An End to Otherness

An End to Otherness

Commemorative Addresses by the Commonwealth Secretary-General You do not have access to this content

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Shrisath S Ramphal
01 Jan 1990
9781848594630 (PDF)
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  • Introduction

    Shridath Ramphal, a selection of whose commemorative addresses is here re-issued, has been Commonwealth Secretary-General since 1975. He was elected to a second term in 1980 and even more significantly to a third term in 1985. There is general agreement that his tenure as Secretary-General has been characterised by remarkable Commonwealth achievements in both the economic and political fields including the expansion of programmes of assistance, the concern with the problems of, and support for, small States, the resolution of conflict in Rhodesia leading to the emergence of the new State of Zimbabwe and the re-admission of Pakistan.

  • A Heritage Of Oneness

    I greet most specially the President of Guyana, my former colleague Hugh Desmond Hoyte, whose address yesterday in inaugurating this week of Commemoration was such a sparkling mixture of scholarship and statesmanship. In national political terms, it was a statement of historic proportions. And I salute as well the eminent Vice-President of India, Shri Shankar Dayal Sharma, who I last greeted in his Commonwealth Capital of New Delhi and am now pleased to join in welcoming to my Commonwealth Capital of Georgetown.

  • No Island is an Island

    The first two lectures in this series which commemorates the life and work of one of the greatest West Indians, Norman Washington Manley, were concerned with Manley and with Jamaica. In honouring me with the invitation to deliver the Third Memorial Lecture you have specifically asked me to cast the net of analysis and reminiscence somewhat wider and to speak on the theme of the Caribbean or, as I would prefer to say, the West Indies. It is a theme, of course, that was central to Norman Manley's life and work.

  • Nkrumah and The Eighties

    Pleasure and pride conjoin on the occasion of these lectures which salute the memory of Kwame Nkrumah. The pleasure is personal, out of my own respect for this man of many gifts; but I feel pride also on behalf of the Commonwealth, because it was Nkrumah who initiated Africa's outstandingly constructive role in Commonwealth affairs. I am grateful for the honour of having been asked to deliver these Memorial Lectures.

  • Rekindling Nehru's Intxsernationalism

    Many of those who preceded me in this Memorial Series have looked back to Nehru's life and work in India and appraised their significance for India. In such a series, some measure of looking back is inevitable; but I wish to speak more of what Nehru left, than of what he did; to make my glances to the past the basis of viewing Nehru's legacy, and of glimpsing its significance for a future that will take us to another era. And, in doing so, I want to place emphasis not on his legacy to India, but to the worldthough they are, of course, entwined.

  • Peace: An Ambition Beyond Armistice

    I count it a great honour to be invited to deliver this third series of Bertrand Russell Peace Lectures. The two previous distinguished speakers in this series were 'peace activists' in a very practical sense; peace was more than simply their field of academic inquiry, it was their vocation. As a practitioner of international affairs I have many pursuits, but because peace is an over-arching concern in my endeavours on behalf of the Commonwealth and the wider international community, I think of myself as an activist of sorts.

  • One World to Share

    It is humbling to deliver this year's 'One People' Oration. It is awesome to do so in this great abbey church of Westminster, this sacred place which has been the scene of so much which has passed into history. Sir Christopher Wren, the architect of another of London's great churches, St. Paul's Cathedral, and the restorer of this, once said that 'architecture has its political use; public buildings being the ornament of a country; it establishes a nation, draws people and commerce; makes people love their native country....'.

  • 'The Black Must be Discharged'

    My Lord Chancellor, you do us all a great honour by your presence here this evening, particularly me. I recall that our paths first converged in Edinburgh, at the highly successful 1977 Commonwealth Law Conference, on whose Organising Committee you served, as James Mackay QC, Dean of the Faculty of Advocates. I was able to tell the Conference then of my admiration for Scots lawyers and Scots lawto dissent from Lord Maugham's invective against 'those interesting relics of barbarism tempered by a few importations from Rome, known to the world as Scot's law!' I pointed instead to the role of the two Scots Law Lords who, with a Lord Chancellor of Welsh-Australian extraction, had been able to override the views of English brethren and ensure immortality, for reasons I will stress later, for what may or may not have been a snail pickled in ginger beerand, in the process, vitality for the Common Law.

  • Endangered Earth

    I start by thanking the organisers of the Cambridge Lectures on Environment and Development for the honour of my initiating what promises to be a prestigious and influential series.

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