Sir Shridath Ramphal

The Institute has been named to honour the contribution and dedication to the Commonwealth of Shridath (Sonny) Ramphal, second Commonwealth Secretary-General (1975-1990) and will also promote the ideals of the Commonwealth which were honoured in the dedicated service of all former and serving Secretaries General of the Commonwealth.

Shridath Ramphal inherited a well-established Secretariat, which had been one of the main achievements of the first Secretary-General Arnold Smith. He also inherited a Commonwealth of 16 countries which had dedicated itself to address the pressing issues of the day: peace and security, political, economic and social justice and human rights.

Under his guidance, the Commonwealth undertook work on global issues, such as the reduction of trade protectionism, addressing the vulnerability of small states and climate change. He helped the Commonwealth to evolve from the association of countries sharing a common British heritage into one with a global outlook and a forward looking agenda.