Small Island Developing States in the Contemporary Global Context

January 25th, to February 25th, 2021


Small Island Developing States in the Contemporary Global Context

The Sir Arthur Lewis Community College in collaboration with the Department of External Affairs of Saint Lucia and iDERA is offering a professional certificate programme which is designed to enhance knowledge about the evolving global landscape and to strengthen capabilities in external representation of small island developing states (SIDS).

Reimagining the 2030 development agenda for sustainable development and enhancing the different modes of diplomacy, and recognizing the particular challenges faced by SIDS, for example: climate change, economic resilience, trade policy repositioning, changing mediascapes, diaspora engagement and public health issues such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Diplomacy and Sustainable Development Lecture Series, which runs from January 25 to February 25, 2021, pulls together a stellar cast of internationally renowned faculty with strong institutional and academic backgrounds.

  • The registration fee is US$100 or EC$250. (epayment.salcc.edu.lc)
  • Lectures will be all online for a duration of 60 minutes. Lectures will run from 9 a.m to 10 a.m on designated days.
  • The panel discussion will be 90 minutes in length.
  • All lectures will be recorded and available online for a period of 30 days after delivery.
  • A digital certificate will be awarded upon successful completion.

For more information please email:


Download Lecture Schedule

Thematic Areas

Browse our features and presenters!


"Challenges of 21st Century International Relations amidst a Changing Global Order: The outlook for SIDS."

Professor Jessica Byron, Director of the UWI Institute of International Relations

Professor Jessica Byron joined the UWI Institute of International Relations as its Director on August 1, 2016. Professor Byron holds a B.A in French and Spanish from The University of The West Indies, Cavehill and a Post Graduate Diploma in International Relations from the Institute of International Relations, The University of The West Indies, St. Augustine. She has a PhD in International Relations from the Institut Universitaire de Hautes Etudes Internationales, University of Geneva. She serves on a number of editorial advisory committees including the Small States and Territories Journal and the Caribbean Journal of International Relations and Diplomacy. Previously she was Professorial Fellow at SALISES Mona (2015 - 2016) and Head of the Department of Government, University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica (2010 – 2013). She was also the UWI Coordinator of a tripartite B.Sc./M.Sc. programme in Politics and International Cooperation involving the UWI, Universite Antilles-Guyane and the University of Bordeaux IV. She has served as Visiting Lecturer in the graduate programme on International and Comparative Politics at the Universite Antilles-Guyane and is a member of the CLACSO Working Group on Crisis, Response and Alternatives in the Caribbean. Her research interests include the Caribbean and Latin American regionalism and small states/societies in the global political economy. She was the Caribbean convenor on the Executive Committee of a research and advocacy programme “Building Global Democracy” based at the University of Warwick 2008 - 2012. Academic affiliations include the International Studies Association, the Latin American Studies Association and the Caribbean Studies Association.

"Getting your Message Across: Techniques and approaches for engaging international media."

Debbie Ransome, Media Consultant and former Head of the BBC Caribbean Service

Debbie Ransome was born in the UK of Trinidadian parents. She moved to the Caribbean in 1983 and worked as a reporter, editor and news director at Radio Trinidad, the Caribbean News Agency (now CMC) and as a reporter for the BBC from Trinidad. She returned to the UK in the 1990s to work with BBC Caribbean. During her 18 years with the BBC, Debbie worked in the World Service newsroom and BBC World TV before serving as head of the Caribbean Service from 2003 to 2011. After the BBC, Debbie worked with the Caribbean Council for Europe as associate editor on its Caribbean Insight publication, then at the Commonwealth Secretariat as a communications consultant to the Secretary General. She contributes articles to The Voice newspaper in London, manages the Caribbean Intelligence website and is the web editor for the Commonwealth Round Table think tank, as well serving on a Foreign Office-funded project, the Caribbean Skills Bank. She is a member of the executive of the quarterly Commonwealth Journalists’ Association (CJA) editor of its newsletter.

"From Policy to Implementation: Managerial coherence and effective communication."

"Edwin Laurent, Director, Diplomatic Academy and Ambassador to Taiwan."

Edwin Laurent is Director of the Saint Lucia Diplomatic Academy and Ambassador to the ROC (Taiwan) and immediately prior, had been Director of the UK based Ramphal Institute and Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the Policy Institute of King's College London. He began his career at St Lucia’s Ministry of Finance; later becoming Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Trade Industry and Tourism. He went on to hold various diplomatic posts including Ambassador to France, Germany and Belgium; Permanent Representative to the EU, WTO, FAO and OPCW, as well as Special Envoy of the Heads of Government of Dominica, Saint Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines. Afterwards, he was Head of International Trade and Regional Co-operation at the Commonwealth Secretariat; prior to which he had been Senior Adviser to UNEP’s Green Economy Initiative for the Caribbean that sought to promote a holistic approach to policy making for sustainable development. He has lectured in Central and West Africa countries and in the Caribbean on Trade and multilateral negotiations and written and published on trade and development issues. Edwin worked as Contract Manager and Quality Controller of a two-year CARIFORUM capacity building programme in Competition, Procurement and Customs and Trade Facilitation. He was educated at the Universities of the West Indies, Manchester and the Johns Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies.


"Negotiating against the odds: small states in the global economy."

Emily Jones, Associate Professor of Public Policy and Director, Global Economic Governance Programme: University of Oxford

Dr Emily Jones holds a DPhil in International Political Economy from the University of Oxford, and an MSc in Development Economics from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Oxford. She is the Director of the Global Economic Governance Programme, a research programme co-hosted by the Blavatnik School of Government and University College Oxford. The Programme is dedicated to fostering research and debate into how global markets and institutions can better serve the needs of people in developing countries.

Her research asks how we can make the global economy fairer, and she has a particular interest in how the governments of developing countries, interact with the global economy. Emily’s research examines the political economy of global trade and finance, focusing on the ways in which governments can exert influence in asymmetric negotiations. Emily teaches courses on international political economy and negotiation strategy and skills for public policy, specialising in international trade. She regularly runs executive training courses in negotiation skills. She previously worked in Ghana's Ministry of Trade and Industry, for Oxfam GB, and for the UK Department for International Development.

Her full profile, with bio, photo and publications can be found on the following site: https://www.geg.ox.ac.uk/person/emily-jones

"The Commonwealth - Its History and Contemporary Relevance"

Ransford Smith, International Development Consultant and former Deputy Secretary- General, Commonwealth Secretariat

The challenges of implementing a digital learning paradigm is particularly challenging at the primary and secondary levels. The digital divide is often even more pronounced and exacerbated by underlying structural inequalities. How do governments and ministries of education resolve these challenges and embrace the benefits of online learning? What support is required and what kind of teacher education upgrades are needed?

The Caribbean and the Americas: Maximizing the Benefits of OAS Membership.

Cletus Springer, Director of the Department of Sustainable Development of the OAS)

Mr. Cletus I. Springer has been engaged in SIDS-related, planning and sustainable development for nearly 4 decades. A trained Urban Planner, Environmentalist, Public Administrator, Communicator, and a published writer, Cletus served for 12 years as Director of the Department of Sustainable Development of the OAS, based in Washington D.C. Before joining the OAS, he served as: Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism & Public Utilities, (1992-94) and Ministry of Planning, Development, Environment and Housing (1994-97); and as Adviser, Policy and Strategy Development with the OECS Commission, (1998-2001). Between 2001 and 2008, Cletus ran a consulting practice that advised Governments in the Caribbean, Asia, Pacific and Latin America regions, as well as inter-governmental entities such as CARICOM, Un Environment, UNDP, ECLAC, the Commonwealth Secretariat, World Bank, PAHO, and the OAS, among others on sustainable development.

He is a former Chairman and Program Adviser on Green Economy with CANARI. He serves as Director of PANOS Caribbean; and as President of Impact Foundation Incorporated- a family Foundation dedicated to assisting youth-at-risk in his native Saint Lucia. Cletus is a graduate of the University of the West Indies (Public Administration and Mass Communications respectively); Oxford Brooks University (Urban Planning); and Aberdeen University (Environmental Impact Assessment). He is Visiting Scholar at George Washington University’s Energy and environmental Management Institute.


"Effectively Engaging with the EU and with the UK in the Post Brexit/Post COVID era."

Dr Paul Goodison, Economist and Specialist in EU development policy.

Dr Paul Goodison has over 35 years’ experience in analyzing issues in EU-ACP relations, with a growing focus on market access issues and the agro-food sector trade relations. This provides considerable expertise in analyzing issues faced in the implementation of economic partnership agreements the renegotiation of the underlying Cotonou development cooperation framework and the external consequences of wider EU policies This was initially consolidated into a User’s Guide to the Cotonou Agreement published in 2004 by the Commonwealth Secretariat. This work was taken up with reference to the agri-food sector via the development and regular posting on the Agritrade website, while more recently it has been further developed in the epamonitoring.net and acpbrexit.net ‘After Brexit’ website. In recent years this has increasingly focused on providing policy advice on the implications for the future trajectory for the EU for Caribbean and African countries. This began with a July 2016 seminar on future relations with the EU at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Guyana and an annual contract to provide policy and institutional advice to the Ambassador of Guyana to the EU. In the framework of this contract Dr Goodison has been producing and annual review of political developments in the EU and their implications for future relations with Guyana and the wider Caribbean region. Most recently plans have been developed for the establishment of an online capacity building course for Guyanese officials scheduled for posting to the EU mission. Periodic support has also been provided to the Government of Belize to provide policy advice on Brexit and sugar, banana and rum related issues.

"One Vision, Two Missions: US-China rivalry and the danger of a fractured world."

Dr Patrick Mendis, Distinguished Visiting Professor of Global Affairs at Taiwan’s National Chengchi University.

Dr. Patrick Mendis, a former U.S. diplomat and a military professor in the NATO and the Pacific Commands, is currently serving as a Taiwan fellow of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China. He is a distinguished visiting professor of global affairs at the National Chengchi University and a senior fellow at the Taiwan Center for Security Studies in Taipei. Dr. Mendis has, until recently, served as a distinguished visiting professor of Sino-American relations at the Yenching Academy of Peking University and as a distinguished visiting professor of Asian-Pacific affairs at Shandong University in China as well as an associate-in-research of the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard University. Dr Mendis served as a distinguished senior fellow and affiliate professor of public and international affairs in the School of Public Policy at George Mason University. He taught MBA/MPA as well as international trade and American foreign policy courses at the Universities of Minnesota and Yale. a visiting foreign policy scholar at Johns Hopkins University’s Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, where he authored two books: "Trade for Peace" and "Commercial Providence: The Sacred Destiny of the American Empire."before as a commissioner of the United States National Commission for UNESCO at the US Department of State. Dr. Mendis is an adjunct professor of geography and geoinformation science at GMU.

He has lectured at the Moscow State University to former KGB officers and young Russian entrepreneurs, and at what was then the Leningrad State University in the former Soviet Union. He served as the Vice-President of Academic Affairs at the Osgood Center for International Studies. a commissioner to the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO

"Understanding Climate Change and the dangers facing SIDS."

Dr Sindra Sharma, Environmental Policy Analyst, Third Generation Environmentalism UK

Dr. Sindra Sharma-Khushal is a Policy Advisor at the think-tank E3G. Her focus is on the cool economy, finance and diplomacy. Prior to her work at E3G Sindra held climate-related roles in academia, policy think-tanks, and trade and international development consultancies. These roles focused on Small Island Developing States where she was responsible for engaging her behavioural economics and psychology background to provide holistic analysis and advice to decision makers. She holds a PhD from the London School of Economics, in Environmental Policy and International Development. Her research investigated novel financing methods for incentivising climate change adaptative behaviours with a focus on small farmers in Small Island Developing States.

"Engaging Diasporas: Charting the Future for SIDS."

Dr Keith Nurse, Principal, Sir Arthur Lewis Community College; Expert Member, UN Committee for Development Policy

Dr. Keith Nurse is the Principal/President of the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College in St. Lucia. He has formerly served at the University of the West Indies as the World Trade Organization Chair, Executive Director at UWI Consulting Inc., Director of the Shridath Ramphal Centre for International Trade Law, Policy and Services and Senior Fellow at the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies. He is adjunct faculty at the Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business in Trinidad and Tobago.

Dr. Nurse has worked as Senior Economist and Advisor on Structural Policies and Innovation to the OECD Development Centre in Paris. He serves on the executive bureau of the UN Committee for Development Policy a subsidiary body of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). He serves also as a member of Hemispheric Programme Advisory Committee of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture. He is a former member of the Economic Development Advisory Board, Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

Dr. Nurse has worked as a researcher and consultant to governments and international and regional organizations in a wide range of areas such as trade policy, trade in services, intellectual property value capture, export diversification and global value-chain integration, industrial policy and innovation governance, creative industries, tourism, migration and diasporas, gender and economic restructuring, climate change and sustainable development.

"The International Campaign for Gender Equality and the End to Discrimination."

Esther Eghobamien, Convener Women Arise Development and Humanitarian Initiative and Former CEDAW Committee Member

Esther Eghobamien-Mshelia is a gender policy appraisal and mainstreaming expert who chairs the Ministerial Technical Committee on Private Sector Initiatives of the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs with the mandate of building partnerships and collaboration to facilitate the development of Private Sector-led stimulus initiatives. She is Nigeria’s candidate for the UN CEDAW Committee Esther is the founder of Women Arise Development and Humanitarian Initiative (WADHI)- a NGO committed to finding customized solutions to inequalities, gender injustice and exclusion, particularly women’s continued exclusion from financial and economic markets, technology Esther is the innovator of KOWGO Mobile Application, an indigenous gender friendly online/offline Mobile Technology-Based application for addressing the gender digital divide. KOWGO is available on Google Playstore


"What hope for SIDS in pursuing their foreign policy objectives?"


  • Moderator - Dr Keith Nurse


  • Sylvestre Radagonde (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Seychelles)
  • Carl Greenidge (Adviser, Government of Guyana)
  • Andrew Satney (Executive Director St Kitts/Nevis Chamber of Commerce and Industry)
  • Kamela Palma (Former Belize High Commissioner to UK)
  • Edwin Laurent