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Surveying the Past, Mapping the Future

President of the UCCI, Roy Bodden.

The University College of the Cayman Islands (UCCI) is collaborating with the University of the West Indies (UWI) and the International College of the Cayman Islands (ICCI) to present an international conference, dubbed “50-50, Surveying the Past, Mapping the Future.”

The conference will be held on the UCCI campus over three days, 21-23 March 2012. It will aim at bringing together the main thinkers in all the overseas territories, as well the independent territories across the Caribbean, to discuss the last fifty years and to consider the next fifty.

2012 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the end of the West Indies Federation, which lasted from 1958 until 1962. It consisted of several Caribbean colonies of the United Kingdom, and aimed at creating a political unit that would become independent of Britain.

Since that time, some countries opted for independence, and others, like the Cayman Islands, remained dependencies.

ICCI representative, Scott Cummings

During a press event announcing the conference, President of the UCCI, Roy Bodden spoke about the value of such conferences:

“What we are about here is building a community. I think that the University College should be used as a model for the wider Caymanian society especially during the time now, when we have controversial debates centering around entitlement, nationality, etc,  because we need to develop the kind of society where we see ourselves as one: one unit, one people working together to achieve common aims.

Dr. Livingston Smith, conference director

“What can come out of this conference is a great edification, and people can be informed and instructed as to past relationships and how those past relationships influence relationships

that we have in the present, and how they will influence the relationships that we have going forward.”

Conference Director, Dr. Livingston Smith, then presented the conferences anticipated content and its objectives.

Topics to be covered at the conference would include: “How have independent countries fared in all dimensions of society compared to non-independent countries, and what are the comparative experiences of the French, US, Dutch and British dependent territories?”

UWI representative, Robert Geofroy

The conference would also take a look at issues such as the challenges of dependency, and the relationship between non-independence and cultural emancipation.

The keynote speaker for the conference opening will be distinguished Caribbean ex-diplomat and international consultant Sir Ronald Saunders.

Other possible speakers at the conference may include Premier Paula Cox of Bermuda, and Owen Arthur, former Prime Minister of Barbados.


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