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Ragster in Mauritius to Launch University Consortium

Jan. 11, 2004 – Dr. LaVerne E. Ragster, president of the University of the Virgin Islands, is attending meetings on Mauritius island from Jan. 10 to 15 to launch the United Nations Small Island States Universities Consortium.
Heads of state and senior officials from many Small Island Developing States, donor countries and the United Nations will attend the Mauritius meeting.
Representatives of SIDS' universities, including UVI, University of the South Pacific, the University of Mauritius, the University of Malta, the University of Belize and the University of the West Indies will sign a memorandum of understanding to launch the Consortium.
Additionally, those in attendance will help review the implementation of a 1994 Barbados Program of Action for the sustainable development of SIDS.
The concept of the Consortium as a means to increase the capacity of member institutions to support development of their countries grew out of a meeting held in Jamaica in 2002. In August 2004 many small island nation academics and public sector professionals met at the University of the Virgin Islands where it was agreed to begin a formal process for launching the Universities Consortium at the Mauritius meeting.
President Ragster will present the objectives of the Consortium at a plenary session on January 14, 2005. For more information on these meetings you may visit the SIDS Web site.

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