, as well as representatives of the Ministry of Education and Planning Institute of Jamaica.

For more information on the conference interested persons may telephone 927-1234 or visit the website at http://salises.mona.uwi.edu/fifty-fifty/salisesconf.html.

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