He was Minister for Foreign Affairs and Justice of Guyana, and then Commonwealth Secretary General, 1975-90. He chaired the West Indian Commission, 1992. He served as Chancellor of the University of Guyana 1988-92; Chancellor of the University of Warwick, 1989-01; and Chancellor of University of the West Indies, 1989-03. He is presently Chancellor Emeritus of University of the West Indies. He co-chaired the International Commission on Global Governance, and chaired the first Board of International IDEA (Stockholm). He is currently a Director of the Board of the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation (New Delhi). As President of the World Conservation Union, 1990-93, he was the Special Advisor to the Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, 1992. He received the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development in 2002.