Participants commended the work of international and regional organisations that have supported efforts by small states to promote their sustainable development and to strengthen their negotiating capacity
2 May 2007
Developing small states share a number of characteristics that pose special development challenges
Experts have urged the international community to support efforts aimed at building economic resilience of small states.
A final statement issued after an international conference on Small States and Economic Resilience held in Malta from 23 to 25 April 2007, stated that “consideration should be given to continue supporting Small Island Developing States in the endeavour to build and strengthen their economic resilience in order to withstand the effects of adverse economic shocks.”
The conference, which was organised by the Commonwealth Secretariat and the University of Malta, was aimed at identifying ways the international community can help small states realise sustainable development.
Participants stressed that while individual countries had an important responsibility for building resilience, there was a crucial role to be played by the international community in supporting small states in this endeavour.
They commended the work of international and regional organisations that have supported efforts by small states to promote their sustainable development and to strengthen their negotiating capacity.
“During the meeting participants also reviewed a number of policy approaches at national, regional and international levels aimed at building the resilience of small states,” said Constance Vigilance, Adviser, Economic Affairs Division, at the Commonwealth Secretariat.
“Some of these policies in regard to macroeconomic stability, social development, market adjustment and governance will be detailed in a report on the proceedings of the conference to be presented to the Commonwealth Finance Ministers Meeting slated for October this year in Guyana.”
Participants noted that various factors influenced the economic vulnerability of small states including their dependence on international trade which, while bringing benefits to economic activity, also resulted in heavy exposure to events in global markets and developments in the global trade regime; their high dependence on a narrow range of exports and strategic imports; limited options for diversification, and vulnerability to global climate change.
The conference brought together 54 leading specialists on small states development from across the Commonwealth as well as representatives from the World Bank, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the World Trade Organization and the United Nations Development Programme.
Full statement available here