I refer to a letter of mine, ‘An incredibly foolish analysis,’ Kaieteur News, Feb 15, 2015 that responded to an editorial in the KN rubbishing the eligibility of Baroness Scotland for the post of Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Secretariat and giving generous praise to the application of Ronald Sanders. The letter was sent to the Stabroek News but was not published. But let’s move on. I would like to add a few notes to the Stabroek News editorial of March 4, ‘Choosing the Commonwealth Secretary-General.’
On reading the Stabroek editorial I was particularly intrigued by a section that enquired about the careers of the candidates. I need to point out that Sir Ronald withdrew his application after he failed to secure Caricom leadership consensus. He publicly stated he could no longer persist because of Caricom’s failure to back a single candidate. He subsequently renewed his interest but did not state why, since there are still multiple candidates from within the region.
I know about the career of Baroness Scotland. I am not clear on the evolution of that of Sir Ronald Sanders. My brief knowledge about him is that he left the media landscape in Guyana to work in Antigua. He became an Antiguan citizen and spent the rest of his Antiguan years as that country’s High Commissioner to the UK. With due respect to Antigua, I cannot see what experience one can acquire in that capacity to entitle one to run the Commonwealth that comprises almost two billion citizens and some of the most powerful governments in the world.
Surely, one cannot argue against the fact that a former Indian, Nigerian or Pakistani ambassador to the UN or France, or the US or Canada would be far more experienced in world affairs, international trade and international institutions than an Antiguan envoy to the UK. I say so unapologetically even if I am accused of being insulting to a small country. International relations is not about sentiments but about the realities of global transactions.
I would like to know more about the career of Sir Ronald, because I honestly think Baroness Scotland has far more impressive work experience in the global community than he does. Does Sir Ronald have university training in international relations, global trade studies, international finance and trade, international institutions, etc? It would seem to my mind that the competition is between Baroness Scotland and Ronald Sanders from this region. Since Baroness Scotland’s career is well known given the high-profile occupations she held in Europe, I would like to see a description of the career of Sir Ronald Sanders.