Saturday 3 October 2015
Three new commentaries have been posted. They are: Caribbean's Financial Services under attack in which it is argued that the Caribbean countries have been wrongly named as "tax havens" by the European Union Commission and more recently by State governments in the United States of America. Also posted is: The Meaning of Pope Francis in which the changes in the Catholic Church and the role of the new Pope in bringing dialogue and peace to the Americas is discussed. The third commentary considers the long reign of Queen Elizabeth II in her 16 realms and remarks on her outstanding role as Head of the Commonwealth of Nations.
.Queen Elizabeth II, longest reigning Monarch of 16 realms
Two previous commentaries are: The Commonwealth's Future - Part 1 and Part 2. The commentaries analyse the present circumstances of the Commonwealth and argue that despite its perceived decline the association has great potential for contributing meaningfully to its 53 member states and as an influence for good in the world. They look at areas for reform and the role that the Secretary-General should play in making sure the Commonwealth is relevant and effective - it has much life left in it if managed with commitment and drive.
Sunday 20 September 2015
WASHINGTON, USA, 17 September -- Antigua and Barbuda's ambassador to the United States, Sir Ronald Sanders, presented his credentials to President Barack Obama at the White House on Thursday.
Speaking with the president in the Oval Office, Sanders remarked that "Antigua and Barbuda has demonstrated its friendship to the people and government of the United States by hosting for decades, within its soil, facilities that the United States regarded as vital to the safety and security of its people".
He added, "Like the United States, Antigua and Barbuda is committed to economic improvement and economic rights, particularly within the framework of international treaties and compacts. My government will work with your government to ensure that obligations under such treaties and agreements are satisfied and that the integrity of international institutions are maintained for the good of all nations."
In response, Obama observed that "Antigua and Barbuda and the United States share a long history of friendship" and that the twin-island nation "is a vital partner in the Caribbean".
He said that he looked forward to working with Sanders "to advance our common agenda" and "in deepening further the strong and abiding friendship" of the two countries.
On a personal note, Sanders expressed his great admiration for Obama's accomplishments as president and for the hope that he has given to people worldwide.
Sir Ronald takes Antigua and Barbuda's case to Capitol Hill in Washington
Saturday 12 September 2015
WASHINGTON, USA -- Antigua and Barbuda’s ambassador to the United States, Sir Ronald Sanders, has written to the mayor of the District of Columbia, Muriel Brower, and several members of the US congress calling for the removal of Antigua and Barbuda from a list of alleged “tax havens”.
Antigua and Barbuda is among 30 countries, including ten Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries, which have been listed by the DC Council as “tax havens” in an Act that has been sent to the US Congress for passage into law. The full list of CARICOM countries is: Antigua and Barbuda; The Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; Dominica; Grenada; Montserrat; St Kitts and Nevis; Saint Lucia; and St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Sanders’ letters follows a statement last week by Antigua and Barbuda’s prime minister, Gaston Browne, who voiced his objection to the listing on behalf of all CARICOM states. Browne was speaking as the prime minister in the quasi-Cabinet of CARICOM heads of government responsible for services.
In his letters, Sanders urged the members of the House of Representatives to use their offices to facilitate the removal of Antigua and Barbuda’s from what he called “a flawed and injurious list”.
He noted that Antigua and Barbuda has found be fully compliant with international standards on tax matters by the Financial Action Task Force and the OECD’s Global Forum on Tax Matters on which bodies the US government is fully represented.
He also pointed out that Antigua and Barbuda has had a tax information exchange agreement with the United States since February 10, 2003, and that no request made by the United States has been denied.
The country’s ambassador to Washington was also clear that Antigua and Barbuda and the United States are substantially advanced in the review of the terms of an inter-governmental agreement model 1B to facilitate the implementation of the provisions of the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).
Under this agreement, the government and the financial institutions in Antigua and Barbuda have already incurred great costs to cooperate with the US Internal Revenue Service.
Against this background, Sanders said, “It is clear that the action by the District of Colombia is, sadly, ill-informed and unjust,” adding, “The very publication of the Act has smeared the reputation of our jurisdiction and could cause US investors to stay away from our country.”
“Should this Act become law, it will cause the collapse of important correspondent relations between banks in Antigua and Barbuda and the United States for vital transactions, including paying for goods and services purchased from the United States and paying school fees for our students at educational institutions throughout the US. In turn, the collapse of our banks, which cannot operate without correspondent relations, will damage our economy irreparably, reducing our gross domestic product, increasing unemployment and expanding poverty,” Sanders wrote.
Sanders, in concluding his letter, reiterated a call made by Browne for members of the US congress to consider the damage that the District of Colombia has done to the jurisdiction of Antigua and Barbuda and the irreversible harm that would be done to the country should the ill-informed Act be passed into law.
“I respectfully urge that you use your good offices to facilitate the removal of the name of Antigua and Barbuda from this flawed and injurious list,” the ambassador said.
New Lecture: The unfairness of European Union EPAs with African countries
Sunday 2 August 2015
Abuja, 28 July…. Antigua and Barbuda diplomat, Sir Ronald Sanders, told a Conference of more than 150 representatives from Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) that there is a risk that Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with the European Union (EU) could be the start of a new era in which African, Caribbean and Pacific countries are held captive to European companies. Read his Keynote Speech to a conference in Abuja, Nigeria's capital, under "Lectures" in the "Lectures and Interviews" section of this website:
Sir Ronald recognised by Canadian University
Thursday 7 May 2015
TORONTO, Canada -- Antigua and Barbuda diplomat, writer and academic, Sir Ronald Sanders, has been elected as a Senior Fellow at Massey College in the University of Toronto. The announcement of his election was made by the Master of Massey College, Hugh Segal.
Sir Ronald Sanders
He joins leading Canadian academics and captains of industry in the inter-disciplinary activities of Massey College, including governance, diplomacy, business and international affairs.
Sir Ronald now has the distinction of concurrently being a Senior Fellow at two Universities in different Commonwealth countries. Guyana-born Sanders is also a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies at the University of London, England.
Last October, his work as an advocate for Caribbean and Commonwealth causes was recognised by the University of the West Indies when he was accorded the honour of Doctor of Letters (D. Litt) by the University’s Senate and Council.
Sir Ronald has had a career as a senior diplomat and business executive. He has held many elected international and Caribbean positions, including as a member of the Executive Board of UNESCO and Chairman of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force.
Having also served the 53-nation Commonwealth in many capacities, he is now a nominee for the post of Commonwealth Secretary-General.