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UWI’s International Relations Students Intern at the Trinidad & Tobago Mission to the United Nations

For Release Upon Receipt - Friday, September 20, 2013

Four students of The University of the West Indies’ Institute of International Relations (IIR) have just returned from a one-month internship at the Trinidad and Tobago Mission to the United Nations (UN) in New York. Kimberley Gonzales, Gina Granado, Hannah Katwaroo and Kayann Layne met both the outgoing President of the UN General Assembly (GA) - Vuk Jeremic, who spoke at an IIR Diplomatic Dialogues session in Trinidad and Tobago - and the incoming President of the UNGA, John Ash, who is Caribbean.

While working with diplomats at the Mission, they were exposed to multilateral diplomacy from the perspective of different countries, attended lectures in diplomacy at New York universities and participated in assignments at various UN bodies. Further, they saw first-hand the challenges facing Small Island Developing States and the criteria used for graduating Member States to Middle/High Income status (which make them ineligible for developmental assistance) as well as linkages between countries at the multilateral and bilateral level on different issues linked to the contemporary human security agenda.

The interns attended the open ended working group on ageing re the adoption of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing and, together with His Excellency Eden Charles, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative and the UN Division on Ocean Affairs and Law of the Sea, met with The Coalition for the International Criminal Court.

They also presented to a CARICOM caucus on the Caribbean Sea Convergence model, a theory devised by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Dookeran and later published in the IIR publication, the Caribbean Journal of International Relations and Diplomacy (Vol. 1, No. 1, February 2013: pp.127-131).

The internship was rounded off with a stint at the Trinidad and Tobago Embassy in Washington DC where they were briefed on bilateral initiatives with the United States and had interactions at the Organisation of the American States. They were able to explore historical similarities between other states and met with Mr. Takahiro Nakamae, Minister in the Permanent Mission of Japan.

Professor W. Andy Knight, Director of the Institute of International Relations, expressed his pride in these four bright young women. “They represented The UWI, Trinidad and Tobago and the cream of the crop of the IIR exceedingly well. I hope that we can provide similar opportunities for many more of our students each year.”


Intern Profiles:

Kimberly Gonzales is a postgraduate student at UWI’s IIR, pursuing an MSc in Global Studies.  In 2011, she graduated at the top of her class with First Class Honours in the BSc International Relations after which she spent one year at the Association of Caribbean States.  Her interests lie in debates, climate change, grassroots development projects, international peace and security, Latin American politics, migration issues and small state development.


Gina Marie Granado is pursuing an MSc in Global Studies at the IIR with a focus on intellectual property rights for the protection of Trinitario cocoa grown in Trinidad and Tobago.   She has a BA in Communication Studies with a minor in International Relations and was awarded First Class Honours and a special prize for the best Communications thesis research.  Her internship allowed her to see the influence a small state can have within the international arena.


Hannah Katwaroo holds a BA in Latin American Studies with minors in French and International Relations from The UWI. She is a final year Post-Graduate student at the IIR, enrolled in the MSc in Global Studies programme. Her final year thesis entitled 'Refocusing the prospects of Cuban-Caribbean Integration: a shared hemisphere, consciousness and political will' speaks directly to her niche area, functional integration and regional development.


Kayann Layne has a background in Management with emphasis on Marketing and Finance and a Minor in International Relations.  She is presently pursuing the MSc in Global Studies.  Her interest is in the sustainable development aspect of International Relations, particularly regarding water and food security. Her internship experience re-affirmed her belief that the United Nations is the forum to address the many issues facing the world.




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