UPEI’s UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability and the University of Aruba co-host the 1st International Island States/Island Territories Conference:
Sharing Stories of Island Life, Governance and Global Engagement
April 2, 2019 —
The 1st International Conference on Small Island States and Subnational Island Jurisdictions was hosted March 26-29, 2019 by the University of Aruba, in collaboration with the Centre of Excellence for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (COE) and the UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability, which is shared between the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) in Canada and the University of Malta.
The theme of the conference was “Island States/Island Territories: Sharing Stories of Island Life, Governance and Global Engagement.” The conference appealed to scholars, policy-makers, NGO representatives, students and members of the general public who networked and shared knowledge on Sustainable Development on islands. In total, the conference had approximately 100 participants. Several geographic regions were represented, including the Caribbean, Pacific and Africa, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean and South China Sea (AIMS), Australasia, and the North Atlantic.
There were 18 local conference presenters, with a multi-disciplinary participation, which included local lecturers from three University of Aruba faculties: the Faculty for Accounting, Finance and Marketing of the University of Aruba (FEF), the Faculty of Arts and Science (FAS), and the Faculty of Hospitality & Tourism Management Studies (FHTMS).
The conference also awarded 6 international Student Travel Scholarships and 20 local University of Aruba students joined the sessions as part of their curriculum. Scholarship winners included Owen Jennings, a graduate of the UPEI MAIS program and now a PhD student at the University of Hawai’i; and Patrick Lévêque, a current student in the UPEI MAIS program.
The international participants enjoyed an “Aruban Welcome” with a conference dinner at the Old Cunucu House and a field trip to Aruba’s San Nicolas district, where they also visited the Industrial Museum to get to know about Aruba’s island history.
Scholarship award-winners with Conference chair Jim Randall: (l-r) Joris Sylvie, Université des Antilles; Zhannah Voukitchevitch, University of Ottawa; Kristin De Kroon, University of Waterloo; Azell Francis, Georgia Institute of Technology; Owen Jennings, University of Hawai’i; and Patrick Lévêque, University of Prince Edward Island.
Additionally, the hosts were very proud to have had two female Heads of Government as keynote speakers addressing integrity in governance and the resilience of islands; both the Honourable Evelyna C. Wever-Croes, Prime Minister of Aruba & Minister of General Affairs, Integrity, Energy, Innovation, & Government Organization, as well as the Honourable Leona Romeo-Marlin, Prime Minister of Sint Maarten & Minister of General Affairs, graced us with their insights.
The community enjoyed a free public lecture by Dr. Godfrey Baldacchino organized alongside the conference on the evening of March 28, whereby the University was honoured to receive the attendance of the Governor of Aruba.
The conference’s international planning committee is chaired by UNESCO co-chair, Dr. Jim Randall of the University of Prince Edward Island. Local co-hosts included Deborah Alexander from the Centre for Lifelong Learning at University of Aruba, Glenn Thodé, Rector of the University of Aruba, Patrick Arens, Business Director of the University of Aruba, and Arno Boersma and Francielle Laclé from the COE. The planning committee comprises scholars from several academic institutions including the University of the West Indies, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, University of Malta, Leiden University, and the University of the West of England.
Jim Randall noted that this was a wonderful opportunity to showcase the intellectual capacity and hospitality of the University of Aruba and the island in general. “Several first-time international delegates said to me that this will not be the last time they plan on visiting Aruba,” he said.
The Planning Committee is grateful for the contributions made by the sponsors to this event. These include The Dutch Ministry of Interior Affairs and Kingdom Relations, Guardian Group Fatum, the University of the West of England, Aruba Tourism Authority, the Think to Do Institute, Smit&Dorlas, and Aruba Aloe.
For more information, visit the official Conference website.
IN THE NEWS
- University of Aruba and the COE to host 2019 International Island Conference (Aruba Today, March 22, 2019)
- The University of Aruba hosted the International Academic Island States/Island Territories Conference (Aruba Government, October 5, 2019)