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Preparing For the Inevitable

For Release Upon Receipt - Monday, November 10, 2014

Preparing For the Inevitable:

Diplomacy and Disaster Risk Management


UWI Regional Headquarters, Jamaica – During the six months that the Diplomatic Academy of the Caribbean has been up and running, it has successfully trained 237 participants in programmes conducted by 12 internationally recognised experts – from within the region and overseas. In just a few days, these numbers will increase as the academy hosts its 7th module titled Diplomacy and Disaster Risk Management from November 24th to 28th.


Increasingly frequent disasters and their associated costs can impact heavily on the vulnerable small island states of the Caribbean. The transnational aspects of this risk environment demand more from the diplomat and the crisis manager so the module is designed to equip participants with the skills to make strategic, effective and well-informed decisions in the planning stage and in times of crises. Leading the training is Dr Simon Hollis, a visiting research fellow at the Institute of International Relations and The University of West Indies. Dr Hollis is also a postdoctoral researcher in the Institute for Security, Strategy and Leadership at the Swedish National Defence College.


Like the previous modules on contemporary diplomacy, climate change, protocol and diplomatic law, intelligence and security and summitry, Diplomacy and Disaster Risk Management will provide innovative and hands-on training. This particular module is targeted towards foreign service officers, civil servants involved in international aspects of disaster management and members of civil society that operate transnationally in the area of risk management.


According to Professor Andy Knight, Director of the Diplomatic Academy of the Caribbean, each module forms an integral part of a wider training and learning programme for the modern Caribbean diplomat but can be delivered as ‘stand-alone’ sessionsdependent on content, to different target groups and beneficiaries. The last module, Summit Diplomacy, sought to enhance the ability to shape the summit diplomacy by exploring how and why such summits operate to produce results, the ways in which they can be influenced and how systems can be institutionally strengthened to this end.


Visiting Professor John J. Kirton from the University of Toronto who conducted the summit diplomacy module in October remarked on the drawing power of the Diplomatic Academy which succeeded in securing Dr. James Hospedales, Executive Director of the Caribbean Public Health Agency to give a session on summit diplomacy just as he was organizing the real CARICOM emergency summit on Ebola. Professor Kirton added, “Summitry is diplomacy at the highest level on the biggest, toughest problems in the world. It demands the best practitioners and students to make it work. We had them in our course at the Diplomatic Academy. With their natural talents and new insights they are now well equipped to change the world!”


Interested persons for the Diplomacy and Disaster Risk Management module may email, call 868-662-2002 extension 83237 or visit the Academy’s website at


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About Dr Simon Hollis


Dr Simon Hollis is a visiting research fellow at the Institute of International Relations, University of West Indies, and a postdoctoral researcher in the Institute for Security, Strategy and Leadership at the Swedish National Defence College. Simon received a BA (Honours) and MA (Distinction) in history and European studies at Canterbury University, New Zealand, and received his PhD in international relations from the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, Germany. His thesis examines the role of regional organizations and their disaster risk management capacities.

Simon has published numerous peer-reviewed articles on various aspects of national and international disaster management and he is author of The Role of Regional Organizations in Disaster Risk Management: A Strategy for Global Resilience (Palgrave Macmillan).


About The Diplomatic Academy of the Caribbean

The Diplomatic Academy of the Caribbean is a joint project between The University of the West Indies (The UWI) through its Institute of International Relations and the Government of Trinidad & Tobago and its Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is a global academy for Caribbean Diplomacy, the first of its kind in the region and provides learning and training to a cross-section of target groups and beneficiaries involved in international cooperation negotiations and transactions within the CARICOM region and beyond. Website: | Facebook: | Twitter:



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