Sir Sonny Ramphal, born 1928, has made a significant contribution to international affairs for over 25 years.
In spite of his high international standing, he remains loyal and dedicated to the issues of development in his Caribbean homeland and is affectionately known as ‘Sonny’ throughout the Caribbean and The Commonwealth.
He began his international career as the Attorney-General in British Guyana where he drafted Guyana’s independence constitution. He went on to have an extensive career in national politics. He was a Cabinet Minister, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, and in 1972, he became Guyana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Justice.
He was instrumental in shaping Guyana’s non-aligned foreign policy and strengthening relations between the Caribbean and other countries. He was also a key spokesman for the developing countries of Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific in the negotiations with the European Community which resulted in the Lomé Convention of 1975. He has also been involved in major international organisations such as the United Nations and the Non-Aligned Movement.
Sir Sonny Ramphal was the Secretary-General of The Commonwealth from 1975 to 1990 and at the end of his third term; he served as head of The World Conservation Union. He has also held additional international positions, including being Vice-President of the United National General Assembly in 1968 and 1973 and Chairman of the United National Committee on Development Planning from 1984 to 1987.
He has written several publications, including One World to Share: Selected Speeches of the Commonwealth Secretary-General and the pamphlet The Commonwealth in World Affairs: The New Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Surveys its Rule.