Sir Shridath Surendranath Ramphal GCMG AC ONZ OE OCC QC (born 3 October 1928), often known as Sir Sonny Ramphal, is a Guyanese politician who was the second Commonwealth Secretary-General, holding the position from 1975 to 1990. He was also the foreign minister of Guyana from 1972 to 1975, and assistant attorney general of the West Indies Federation from 1958 to 1962.
Sir Shridath Surendranath Ramphal
श्रीदत्त सुरेंद्रनाथ रामफल
|2nd Secretary-General of the Commonwealth of Nations|
1 July 1975 – 30 June 1990
|Preceded by||Arnold Smith|
|Succeeded by||Chief Emeka Anyaoku|
|Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guyana|
|Prime Minister||Forbes Burnham|
|Preceded by||Forbes Burnham|
|Succeeded by||Frederick Wills|
|Born||3 October 1928|
Shridath Ramphal is an Earth Charter International Commission member.
Ramphal was born in New Amsterdam, British Guiana, to an Indo-Guyanese family. After attending schools in Georgetown, Ramphal studied law at King's College London, graduating with LL.B and LL.M degrees. He was called to the bar at Gray's Inn in London in 1951. As a pupil barrister he worked with the British politician and lawyer Dingle Foot. He continued studying law for a year at Harvard Law School in the US on a 1962 Guggenheim Fellowship.
Ramphal started his legal career as a Crown Counsel in the Attorney-General’s Office in 1953, becoming Solicitor-General and then Assistant Attorney-General of the short-lived West Indies Federation. After a period in private practice in Jamaica he returned to Guyana in 1965 to be the Attorney General. Two years later he was also appointed Minister of State in the Ministry of External Affairs, later becoming Minister of Justice (from 1973) and Minister of Foreign Affairs (from 1972). In 1975 he left Guyana to be Commonwealth Secretary-General. 
During Ramphal's time as Commonwealth Secretary-General, the United Kingdom represented by Margaret Thatcher was found to be in a minority of one on the issue of economic sanctions against apartheid South Africa.
With Ingvar Carlsson, he was in 1995 one of the co-chairs of the Commission on Global Governance, which reported on issues of international development, international security, globalization and global governance.
Ramphal has two daughters, Susan and Amanda, and two sons, Ian and Mark.
- Inseparable Humanity: An Anthology of Reflections (Hansib, 1988)
- Triumph for UNCLOS: The Guyana-Suriname Maritime Arbitration (Hansib, 2008)
- Caribbean Challenges: Sir Shridath Ramphal's Collected Counsel (Hansib, 2012)
Honours and awardsEdit
Sir Shridath was appointed a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in the 1966 Birthday Honours (the list was dated to 25 May of that year). He was knighted in the 1970 New Year Honours, and invested with his knighthood by the Queen at Buckingham Palace on 3 February. He was appointed a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St. Michael and St. George (GCMG) in 1990.
On 26 February 1982, Sir Shridath was appointed an honorary Companion of the Order of Australia (AC).On 6 February 1990, Ramphal was the 19th appointee to the Order of New Zealand, New Zealand's highest civil honour. He was decorated as a Member of the Order of the Caribbean Community (OCC) in the first conferment in 1992. In May 2006 Ramphal was appointed an Honorary Fellow of Royal Society of Arts. He is a Vice-President of the Royal Commonwealth Society. The Ramphal Building at the University of Warwick was named in his honour.
- Richard Bourne, Shridath Ramphal: The Commonwealth and the World (Hansib, 2009)
- "Shridath Ramphal". The Integrationist Caribbean. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
- "Sir Shridath Ramphal". The Judiciary of Trinidad and Tobago. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
- "Tributes to Sir Shridath Ramphal on his eightieth birthday". Staboek News. 3 October 2008. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
- "London Gazette, Supplement: 44004". London-gazette.co.uk. 3 June 1966. p. 6533. Retrieved 19 July 2014.
- "London Gazette, Supplement: 45004". London-gazette.co.uk. 30 December 1969. p. 49. Retrieved 19 July 2014.
- "London Gazette, Supplement: 45036". London-gazette.co.uk. 6 February 1970. p. 1551. Retrieved 19 July 2014.
- "The Barbados Advocate". Barbados Advocate. 22 October 2011. Archived from the original on 28 July 2014. Retrieved 19 July 2014.
- Australia: It's an Honour
- "Honours and Awards" (15 February 1990) 23 New Zealand Gazette 445 at 446.
- "Interview with Sir Shridath Ramphal: Commonwealth Oral History Project". School of Advanced Study, University of London.
- The Ramphal Institute - Official website for the continuation of the work of Sir Shridath Ramphal: promoting good governance, economic development and social justice around the world.
| Secretary-General for the Commonwealth
Chief Emeka Anyaoku
| Chancellor of the University of Warwick