- With the passing of ANR Robinson, Trinidad & Tobago, the Caribbean and the global community have lost a true son and patriot.
- ANR came to political prominence as an elected representative to the Federal Parliament in 1958.
- His proposal for an International Criminal Court to deal with Crimes against Humanity was so revolutionary that not many, even among his friends, gave it a chance.
Most Honourable P. J. Patterson, ON,OCC,PC,QC Former Prime Minister of Jamaica
On the passing of His Excellency (the late)
ARTHUR NAPOLEAN RAYMOND (ANR) ROBINSON,SC, OCC, TC
Former President & Prime Minister of Trinidad & Tobago
With the passing of ANR Robinson, Trinidad & Tobago, the Caribbean and the global community have lost a true son and patriot.
Tobago was his platform, his launching pad and he remained fiercely loyal and grounded to it throughout his long political career.
ANR came to political prominence as an elected representative to the Federal Parliament in 1958. He served Trinidad and Tobago with distinction in many capacities and at the very highest levels and was ready to put down his life for his country.
He remained a deeply committed regionalist. His insistence in the 1989 Conference of Heads of Government in Grenada that the Region place greater emphasis on the development of its human resources, was most insightful since the world was entering what we now recognize as an age driven by competitive technology. It led to a re-awakening of the consciousness of the pivotal role of the University of the West Indies and firm agreement to maintain it as a regional institution indefinitely.
Mr. Robinson also maintained a keen interest in International Affairs. His proposal for an International Criminal Court to deal with Crimes against Humanity was so revolutionary that not many, even among his friends, gave it a chance.
When the United States withdrew support, the idea seemed doomed. But ANR was absolutely convinced, not only of the correctness of his proposal, but that the timing was absolutely right. In his quiet, dignified and persuasive way, ANR maintained the solidarity of his CARICOM colleagues and strategically secured the support of key Heads of State and Government across different regions of the world.
That the International Criminal Court (ICC) was established with the adoption of the Statute of Rome in 1998 and made operational with its ratification on July 1, 2002, is perhaps the finest testimony to vision, persuasiveness, fortitude and courage.
The young ANR Robinson, coming out of a small island with few facilities and at the Great Depression and the Second World War, used what he had to equip himself well for his future career. By age 30, he was an Economist and Barrister at-law with deep knowledge of philosophy and politics in which he also majored. What better preparation for a career of public service, political leadership and the law?
I consider myself fortunate to have known ANR and to have seen him operate at close range. We worked closely together during the Jamaat AI Muslimeen Coup attempt in 1990, when, due to the illness of the late Most Honourable Michael Manley, I served as Acting Prime Minister and chaired the CARICOM Conference of Heads in Kingston.
It is in that spirit that I convey my condolences on his transition to his family, the Government and People of Trinidad & Tobago and his dearly beloved Tobago.
April 11, 2014