After earning herself an unprecedented rank in the Caribbean as a twenty-one-year-old in the House of Assembly as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Castries South-East during the Saint Lucia Labour Party’s historic general election victory (16-1) in 1997, Menissa Rambally has created for herself an impressive track record of Saint Lucian representation. This includes her service in the Saint Lucian government in various ministries and as a political consultant in the wider Caribbean. Her most recent is the stint in the Permanent Mission of Saint Lucia to the United Nations as an ambassador.
Rambally’s duties as the latter ended in 2016. She recently crafted her first publication: a coffee table book that includes brief accounts of all the Saint Lucian faces that have graced the halls of the United Nations, be it as ambassadors, prime ministers or ministers for foreign affairs “and, by extension, who have left their mark on the landscape of international community”. Those individuals, Rambally says, had heavily influenced her ambition to represent her country by their “great illustrations of service”. She felt “proud as a young Saint Lucian” that the burden was handed to her to serve Saint Lucia in that capacity.
Rambally’s issuance of ‘Saint Lucia: the United Nations Journey 1979 – 2016’ is intended to be more of a belonging of the country than the author herself. At the official launch, modestly held on January 15 at the Financial Administrative Centre in Castries, Rambally presented the book humbly. She avowed, “It is a gift from me to the nation as a token of my gratitude for having had the privilege to serve Saint Lucia in the capacity as one of its representatives at the United Nations.”
However, as to be presumed from the standards Rambally has set for herself, especially in the public eye, a coffee table book isn’t all that she aspires her project to be. “I hope that it marks not simply the launching of a book which really is an account of history of Saint Lucia,” she opined, “but more importantly I think it is an opportunity for us to reflect on all that makes us special, that makes us great, that reminds us that we are a tiny place in the world but not insignificant in the contribution that we have made and that we can make going forward.”
After expressing gratitude to her mother—whom Rambally claims she could not have published this book without—to the supportive staff at the Permanent Mission of Saint Lucia to the United Nations, and to Sir Julian Hunte who she said “propelled Saint Lucia to the pinnacle of that institution that represents all that the world can be”, a video was played. With Adrian Augier’s acclaimed narration and a few quotes pulled out from Rambally’s launch speech, it was a profound multimedia snippet of what ‘Saint Lucia: the United Nations Journey 1979 – 2016’ entails.
This publication will almost immediately be available for perusal at the Saint Lucia National Archives Authority, Castries Central Library, and the Hunter J. Francois Library. Later, the contents will be uploaded on the website of the Permanent Mission of Saint Lucia to the United Nations and, if the necessity arises, the title will be sold for a token fee at bookstores.
It is Rambally’s hope that whilst skimming through the contents the following sentiment is kept in mind: “Our capacity reveals that when we put Saint Lucia first, much can be achieved.”