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OAS Chairman, Sir Ronald Sanders, says OAS facing existential threat

Nestor Mendez, OAS Assistant Secretary-General and Sir Ronald Sanders, Chair of the Permanent Council

Washington DC, 21 January…. Chairman of the Permanent Council of the Organisation of American States (OAS), Sir Ronald Sanders, today said that the organisation is now facing a “serious existential threat”.
 
The Antigua and Barbuda Ambassador, who was chairing the first meeting of the Permanent Council for 2016, said that he was “deeply concerned about the financial health of the Organisation” and “profoundly anxious about its capacity to continue to operate and to serve the interests of the people of its 34 member states”.
 
He told Ambassadors at the OAS Headquarters in Washington DC that, “the organisation starts this this year with a deficit of almost US$19.7 Million. Additionally, the Organisation has no reserve funds. The reserve fund was fully utilised to keep the Organisation functioning, and then only barely”
Ambassador Sanders invited the Organisation’s Secretary for Administration and Finance, Jay Anania, to elaborate the critical financial situation of the Organisation.   A lively discussion of all representatives of all the member countries followed in which there were repeated declarations of the great value of the Organisation and the importance of remaining committed to it.
 
Sanders pointed out that while non-payment of dues by a few member states contributes gravely to the virtual bankruptcy of the OAS, failure to deal with systemic problems over the last seven years is the primary cause of the present crisis. “This is not a can that can be kicked down the road”.
Anania in his presentation called the situation “dire” and requiring “urgent action”.
 
Drawing on the interventions of member states in the Permanent Council meeting, Sir Ronald proposed “a holistic” approach to dealing with the situation. He has appointed three Committees of the Council, one of which he will chair himself to deal with arrears of membership dues, a second to be Chaired by the Ambassador of Canada, Jennifer Lowten on the management and financial future of the Organization, and a third chaired by the Ambassador of Barbados, John Beale, to produce a realistic budget for the Institution.
 
The Committees are to report to the Permanent Council, the oversight body for governance of the Organisation. Based on these reports, the Council will make firm decisions which Ambassador Sanders says “can no longer be delayed”.
 
He said he was “very pleased with the constructive position of all Ambassadors at the meeting and the declared willingness to cure the problems”.
 
 
 

Sir Ronald recognised by Canadian University

 

 
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.

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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.
 

Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters (D.Litt) for Sir Ronald

On Friday October 24th, Sir Ronald was conferred with the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters (D.Litt) by the University of the West Indies at its St Augustine Campus in Trinidad and Tobago.  Sir Ronald also delivered an address to the graduating class of 2014.   His address and the citation appear in the "Lectures and Interviews" section of this website.

Sir Ronald Sanders addressing 2014 UWI graduating Social Sciences Faculty at St Augustine, Trinidad


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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. He is also a Senior Fellow at the University of London and University of Toronto.

Welcome

Welcome to this website. I have created it 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.

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. 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 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.

From time to time, where it is possible, the site will also reflect consultancies that I undertake that may have an interested audience beyond the companies and organizations with which I work.

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.

My consulting work includes: country investment advice; negotiations with governments and international organizations; structuring and implementing public affairs programmes; designing public relations and information strategies; negotiations with financial institutions and organizing and participating in seminars for interest groups such as journalists, diplomats, and specialized academics.

Kind regards

Ronald Sanders