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Sir Alister McIntyre launches The Caribbean and The Wider World

Published:Friday | December 16, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies in conversation with Sir Alister McIntyre, author of “The Caribbean and the Wider World”. The occasion was the launch of the book held Monday, December 12 at the UWI Regional Headquarters

Leaders in the public and private sectors, including two former prime ministers of Jamaica, turned out to honour Sir Alister McIntyre, at the launch of his book, The Caribbean and The Wider World, held at the Regional headquarters of the University of the West Indies, Mona, on Monday, December 12.

The book, a relatively slim volume given the breadth of his achievements and involvement in regional and international development, starts with Sir Alister's early life and education in Grenada, transitioning to the London School of Economics and to Nuffield College, Oxford University.

Speaking at the launch, current UWI vice-chancellor Sir Hilary Beckles, who later engaged the author in a conversation, noted that Sir Alister's career coincided with the collapse of colonialism in the Caribbean.

"As such," Sir Hilary said, "his life's work, as presented in the book, is a critical document of the process of arriving at new models of development, of imagining growth in the Caribbean, and of navigating the complex and ever-dynamic realities of the global environment."

He added that the book had opened a vital window for many into those processes.

P.J. Patterson, in his assessment of the man and his work, offered examples of Sir Alister's intellectual rigour and keen grasp of the complexities facing the region from a personal perspective. He said that it was the quality of Sir Alister's work that in no small measure helped to secure the significant breakthrough of the Lome Convention between African, Caribbean and Pacific nations and the EU. "The sheer brilliance of the presentation he made left the Europeans stunned in appreciation and made the work of the negotiating team that much easier," he said.

Patterson also singled out Sir Alister's work as a senior director of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

Sir Alister, for his part, while modestly accepting the praise heaped on him, sought to thank the many persons who made contributions to the book over its various stages, as well as his wife, family, and friends. In the subsequent question-and-answer session, he made an important call for greater horizontal collaboration among the countries of the ACP grouping and in particular, between the Caribbean and the Asia-Pacific group so as to mutually strengthen capacity and spur the implementation of agreed strategies and development plans.

The formalities ended with Sir Alister McIntyre autographing copies of his publication in the foyer of the Regional Headquarters building, where guests gathered for cocktails.

The Caribbean and the Wider World is published by I B Tauris Publishers and Radcliffe Press and is available at the University Bookshop and other leading outlets.