USM to host 2018 Island Conference

~ Island states and island territories: Sharing stories of island life ~

PHILIPSBURG–The first International Conference on Small Island States and Sub-National Island Jurisdictions will be hosted by University of St. Martin (USM) March 11-14, 2018. The theme of the conference is: “Island States and Island Territories: Sharing Stories of Island Life, Governance and Global Engagement”.

  The main focus of the conference is on the differences and similarities between those islands that are fully independent “Small Island Developing States” (SIDs) and those that maintain some type of link with the former colonial power, the so-called “Sub-National Island Jurisdictions” (SNIJs).

  One of the primary aims of the conference is to discuss the life, governance and global engagement on, for and with SIDS and SNIJs. One facet of University of St. Martin’s 2017 year plan is to advance a trajectory for educational tourism.

  USM continues to position itself not only as an institution of higher learning, but also as a sought-after conference destination in the Caribbean region. In keeping with this vision, USM has partnered with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability, University of Prince Edward Island and University of Malta to co-organise and host the conference.

   The conference’s International Steering Committee is co-chaired by Professor Godfrey Baldacchino and Dr. Jim Randall. It comprises scholars from academic institutions, including University of the West Indies, University of Amsterdam, Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies and Sheffield University.

  USM’s Dean of Academics Genève Phillip-Durham described the opportunity to co-host the conference as monumental, “especially since the bi-national island of St. Martin is in fact home to two different sub-national island jurisdictions, and is in close proximity to other SNIJs like Anguilla and the USVI [US Virgin Islands – Ed.], as well as SIDs such as St. Kitts and Dominica.

  “The conference would allow persons who live these realities a forum to participate and contribute to conversations which have direct implications for them, so it is imperative that stakeholders in academia, government, private sector and civil society groups participate.”

   Phillip-Durham and Arjen Alberts have been appointed co-chairs of the local organising committee and are supported by committee members Erwin Wolthuis, Jose Sommers, Khalilah Peters and Marcellia Henry.

  The committee held its inaugural meeting at USM last week Thursday and was keen on the opportunity to contribute to the execution of the Conference. According to Alberts, these committee members were appointed because of their respective expertise and competencies in the field of governance, culture, education and event organisation.

  The call for papers is now in circulation and paper submissions that engage critically with multiple levels of island living can be submitted for consideration to

[email protected]/* */ . Further details can also be found on the conference website or by contacting the co-chairs of the local organising committee at

[email protected]/* */ or

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Source: The Daily Herald