Masthead image


The war on Ukraine is now a global war

The people of Ukraine are the principal victims of the unjustified and unprovoked war, launched against them by Russia on February 24, 2022. But in the year since then, it has become clear that other victims - on a different scale - have been all the nations of the world, particularly the small, poor and powerless.
When the Russian tanks rolled into Ukraine, the global economy was still struggling from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic that had battered economies around the world, especially those of developing countries.  The supply of food and other goods had been severely affected by border closures, ships trapped in ports, airplanes grounded, and the resultant high costs of scarce goods.   One year later the global economy is in much worse shape as a consequence of Russia’s war. Inflation rates are soaring and the cost of living everywhere has increased dramatically. These rising costs of finance, energy and food, and a debt burden that has expanded, have pushed some countries to the edge of bankruptcy. 
In a real sense, therefore, this war is no longer a “European war”, nor is it only a contest for supremacy between Russia and the member states of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, it is a war that engulfs every nation with grave consequences.
When Russia embarked on its war against Ukraine, it violated sacred principles that are enshrined in the United Nations Charter.  Those principles, which are highly valued by small and powerless states, are sovereignty, political independence and territorial integrity.
As one of the 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council, which has responsibility for collective security, the Russian government was well aware of these principles. Yet, with no justification for its aggression, it launched its war on Ukraine.  
The world community depends upon a rules-based system for collective international security, and to ensure that order prevails in a predictable way to avoid wars and economic chaos. It is in the interest of every country in the international community, including those that are powerful in military and economic terms, to adhere always to a system of rules.  For, while short-term national objectives might be achieved by breaking the rules, eventually such actions are not sustainable.
By its aggression in Ukraine, Russia has significantly weakened the rules-based system upon which the world depends, particularly the small, the poor who are the least resilient.
The war is having an enormous impact on the global supply chain, impeding the flow of goods, fuelling huge increases in the cost of food creating catastrophic food shortages.  There are now protests and riots in many parts of the world over the rising cost of living and the immense difficult people face in trying to make ends meet.  These protests and riots are directed at their own governments, even though none of these conditions were a result of any policy decision taken or implemented by them.
Further, having already accumulated a heavy debt burden, resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the rise in interest rates in global commercial market, have rendered debt unpayable, except by diverting money from domestic social welfare and capital projects.  These governments now find themselves having to pay high interests on new loans. Many are spending as much as 45 per cent of their export earnings to service existing debt obligations.  Some will fail, and the world might be confronted with yet another debt crisis.
Let it be said, however, that the greatest victims in terms of loss of lives and livelihoods, and the decimation of their country are the Ukrainians. They are fighting for their identity, their territory and their survival. They deserve  the admiration and support of the world for their courage, their strength and their resistance.
Right now, the world needs peace to overcome the immediate harmful effects of this war; lasting peace is what the world will  need to recover from the impact of the war on their economies and their people. More than anything else, the world needs renewed commitment by every nation to end the scourge of war; to renew inclusionary engagement on supporting peace, including economic stability and predictability; and to dealing with territorial claims peacefully and within international law.
Russia needs that peace as much as Ukraine and the rest of the world.  A great deal of Russian treasure is being spent on this war, which, after a year, has not given Russia the swift victory its government expected.  The lives of Russian soldiers are being lost, and Russians are fleeing their country, depriving it of needed skills and talent.  Russia, like Ukraine, will also suffer a prolonged period of agony, whenever the war ends, before  it can recover from this unprovoked war.
Ending the war swiftly and returning to the principles of the UN Charter, are in every country’s interest. 

Latest News in Pictures

Sir Ronald Sanders (Antigua and Barbuda) and Ambassador Anthony Phillips-Spencer (Trinidad and Tobago) are the two senior Caribbean Ambassadors in the US and to the OAS.  On 13 February, 2023 they met to discuss implementation of priority matters for the Caribbean in the US and the OAS.


 In February 2023, the Ambassador of the Maldives to the US called on Sir Ronald Sanders at the Antigua and Barbuda Embassy in Washington, DC to discuss issues related to small states in the international community.  Climate change was a priority of their discussion. 

With US Ambassador to the Organizaion of American States (OAS), Frank Mora, at the Antigua and Barbuda Embassy in Washington, DC, Februrary 2023

With the lady Ambassadors accredited to Antigua and Barbuda in December 2023.  Left to Right, the Ambassador of Cuba, Maria Esther Fife; Ambassador of the Dominican Republic, Raquel Jacobo; and Ambassador of Venezuela, Carmen Velazquez De Visbal (December 2022) in Antigua


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.

Recent statement at the Organization of American States

On 10th February 2023, after a week of behind the scenes negotiation and drafting, the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States adopted a Resoution on Haiti, entitlled:  “RENEWED SUPPORT FOR SECURITY AND HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE,  INCLUSIVE, FREE, FAIR, AND CREDIBLE ELECTIONS, AND DEMOCRATIC TRANSITION IN THE REPUBLIC OF HAITI”.  This Resolution came amid turmoil in Haiti as over 200 gangs kept the country in thrall while the instititions of government were dysfuntional.   Here is the statement made by Sir Ronald Sanders at the OAS Meeting.
Statement by Sir Ronald Sanders, Ambassador of Antigua and Barbuda at Special Meeting of the Permanent Council on Haiti
10 February, 2023
The Antigua and Barbuda delegation has been pleased to participate with other colleagues in drafting and negotiating the text of the Resolution that is now before this Permanent Council.
The situation in Haiti is grave.
The activities of more than 200 gangs and their control of large parts of Haiti, including more than 60 per cent of the Capital; their utter contempt for the rule of law; and what amounts to their reign of terror cannot be tolerated by any of our member states.
Action must be taken urgently to address the situation.
My delegation deeply regrets that the United Nations Security Council has failed to respond to the security and humanitarian crises that now engulf Haiti and the Haitian people.
At the same time, we are also concerned that the authorities in Haiti – and other parties – have not been able to achieve the unity of purpose and common cause that Haiti urgently needs.
While my delegation welcomes the Accord, which was signed on December 21st, 2022, by representatives of the Haitian governments and some representatives of the private sector, political parties and civil society, for an “Inclusive Transition and Transparent Elections”, we are troubled that the process is not inclusionary enough. 
We are also troubled by reports of collaboration between some politicians and members of the private sector with some of the criminal gangs.
If, indeed, these reports are true, they do not bode well for a swift end to the rule of crime and terror that now overwhelms the country, especially its law enforcement agencies.
We are worried that Haiti no longer has an elected legislature and that its judiciary is dysfunctional.
That there is no oversight or accountability by the those who form the government is unhelpful to the building of national confidence and national consensus.
This situation cannot continue.
For without national confidence and strong national support for the institution of government, it will be extremely difficult – if not impossible – to challenge and overcome the criminal gangs, and their collaborators, who now hold the entire country hostage.
And, we caution Haitian leaders, from all sectors, that the world expects them, acting together, to create the blue print for Haiti’s future.
Friendly governments can help, but Haitians must do the necessary and constructive work.
This Resolution before our member states commands the support of Antigua and Barbuda because of the concern it strongly shows for the plight of the Haitian people, and the readiness of member states – each within their own capacity – to act urgently in providing assistance to efforts of the Haitian authorities to restore order and security.   
The Resolution acknowledges that not all of our states have the same capacity, but within the means of each of us, we are prepared to help.
In this regard, my delegation  places on record its appreciation to the Governments of Canada and the United States of America, which are giving logistical and other support to Haiti’s law enforcement efforts.
We would remind other states, that are permanent observers of this Organization, that they, too, have an obligation, born of their historical role in Haiti, to be generous in their help.
Under the provisions of this Resolution, this Permanent Council will not sit on its hands. 
We will establish a Working Group which,  with the assistance of the General Secretariat, will convene a Security, Humanitarian, Electoral, and Democracy Assistance Dialogue with the participation of the Government of Haiti and the High-Level Transition Council that was recently established in Haiti.
The purpose will be to gather information,  on the priority assistance that is required, so that each of our member states and permanent observer countries, could determine how best each can help to enable, and ensure, inclusive participation of Haitian stakeholders in arrangements for free, fair and credible elections and democratic transition in Haiti.
Five million people in Haiti currently experience food insecurity; reported kidnappings soared to more than 1,200 last year, more than double the number in 2021; and there were 2,200 homicides in 2022, a dramatic increase over 2021.
We cannot ignore this appalling situation.
The Haitian people must know that the eyes of the world are upon Haiti, and that the international community is anxious to see democracy established and nurtured in their country for their collective benefit.
That is why, this Resolution by the Permanent Council of the OAS is vitally important.
It is imperative, Mr. Chairman, that the people of Haiti, who have suffered much under self-enriching dictatorships, and from historical conditions of external exploitation, should not feel alone or abandoned.
They must not feel alone or abandoned.
To the extent that each of our countries has the resources and capacity to help, so must we act…  and act urgently. 

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.

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:



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 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