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5th Global Biennial Conference on Small States

Under the theme ‘Building Resilience through Disaster Risk Reduction’, the 5th Global Biennial Conference on Small States (GBCSS) will bring together senior officials from Commonwealth and non-Commonwealth small states, as well as key regional and international development partners.

The conference will be held in Apia, Samoa, 25-29 March 2019. It will take stock of the challenges facing small states, particularly in relation to preparedness and response to natural disasters.

Specific objectives include:

  • Providing training on disaster risk reduction and disaster finance for senior officials in ministries of finance.
  • Creating a space for development partners, academia, the private sector and other non-state actors to present their innovative disaster risk reduction solutions to policy-makers and other key stakeholders in small states. 
  • Matching products and strategies from development partners to the specific disaster risk reductions needs of small states. 
  • Agreeing a Commonwealth small states perspective on disaster risk management to guide the Secretariat’s interventions at the United Nations Global Forum on Disaster Risk Reduction, which will be held in Geneva in May 2019.

Ahead of the conference, academics and technical experts will meet in London at Marlborough House for the Commonwealth’s first Research Conference on Small States.

The research conference is an important new facet in the Secretariat’s efforts to help small states focus their attention on and improve their ability to deliver evidenced-based policies, and will shape and inform discussions at GBCSS.

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Conference Agenda