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Not a moment to waste: Small island states must defend themselves
by Sir Ronald Sanders
 
 
Call me a cynic, but years of participation in negotiations between developed and developing countries have schooled me to be cautious about grand announcements and promises.   The devil is usually in the detail. Experience has taught me to remain hopeful, but to be vigilant in ensuring the commitments, pledges and promises are kept. 
 
That experience has been garnered in negotiations in the Commonwealth, the World Trade Organization, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the Organization of American States, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Financial Action Task Force and in direct bargaining between European Union countries and the Caribbean.   In each of these fora, the countries of the developed North have sought adv as COP27 which concluded on November 20.
 
In the words of Barbados’ Prime Minister, Mia Mottley, at the opening of COP27, “This world looks, still, too much like when it was part of an imperialistic empire”.
 
Therefore, while the leaders of small island states, including Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister, Gaston Browne, who, for years, as the Chair of the Association of Small Island States (AOSIS) has been advancing the argument for a fund to pay for loss and damage caused by Climate Change, are to be applauded for gaining acceptance by developed nations that such a fund should be created, the game is not yet over.  
 
The negotiated text has recognized the need for financial support from a variety of sources, but no decisions have been reached on who should pay into the fund, where the money will come from, and which countries will benefit.
 
When COP27 had to be extended into the weekend of 19 and 20 November to address the loss and damage issue, Ministerial negotiators for many small island states had already departed Egypt.  It was left to Antigua and Barbuda’s Environment Minister, Sir Molwyn Joseph, and the Environment Minister of the Maldives, Shauna Aminath, with their technical teams, to ensure that the concerns of small island states were adequately met.
 
Much work remains to ensure that the loss and damage fund is established and adequately resourced.   Further, it has to be clear that new money will finance the Fund, and not a shifting of monies already pledged for other purposes which, regrettably, happens far too often. 
 
It should be recalled that wealthy nations still have not fulfilled an outstanding pledge to provide $100 billion to help vulnerable countries adapt to the impact of Climate Change that they have been suffering for decades. 
 
Critically important is for small island states and other developing countries to monitor, and participate actively in, the work of the ‘transitional committee’ which was established at COP27.  That committee is tasked with “making recommendations” on how to operationalize the loss and damage Fund, including new funding arrangements to resource it.  That committee is expected to meet before the end of March 2023, but its “recommendations” won’t be considered until COP28 in Dubai in November-December 2023.  Note the committee will make “recommendations”. 
 
We can be quite certain that the bargaining within the ‘transitional committee’ will be intense and that many developed nations will seek to avoid or minimize their obligations. 
 
So, while praise must be given to the leaders of small island and other developing states for finally getting ‘loss and damage’ on the COP agenda, there are still hurdles to be jumped before they can realistically say that the problem has been functionally and effectively addressed.
 
A credible Fund will require sufficient money.  Adapting to the impact of Climate Change  will require a comprehensive approach, including building sea walls and creating drought-resistant crops.  This could cost developing countries anywhere from US$160-US$340 billion annually by 2030. The number could rise to US$565 billion by 2050 if Climate Change accelerates.   That’s the estimate of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in its 2022 Adaptation Gap Report.
 
These numbers have been made convincing by the fact that not enough was done at COP27, or by any of the previous COPs,  to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions responsible for the climate crisis.   The final agreement did mention “the urgent need for deep, rapid and sustained reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions” to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.
 
However, a UNEP report, released just before COP27, painted a worrying picture for small island states and low-lying countries, such as Bangladesh.  The report was clear “there is no credible pathway to a 1.5°C future”.  What is more, the report points out that “for each fraction of a degree that temperatures rise, storms, droughts and other extreme weather events become more severe”.
 
This is why, as Prime Minister Gaston Browne, pointed out at COP27, the worst emitters, including China and India, must begin to act beyond their own interest to include the interests of the world.  The development of a few countries should not happen at the expense of many others.
 
It is more than likely that both the initiative by Vanuatu to seek an advisory opinion by the International Court of Justice on the rights to be protected from climate change, and the establishment by Antigua and Barbuda, Tuvalu, Palau and Niue of a Commission of Small Island States (COSIS), backed by 17 international legal experts, to seek a similar opinion from the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea, sufficiently worried major developed countries to encourage them to consider a loss and damage fund at COP27.  They can influence the latter, while cases before international courts are beyond their control.   It was a case of better the devil you know.
 
In the fight against the present damage and clear danger to their existence, all Caribbean Island States should join in using the international legal system to preserve their rights against the world’s major emitters of greenhouse gases. All small island states should actively back the Vanuatu initiative and join COSIS.
 
The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says that emissions must decline by 45% to limit global warming to 1.5°C if the already ravaged world is to be saved.  There isn’t a moment to waste.

Statement at 52nd Regular Session of the OAS in Peru on 6th October, 2022

 Statement by Ambassador Sir Ronald Sanders, Head of Delegation of Antigua and Barbuda, at the 52nd Regular Session of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States, in Lima, Peru on 6th October 2022

 
As we meet at this 52nd Regular Session of the General Assembly of the Organisation of American States, the OAS is financially broke.
 
We are trying to run an Organization that costs $118 million on an unrealistic Budget of $81 million.
 
The result is that the Secretariat of the Organization is unable to carry out a mountain of mandates from a hill of meagre financial resources.
 
Sadly, because of this, the staff of the Organization live in uncertainty.
 
Many are seeking better security elsewhere, and there is an exodus of talent, as skilled people flee to seek refuge in destinations with better prospects. 
 
It is little wonder that the peoples of our countries do not see the benefits of the OAS and, therefore, place little or no value in it.
 
Member states with the financial capacity to pay, withhold their due contributions, and others seek incentives to pay on time what they agreed to pay, and have an obligation to meet.
 
The Organization is still booking as receivable income, contributions from countries that have severed their ties from it, in fictional transactions that claim these monies, running into tens of millions of dollars, are somehow payable.

This is an artifice not to serve the interests of the organization but to serve the political ambitions of a few.
 
If the OAS was a public company, its auditors would have declared it bankrupt.
The Organization is also structurally broken.
 
The OAS is hardly known by the peoples of our states.
 
And, collectively, we do not seem to know if we are an organisation of 35 states or of 34 or even of 33.
 
The OAS has a Charter and rules of procedure that were produced in the days before cellular phones and the internet, before the world became a neighbourhood, and before interconnectivity between nations occurs in the fraction of a section.
 
Yet its ancient Charter and rules of procedure have remained the guide of an Organization, operating in the modern world with unprecedented challenges.
The result is that the Organization moves at the slow crawl of a turtle when it should be moving at the pace of Jamaica’s Usain Bolt, responsive to needs of people at every level.
 
That is why a General Assembly can impose a violation of the Charter by 19 votes including a disputed representative but cannot change it by 19 votes of fully qualified and accredited representatives as happened this morning in relation to the violation of OAS Charter in 2018 with regard to the wrongful seating of the nominee of the Venezuelan National Assembly of 2017.
 
The Organization has an obligation to respond to the needs of its peoples because its member governments have promised to do so.
 
That is the compact between governments and people which this Organization was established to fulfil.
 
But there is a gap between what governments promised and what is being delivered.
 
And, let it be clear that the failure to bridge that gap is not the fault of the Secretariat and its largely capable staff.
 
It is the fault of Governments that do not provide the resources; it is the fault of an antiquated Charter; and it the fault of anachronistic rules which urgently need reform.
 
Until Governments meaningfully address these fundamental and chronic weaknesses, this Organization’s future is not sustainable.
 
Therefore, Governments must resolve to address these problems, and commit to provide the resources to give the OAS the vibrance, relevance and importance that it should have.
 
Not for the first time, Antigua and Barbuda urges the establishment of a group of Eminent persons from across our hemisphere to produce a report and recommendations on what must happen to recreate the OAS to serve the needs of our Hemisphere, and the needs of our Hemisphere in the World.
 
Mr Chairman, there are critical issues that confront all our nations collectively.
They are issues that none of us can fully satisfy individually, but we can all meet collectively. Those issues include:
 
The impact of Climate Change from which none of our nations can escape.
The maintenance and preservation of the international legal order which is the basis for peace and prosperity across the world.  In this regard, we all have an obligation to stand up against any nation that violates the global legal order, as Russia has done in Ukraine, creating world economic turmoil and instability that looks set to worsen.  That is why Antigua and Barbuda contributed actively to the resolutions and declarations that sought to tell President Putin that this war must end, and end now. The innocent and smallest of our nations have been burdened the most - trapped in an international financial system that ignores our needs,
 
Health issues also confront us all.  COVID-19 is not the last pandemic the world will endure.This hemisphere needs to be ready for the next one.
And ready – not with nationalistic protectionism but in multi-nation collaboration.  There should never again be vaccine hoarding by the rich and deprivation for the poor.   The mantra of none is safe, until all are safe will continue to be true in the future as it was as we all trembled in fear at COVID-19.  Let us not forget that fear.  We must remember that fear to guide our actions in the future.  
 
Addressing economic inequalities is also a common challenge for which there can only be a common solution.  Development and economic advancement must be a goal for all in our hemisphere, for which all in our hemisphere should work diligently in our collective interest.  
 
Human rights and human freedom must also remain a fundamental objective of this OAS, but we must devise early warning mechanisms, with implementation machinery, to address violations before they become so persistent and pervasive, that there are empty chairs and lowered flags at our meetings.  It is not sufficient to want to punish, we must also be ready to reward, to provide timely resources and help to maintain freedom.
 
In this regard, my delegation makes it clear that Haiti cannot be left by itself to deal with rampaging, armed gangs who kidnap, terrorize and enrich themselves, defying all laws and tearing down institutions.  The gangs in Haiti must be brought under control without any further delay.  The countries, in this Assembly, with the resources to help should do so, and the Haitian authorities must provide them with the guarantees, including a commitment to ending corruption and preserving human rights, that are prerequisites to providing help.  The alternative is the creation of a criminal state in our midst, and a base for criminal activity in our neighbourhood.
 
The Haitian people do not want this. They are the victims.  This OAS has an obligation to help and help now.  
 
Mr Chairman, our member states must recognise and uphold the principles of the UN Charter and the fundamental principles of the OAS Charter.  We cannot not condemn Russia  - right, though that is - for violating the Charter of the UN, when some of our members violate the OAS Charter in pursuit of their national objectives, thereby tarnishing the credibility, authority, and integrity of this Organization.
 
Mr Chairman, the OAS can be an influence for good, a force for peace and prosperity and an instrument for democracy and development, but only if we reform it, respect it and resource it.
 
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
 

Latest Video

The State of the Commonwealth

Although the main focus of a conference. held by the Commonwealth Journalists Association (CJA) on 30 June 2022, was to discuss the challenges facing journalism, a day-long series of discussions taking place between the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) and the Commonwealth Games was bound to assess the state of today’s Commonwealth.

However, the panel discussion on ‘The Commonwealth, between the Kigali summit and the Birmingham Games’ focused on what session chair, the Institute of Commonwealth Studies Director Sue Onslow described as “politics and politics”.   The discussion featured:
 
he Director-General of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Professor Eghosa Osaghae, Caribbean diplomat Sir Ronald Sanders, and the Director of the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute, Hugh Segal.   Below is the recording of the discussion,  It is also listed in the "Videos" sectio  of this website.
 

Latest News in Pictures

   

At the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles on 10 June 2022:  Sir Ronald, OAS Secretray-General Luis Almagro and Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister, Gaston Browne.

Sir Ronald with The Honourable Nancy Pelosi, the formidable Speaker of the US House of Representatives on Thursday 9 June 2022 during the Ninth Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles

Senator Chris Dodd, Adviser to President Biden on the Ninth Summit of the Americas and the man largely responsible for convinng  many Caribbean and Latin American leaders to attend, with Sir Ronald.

 

Meeting in Barbados between Representatives of the US State Department anf Senior Representatives of Easrern Caribbean Governments.  Front row left to right: Senator (St Vincent and the Grenadines), US Ambassaor to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean States;. Brian Nichols Assistant Secretary, US State Department, Earl Huntley Senior Adviser to St Lucia Foreign Minister, Sir Ronald Sanders representing government of Antigua and Barbuda.  Back row left to right: St Kitts-Nevis Ambassador to the US Thelma Phillips-Browne; Permanent Secretary Barbados Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Nan Fide, Director Caribbean, US State Departmenent; Foreign Minister of Dominica; Minister of Health Grenada, Deputy Chief of Mission, US Embassy in Barbados.

On 18th May 2022, at State House in Guyana with Guyana President Irfaan Ali and Barbados Prime Minister, Mia Mottely prior to "Agri-Invest Expo and Forum" which set the stage for an actionable, time bound plan for food sercuity, energy security, removal of trade barriers and regional trsnsportation. 

Speaking at a meeting between Caribbean leaders and a US Congressional team, led by Congresswoman Maxine Waters, in Barbados on Wednesday 20 April 2022 . I was pleased to initiate this process of consultation, as Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador, with Congresswoman Waters in July 2019 (.(see photo in date order below with the Congresswoman in July 2019). Subsequently, in November 2019 we had the first Roundtable in Washington.
In an interview with British Channel 4 News, Sir Ronald explains that Britain must make MLAT request for assistance regarding two Yachts in Antigau waters allegedly owned by sanctioned Russian Oligarch, Roman Abramovich:  

See: What has happened to yachts linked to Roman Abramovich? – Channel 4 News

 

With the Foreign Minister of Guatemala, Mario Adolfo Bucaro Flores, to discuss CARICOM-Central America cooperation and deepening relations at the OAS.  At the right of the photograph is Rita Calverie di Scioli, the Guatemalan Ambassador to the OAS, 31 March 2022

 

Members of the Committee appointed by the Vice Chancellor of the University of London to Inquire into the Future of Commonwealth Studies at the University. The report was submitted at the end of July 2021 and the Institute of Commonwealth Studies was given a renewed and expanded mandate.
Left to Right: Sir Ronald Sanders, Nabeel Goheer, Dr Conor Wyer, Professor Wendy Thomson - Vice Chancellor - Sir Malcolm Rifkind (Chairman) Lord (Paul) Boateng, Jo Fox - Dean of the School of Advanced Studies. Photo at Senate House. London, November 3rd 2021.

Participating as a delegate from Antigua and Barbuda in the Summit of 40 Leaders on Climate, organised by us President, Joseph Biden, on 22 and 23 April 2021.  Sir Ronald second from left at top.

 

With the late Right Honourable Professor Owen Arthur, former Prime Minister of Barbados at his office at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies in January 2020, talking Caribbean integration

 

Meeting between US Congressional Representatives, Global Banks and Caribbean government representative.  Congresswoman Maxin Waters (centre in red), Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne to her right, Sir Ronald Sanders to Prime Minister Browne's right.  Capitol Hill on November 14, 2019

 

Signing agreements for the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Kosovo and Antigua and Barbuda in Washington, DC on 24 July 2019.  The agreemenst were signed by the Ambassador of Antigua and Barbuda, Sir Ronald Sanders (sitting right) and the Ambassador of the Republic of Kosovo, Vlora Citaku (sitting left). Frymezin Isufaj and Joy-Dee Davis. Ministers Coundellor (standing left to right)

 

 Speaking at US Capitol Hill in behalf of CARICOM during Caribbean Legislative Week on 5 June 2019

 

Meeting Wesley Kirton Co-Chair Caribbean Studies Associaton, US, and Captain Gerry Gouveia of the Guyana Privat Sector at Antigua and Barbuda Embassy, Washington, DC on 4 June 2019

 

On 15 May, 2019 with the formidable US Congresswoman Maxine Waters who is Chair of the Financail Services Committee of the US House of Representatives.  I had presentred the case against de-risking, withdrawal of correspondent banking relations and blacklisting alone with CARICOM Ministers of National Security. 

 

 Testifying on 14th May, 2019 before the US International Trade Commission on behalf of Antigua and Barbuda and Caribbaean States on the perennial US trade surplus with the region which reached $7 Billion in 2018. 

 

Sir Ronald at Capitol Hill in Washington DC, talking trade and other relations between the US and CARICOM countries, especially Antigua and Barbuda, with Cingressman Brad Wenstrup (R-Cincinnati) on  27 February 2019.

 

Caribbean Ambassadors in Washington with US Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs. Kim Breier, at the US State Department. Sir Ronald third from right in January 2019. 

 

In July 2018, while in Ottawa for Antigua and Barbuda bilateral talks with Canadian government officials, Sir Ron ran into old and repected friend, Joe Clarke - former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Canada and a great warrior in the anti-apartheid struggle.

 

With Ambassador Jesus Silvera of Panama, receiving a donation to the rebuilding of Barbuda, June 2018

 

With OAS Secretary-General, Luis Almagro, on 6 June 2018, signing the Inter-American Convention against Racism, Racial Discrimination and  Related Forms of Intolerance.  Antigua and Barbuda was the first signatory to the Convention and the second country to ratify the Convention. 
 

 Signing ceremony in Washington, DC of Abolition of Visa Requirements between Ukraine and Antigua and Barbuda in May 2018.  Ukraine Amnbasador (left) and Joy-Dee Davis, Minister Counsellor, Antigua and Barbuda Embassy (right) 

 

 With Governor-General of Canada,Her Excellency Julie Payette, at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on January 30th 2018.  In addition to beeing accredited to Canada as High Commissioner, I have the honour of sharing the distinction with this amazing former Astronaut of being a Senior Fellow at Massey College in the University of Toronto.

 

In Tobago after delivering feature address at The Tobago Finance week on 13 November 2017.  Photo shows, Economist Terrence Farrell, Sir Ronald, Tobago Deputy Chief Secretary Joel Jack, and Anthony Pierre, Chairman of the Caribbean Association of Chartered Accountants

 

 In Port-of-Spain, Trinidad speaking at the annual Conference of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Trinidad and Tobago on 9 November 2017

 

 Speaking at a meeting in Geneva, prior to appearnace at the World Trade Organisation on Antigua and Barbuda's contention with the US government on the WTO award to Antigua over Internet Gaming, September 2017 

 

 Speaking on Refugees resulting from Climate Change and the growing danger to small island states at an event organised by OXFAM in Washington, DC on 30 October 2017. (Heather Coleman, OXFAM; Sir Ronald Sanders, Antigua and Barbuda; Selwyn Hart (Barbados), Lisa Friedman, New York Times)

 

Sir Ronald speaking at the National Press Club in Washington DC on 12 October 2017.  He was talking about the devastation of Barbuda by Hurricane Irma and the remedies for Climate Change and Global Warming.  To his left are:  The Prime Minister of Grenada Dr Keith Mitchell, CARICOM Secretary General Irwin la Rocque and St Lucia Prime Minister Alan Chastanet

 

Sir Ronald speaking at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) on the security and other threats posed to the Caribbean and the Hemisphere of Climate Change and Global Warming on 13 September 2017

 

 Sir Ronald (third right) with senior officers of the Inter-American Defense Board in Washington, DC after discussing what assistance could be given in the clean up and rebuilding of Barbuda after Hurricane Irma (Friday, 15 September 2017)

 

With US Congressman, Ranking member of Committee on Foreign Affairs at Capitol Hill on 14 September, discussiing secutty matters, Hurricane Irma and Barbuda and the US-Antigua and Barbuda WTO issues.  Very helpful.

 

 With US Congressman Mark Meadows on Capitol Hill talking the US-Antigua and Barbuda WTO issues, and the effets of Hurricane Irma on the island of Barbuda on 12 September, 2017.  Good man. 

 

 Talking to the Emergency Agencies of the OAS about the impact of Hurricane Irma on the island of Barbuda and seeking assistance on 14 September 2017

 

Sir Ronald with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa on 28 August 2017 discussing Canada-Antigua and Barbuda bilateral matters.

 

Sir Ronald with the President of Mexico, Enrique Pena Nieto, at the General Assembly of the Organisation of American States in Cancun, in June 2017

 

Heads of Delegations to the OAS General Assembly in Cancun.  Mexican Presdident, sixth from right, front row.  Sir Ronald fourth from right, front row.

 

Meeting of Consulation on the situation in Venezuela at the Organisation of American States on 31 May 2017 Sir Ronald (far right).

 

With Texas Congressman Randy Weber at Capitol Hill in Washington DC, talking energy, water and US-Antigua and Barbuda relations on Wednesday 5 April, 2017 

 

 

With my colleague Argentine Ambassador to the OAS, Juan Jose Acuri (right) and the Argentina candidate for election to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rigjts Dr Carlos de Casas on 29 March 2016

 

 At the International Monetary Fund with Exceutive Director for Canada and the Caribbean, Nancy Horsman, to discuss Antigua and Barbuda matters.

 

At the Antigua and Barbuda Embassy receiving Antonia Urrejola, the candidate of Chile for the Inter American Commission on Human Rights, on 23 March 2017 

 

 With the Mexican Candidate for the Inter American Commission on Human Rights, Joel Hernadez Garcia, on 21 March 2017

 

 At the World Bank on20 March 2017 meeting Christine Hogan, the Executive Director for Canada and the Caribbean, to talk about Antigua and Barbuda matters.

 

With Joe Barton, US Congressman from the State of Texas in his Office on Capitol Hill on Thursday, 16 March 2017 discussing US-Antigua and Barbuda relations

 

Hosting a meeting at the Antigua and Barbuda Embassy in Washington, DC of diplomatic representatives of St Lucia (Ambassador Anton Edmunds, St Kitts-Nevis Ambassador Thelma Phillip-Browne and St Vincent Deputy Chief of Mission Omari Williams)

 

Meeting the Cuban Ambassador to the United States, Jose Cabanas Rodriguez at the Antigua and Barbuda Embassy on Tuesday, 21st February, 2017

 

With the Ambassador of Ecudaor to the United States, Francisco Borja Cevallos, talking Ecuador-Antigua and Barbuda relations on 13 February 2017

 

 With US Congressman Gus Bilikakis (Dem,Fl) for talls on Caiptol Hill in Washington

 

With Charlie Crist, US Congressman (Dem, Fl) for discussions on US-Antigua and Barbuda matters

 

 With US Senator Jeff Duncan, Chair Foreign Relations Committee talking energy and Citizenship by Investement Programmes in the Caribbean

  With Professor Louis Gates Jr at the Smithsonian National Musuem of African American History in Washington, DC after an evening of enlightening presentations on the neglected story of the building of the US 

 

March 17, 2014 in Barbados where I spoke with Dr Ralph Gonsalves, Caribbean thought leader and Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines (second right) at the launch of the late Jean Holder’s (third right) excellent book on Regional Transportation. All that Jean said remains relevant today. At far left is Warren Smith a former CEO of LIAT and at the time President of the Caribbean Development Bank. Each of us was born in different parts of the Caribbean, but all of us know that we are better off as One Caribbean.

US CARIBBEAN RELATIONS: The Biden Administration Year 1

                   “US-Caribbean Relations in Biden Administration Year 1”

A discussion brief for a Webinair discussion on April 28th 2022

and publication by the Florida International University

By Sir Ronald Sanders

 

 On April 28th, Sir Ronald presented a paper on “US-Caribbean Relations: The Biden Administration Year 1” at a webinar, which he was commissioned to produce by Florida International University (FIU),  the Latin American and Caribbean Centre and the Caribbean Policy Council.  The 7,000-word paper was subsequently published by  FIU. 

The paper can be read on this website under “Lectures” in the “Lectures and Interviews section.  

The discussion in the webinar which was Chaired by Dr Georges Fauriol and included former top US State Department Official, Ambassador Tom Shannon; Pulitzer Prize winning Reporter, Jacqueline Charles of the Miami Herald and Dr Vanessa Chaitram of Trinidad and Tobago, can viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfX0HrxcWjM

 

 


All posts...

Election for the post of Commonwealth Secretary-General

Sir Ronald was a candidate for election to the post of Commonwealth Secretary-General In November 2015 at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Malta. View further details here.

Portrait of Sir Ronald Sanders

Sir Ronald Sanders is currently Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the United States and the Organisation of American States.

Welcome

Welcome to this website. I created it in 2009 in response to many requests for access to commentaries I have written, lectures I have given and interviews that have been broadcast or printed in the media on matters related to the political economy of the Caribbean and the Commonwealth.  They are all avaialble here for free.

These requests have come from university students, publications, academics, government officials and business people in many parts of the world. In the course of responding to these requests, I have been pleased to build up a network of global contacts who now receive my commentaries weekly.

From a career that encompassed broadcast and print journalism, development and commercial banking, diplomacy and international negotiations in both the public and private sectors, I am privileged to draw on wide and varied experiences to write, lecture and undertake consultancies.  The latter activity was susended while I carry out my present functions as Ambassador for Antigua and Barbuda. 

I have taken the greatest pleasure in receiving comments and criticism from people all over the world that the Internet has made a “village”. I have learned from many of the comments I received. They have caused me to reflect on my own thinking. Through this website, I hope to communicate regularly with all who write to me.

The website is now a permanent repository of the weekly commentaries and lectures going back several years. Anyone is free to access them here, and to cite them provided my permission is sought in advance through the “Contact me” mechanism. A few of the lectures I have given in Britain and in the Caribbean are also posted on the site in a PDF format which can be easily downloaded. Again, I would make the same request to seek my permission before citing the material.

I invite responses to my writings, and inquiries about the experience and knowledge I can bring to achieving the objectives of companies and organizations that do business related to the Caribbean and the Commonwealth.

Kind regards

Ronald Sanders