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A Future for Small States
A Future for Small States

A Future for Small States

Overcoming Vulnerability

198 Pages, 5.75 x 8.5

Formats: Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $99.95 (US $99.95)

Publication Date: January 1997

ISBN 9780850925111

Rights: US & CA

The Commonwealth Secretariat (Jan 1997)
Commonwealth Secretariat

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There has been a dearth of solid analytical work done on the special problems of small states. This report attempts to overcome that shortcoming and provides a comprehensive analysis of vulnerability of small states in all its dimensions, including political, economic, social and environmental aspects. The Commonwealth's 31 small states (countries with a population of 1.5 million or less) do not form a homogeneous group, but share important characteristics which render them vulnerable, including openness, insularity, enclaveness, weakness and dependence. These characteristics of vulnerability are examined, both by type of threat - territorial, political, economic and environmental - and by region. Many small states have an enviable record of political stability, and some have a good record on economic and social progress; but others have struggled to develop their economies. Small states are concerned about possible marginalisation in a world of globalised trade, investment, finance and production; they are more susceptible than larger states to environmental threats, both natural and man-made; and threats posed to their security by international crime. The increasing importance of regional organisations and international fora for enhancing their security are discussed. The report provides a series of action points to counteract small states' vulnerability. It was prepared by a nine-member Advisory Group of eminent personalities constituted by the Commonwealth Secretary-General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, in response to a decision taken by member governments.