Caribbean’s First Diplomatic Academy Opens in Trinidad

Above: Port of Spain (CJ Photo)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

The new Diplomatic Academy of the Caribbean officially opened at the University of the West Indies St Augustine Campus in Trinidad on Tuesday.

Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar was on hand for the opening of the academy, which is a joint project between the government of Trinidad and Tobago, the Trinidad Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the UWI’s Institute of International Relations.

It is the first academy of its kind in the Caribbean.

According to Professor Andy Knight, director of the Institute of International Relations, the academy will “reach out to a cross section of target groups and beneficiaries, beyond the strict confines of CARICOM, to all those involved in one way or the other in international cooperation and transactions.”

The academy will “epitomize the modern day diplomatic academy and provide learning and training not only to diplomats and national government officials, but also much wider audiences, such as other State Agencies, NGOs, Business and Civil Society,” according to Knight.

“it will meet a clearly felt need, in the absence of any proper training and learning facility regionally, to offer programmes in diplomacy at various levels and on diverse but relevant subjects,” he said.

For now, the academy is being established on a two-year project basis.

Its first module on Contemporary Diplomacy began on Wednesday, led by Professors Jorge Heine and Andrew Cooper from the Balsillie School of International Affairs, University of Waterloo, Canada.