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Professor Verene A. Shepherd appointed as Chair of UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Professor Verene Shepherd
Professor Verene A. Shepherd

Professor Verene A. Shepherd appointed as Chair of

UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination


The UWI Regional Headquarters, Jamaica W.I. Tuesday, April 19, 2022. — The Centre for Reparation Research (CRR) at The University of the West Indies is pleased to announce the appointment of its Director, Professor Verene A. Shepherd, to the position of Chair of the United Nation Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD). CERD is the United Nations oldest Treaty Body, and the Committee implements the International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Professor Shepherd, whose candidacy was supported by CARICOM, is the first CARICOM/Jamaican citizen to be a member of CERD and to serve as Chair. She has been a member of the Committee since 2016, winning the highest number of votes among those who competed for a seat on the CERD twice in a row. This is the first time that the Social Historian and Reparations Advocate will serve as Chair of the committee.

She brings her expertise in Administration, History, Gender Studies, Migration Studies, Reparation and Human Rights to the position. She also brings to the CERD, her experience as a member of the United Nations Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent (WGEPAD) from 2010-2015, then served as Chair from 2012-2014, during which time she helped to draft the Programme of Activities for the UN’s International Decade for People of African Descent from 2015-2024.

Professor Shepherd assumed her post as Chair of the CERD on April 11, 2022, for two years.



Note to Editor

Photo: Professor Verene Shepherd


About CERD

According to the UN, CERD overseas the implementation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination through its consideration of  state reports, individual complaints, interstate complaints and early warning and urgent procedures as well as the preparing general recommendations.  It noted that the committee comprises eighteen (18) independent experts who are chosen based on their high moral standing and acknowledge impartiality. The selection also considers equitable geographical distribution. Members are elected for four (4) year terms, however, elections for nine (9) of the eighteen (18) members occur every two years to maintain balance between changing the committee’s composition and continuity.


About The University of the West Indies

The UWI has been and continues to be a pivotal force in every aspect of Caribbean development; residing at the centre of all efforts to improve the well-being of people across the region.

From a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948, The UWI is today an internationally respected, global university with near 50,000 students and five campuses: Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, Cave Hill in Barbados, Five Islands in Antigua and Barbuda and its Open Campus, and 10 global centres in partnership with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe.

The UWI offers over 800 certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Culture, Creative and Performing Arts, Food and Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities and Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology, Social Sciences, and Sport. As the Caribbean’s leading university, it possesses the largest pool of Caribbean intellect and expertise committed to confronting the critical issues of our region and wider world.

The UWI has been consistently ranked among the top universities globally by the most reputable ranking agency, Times Higher Education (THE). In the latest World University Rankings 2022, released in September 2021, The UWI moved up an impressive 94 places from last year. In the current global field of some 30,000 universities and elite research institutes, The UWI stands among the top 1.5%.

The UWI is the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious lists since its debut in the rankings in 2018. In addition to its leading position in the Caribbean, it is also in the top 20 for Latin America and the Caribbean and the top 100 global Golden Age universities (between 50 and 80 years old).  The UWI is also featured among the leading universities on THE’s Impact Rankings for its response to the world’s biggest concerns, outlined in the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including Good Health and Wellbeing; Gender Equality and Climate Action.

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(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)