Veteran Caribbean diplomat Sir Ronald Sanders has been named to a ten-person committee to conduct an inquiry into the future of Commonwealth Studies at the University of London.
The announcement was made by the University’s vice chancellor, Prof Wendy Thompson. The committee will be chaired by Sir Malcolm Rifkind, a former British Defence and Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary.
Sir Ronald, who is Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the United States and the OAS, has been involved in Commonwealth matters in various capacities since 1982. His scholarly work on the Commonwealth has been widely published and he was the Rapporteur of the Eminent Persons Group, created by Heads of Government to make recommendations on reform of the Commonwealth in 2011.
Ambassador Sanders said: “I am delighted to serve on this important committee. The Commonwealth has been a significant actor in world politics – for instance in ending Apartheid in South Africa. Because of its diverse membership, it has the capacity to help the world negotiate solutions to global problems. Therefore, Commonwealth studies are important to iniversity teaching and research”.
Other members of the committee are drawn from the academic community and include Prof Asha Kanwar, president and CEO of the Commonwealth of Learning, and Dr Joanna Newman, chief executive and Secretary General of the Association of Commonwealth Universities. From the practical world of Commonwealth relations, other committee members are Stephen Twigg, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and Michael Kirby, former Justice of the High Court of Australia.
The committee will hold its first meeting on January 21. It is expected to take evidence from across the Commonwealth and submit its report and recommendations by June 2021.
Sir Ronald’s weekly column is published in The Tribune every Monday.