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  • Resolving maritime boundaries

    Barbados and St Vincent and the Grenadines reach a landmark agreement that settles the maritime boundary between their two territories.

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Small states

Small states are sovereign countries with a population of 1.5 million people or fewer. There are 31 small states in the Commonwealth.

As members of the Commonwealth, small states have an equal voice. It enables them to take part in international decision-making on issues that affect them, such as climate change.

With limited resources, small states face many challenges, including:

  • dependence on a narrow range of exports
  • high transportation costs due to insularity and remoteness
  • dependence on strategic imports such as food and fuel
  • susceptibility to natural disasters and environmental change 
  • decline in global trade and investment
  • lack of readily available information for investors and trading partners
  • limited capacity to harness growth opportunities. 

Some larger countries - Botswana, Jamaica, Lesotho, Namibia and Papua New Guinea - are classified as small states as they share similar characteristics.

Commonwealth partnership protects Mauritius mangroves

Hundreds of mangroves were planted in Mauritius last week as part of a Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub and Air Mauritius partnership aimed at expanding the Pointe d’Esny wetland site of mangroves.

Caribbean Development Bank leading the way on linking vulnerability with development financing

Is there merit to an aid system focused on vulnerability? What problems could arise with the Caribbean Development Bank's proposal for the Caribbean? Travis Mitchell, Head of Economic Policy and Small States invites your thoughts.

Kiribati welcomes support to make health services more resilient

The Government of Kiribati has welcomed the Commonwealth’s support as it works to strengthen its health system.

Spotlight on Geneva: Small states trade project ‘vital for recovery and economic development’

Ambassadors of Commonwealth countries in Geneva say the Secretariat’s Small States Office gives them a voice on the world stage.