STATIN Hosts Three-Day Population Conference

Photo: Rudranath Fraser Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Sub-Regional Office of the Caribbean, Alison Drayton (second left), greets former Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Most Hon. Edward Seaga (right), following the opening ceremony for a Population Planning for Development in Jamaica conference, on January 25 at the Jamaica Conference Centre. Others (from left) are: Senior Fellow in the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES), Dr. Godfrey St. Bernard; Director General of the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN), Carol Coy; and University Director, SALISES, Professor Patrick Watson. The three-day conference is being staged under the theme: ‘Theory, Practice and Policy for the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agendas’.

Story Highlights

  • The Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN), in collaboration with the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES), is hosting a three-day conference looking at the potential of population planning in achieving Jamaica’s and the region’s sustainable development goals.
  • Senior Fellow at SALISES and conference organiser, Dr. Godfrey St. Bernard, in his remarks at the opening ceremony, indicated that the conference brings together researchers in the field and will facilitate discussion on demographic research and population studies to help keep the field “alive” in the Caribbean.
  • The conference is also meant to engage stakeholders to ensure that the English-speaking Caribbean is more adequately represented in international fora on population and demographic issues.

The Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN), in collaboration with the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES), is hosting a three-day conference looking at the potential of population planning in achieving Jamaica’s and the region’s sustainable development goals.

The Department of Sociology, Social Work and Psychology at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona; the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) are also partners in hosting the event, being held at the Jamaica Conference Centre from January 25-27.

Senior Fellow at SALISES and conference organiser, Dr. Godfrey St. Bernard, in his remarks at the opening ceremony, indicated that the conference brings together researchers in the field and will facilitate discussion on demographic research and population studies to help keep the field “alive” in the Caribbean.

Dr. St. Bernard said the conference, being held under the theme: ‘Theory, Practice and Policy for the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agendas’, is part of a movement to promote the importance of having demographic data available, which is gaining momentum in the region.

He said this initiative includes plans to engage the governments of the region, non-governmental organisations and other arms of civil society and assist them in addressing concerns relating to populations, sub-populations and the institutions that shape them.

“We cannot advance the development agendas, and in particular the sustainable development goals, if we do not engage wholeheartedly, comprehensively and critically those issues pertaining to data, theory and methodology,” Dr. St. Bernard argued.

He said facilitating research in this field is particularly pertinent at this time, considering the potential implications of the ageing Caribbean population.

The conference is also meant to engage stakeholders to ensure that the English-speaking Caribbean is more adequately represented in international fora on population and demographic issues.

For his part, former Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Most Hon. Edward Seaga, gave a historical perspective of the Jamaican population, with focus on migration and family planning.

Other speakers included Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, UWI, Mona, Professor Ian Boxill; University Director of SALISES, Professor Patrick Watson; Director of UNFPA, Sub-regional office for the Caribbean, Alison Drayton; and Director General of STATIN, Carol Coy.

JIS Social