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  • Thirty-two of the world’s 42 small states are Commonwealth members.

    The Commonwealth has championed small and vulnerable states since the 1980s.

    We campaign internationally for special attention to the unique development challenges they face.

Small States

Thirty-two of the world’s 42 small states are Commonwealth members.

The Commonwealth has championed small and vulnerable states since the 1980s.

We campaign internationally for special attention to the unique development challenges they face.

Small states are particularly vulnerable because of their:

  • geographic positioning
  • strong dependence on trade
  • limited access to development finance
  • disproportionate impact of natural disasters and climate change. 

Our work

We:

  • push for international policies and rules to be more responsive to small states’ needs.
  • help Commonwealth small states access financing, build resilience, and have a voice on the global stage.
  • deliver our work through economic research and analysis, and put our ideas into action in toolkits for small states.  

Definition of a small state

The Commonwealth defines small states as:

  • countries with a population of 1.5 million people or less.
  • countries with a bigger population but which share many of the same characteristics. For example, Botswana, Jamaica, Lesotho, Namibia, and Papua New Guinea.
  • Thirty-two of the 54 member countries of the Commonwealth are small states.

Advocacy

We bring together member states to discuss ideas and build consensus on Commonwealth policy positions which we promote internationally.

Key meetings organised by the Commonwealth include:

Research and publications

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