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The Grab for Gaza: The UWI Vice-Chancellor’s Forum focuses on the causes, concerns and consequences of the Israel-Palestine Conflict

The UWI Regional Headquarters, Jamaica. Monday, November 13, 2023—On Wednesday, November 15, 2023, The University of the West Indies (The UWI) will host a Vice-Chancellor’s Forum themed, “The Grab for Gaza: The Israel-Palestine Conflict – Causes, Concerns and Consequences”

The virtual event, accessible on UWItv’s website, starts at 10:00 a.m. (AST/Eastern Caribbean) | 9:00 a.m. (EST/Jamaica). Presented by the Office of the Vice-Chancellor in collaboration with the Department of Political Science, Faculty of Social Sciences, The UWI St. Augustine Campus, it features perspectives from a distinguished panel of International Relations experts and diplomats from major geo-strategic jurisdictions:

  • Professor Andy Knight – Distinguished Professor, Faculty of Arts, Department of Political Science, University of Alberta.
  • Ambassador Alon Pinkas – Former Israeli Ambassador to the United States and Adviser and Negotiator in the Israel-Palestine Conflict.
  • Dr Dahlia Scheindlin – Public Opinion expert, international political and strategic consultant and specialist on the Israel-Palestine Conflict.
  • Ambassador Curtis A. Ward – Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of Jamaica to the United Nations and Attorney-at-law. 
  • Dr Linda Sobeh – Palestinian Ambassador to the Caribbean and former Palestinian Ambassador to Venezuela.

Vice-Chancellor of The UWI, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, will deliver opening remarks at the event and Dr Indira Rampersad, Head, Department of Political Science, The UWI, St Augustine will serve as Chair of the proceedings and moderator of the panel discussion.

“The Israel-Palestine crisis is a protracted war which is now centuries old,” Dr Rampersad said. “The conflict was escalated on October 7, 2023 and continues unabated. The geo-strategic significance of the crisis and the continuing role of major global powers such as the Unites States, Western Europe, Iran, Russia and China, have elevated the conflict to the centre of the international stage. The war has resulted in the loss of more than 10,000 civilian lives.”

UN Secretary General, António Guterres, has stated that “The nightmare in the Gaza is more than a humanitarian crisis, it is a crisis of humanity,” and has strengthened his calls for a ceasefire. Closer home, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) supports the two-state solution and has joined “the responsible members of the international community in calling for an immediate ceasefire and end of hostilities by all parties.” 

Dr Rampersad continued, “This UWI Vice-Chancellor’s forum seeks to bring together a range of eminent speakers including diplomats, academics and strategists in one room to offer diverse perspectives on the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict, engaging respectful, inclusive, and tolerant interactions. It delves into its root causes, the concerns raised by states and non-states actors alike, the consequences for the regional and international community and a possible roadmap for peace in the Middle East.”

The views and opinions expressed in this forum are not necessarily those of UWItv Global, The University of the West Indies or its affiliates. 


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