(Barbados Today) 12 October, 2018 – A CARICOM leader’s “shuttle diplomacy” appears to be prompting governments to clear arrears in contributions to the University of the West Indies (UWI) as the Vice Chancellor reports progress in recouping millions of dollars.
Sir Hilary Beckles revealed this morning during a news conference at the Cave Hill Campus that the CARICOM leaders’ selection of Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis Timothy Harris – a UWI Cave Hill alumnus – to negotiate settlement of the receivables with fellow prime ministers was working well.
Harris’ role as emissary for the university to negotiate strategies to have the governments settle their debts was now paying off, he said.
And although Barbados is experiencing serious economic challenges, it is treating the money owed to the university as a national debt with a pledge never to renege on its financial obligation to the UWI, said the renowned historian and activist.
“In the last four months, Prime Minister Harris has spoken to all the Prime Ministers. He has put in place a system where his office is engaging all of them to speak about how to get these receivables made available to the UWI.
“So far he has made significant strides. A number of countries, especially in the Eastern Caribbean [have] paid significant blocks of revenue into to us as a result of his shuttle diplomacy,” Sir Hilary disclosed.