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  HOME | Caribbean

St. Lucia Hosts Global Small States Conference

CASTRIES, St. Lucia – The resilience of developing countries will be examined over the next two days as the Commonwealth Secretariat seeks ways to help small island developing states deal with the myriad of challenges they face.

The third Global Biennial Conference on Small States gives representatives of government, academia and international organizations a chance to discuss key concerns of small states, share practical lessons and review policy options, Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma told reporters Tuesday.

“Small states tend to get marginalized in international discourse,” he said in Castries.

“We are trying to be very practical in this, if you disaggregate all the problems that are contributing to the vulnerability of the states, then you have very specific assignments which you can give yourself,” Sharma said.

“We are very strong in the Commonwealth in developing the idea of vulnerability and what it consists of. It’s more than poverty, middle-income states can also be very vulnerable states because of the effect which the global context is having on them,” he said.

The two-day conference will focus on five pillars of resilience: macro-economic stability; micro-economic market efficiency; good governance; social development and cohesion; and sound environmental management.

The United Nations has designated 2014 as the International Year of Small Island Developing States.

Seychelles Foreign Minister Jean-Paul Adam told Efe that he is hoping “to see real recognition from the Commonwealth, which needs to be taken to all other international financial institutions, of the key specificity of the islands.”

“We cannot have a one-size-fit-all, we have to have an approach which looks at the realities of these countries,” he said.

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