A Future for Small States

Overcoming Vulnerability

Paperback: £60.00

A Future for Small States

Publication date: 1 January 1997
Size: 220mm x 143mm
ISBN: 978-0-85092-511-1
Pages: 178

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.

ContentsExpand or collapse me

Foreword by the Commonwealth Secretary-General
Letter of Presentation
Executive Summary and Recommendations

1. Introduction
Terms of Reference
The Insecurity of Small States
The Structure of the Report

2. Smallness and Vulnerability
The Characteristics of Small States
The Concept of Vulnerability
Size and Vulnerability

3. The Threat Scenario
The Definition of Threat and National Security
The Range of Security Threats to Small States: Threats to territorial security, Threats to political security, Threats to economic security, Environmental threats, Threats to social cohesion
Threats and Vulnerability

4. The Economic Consequences of Smallness
Economic Consequences of Small Economic Size: Trade openness, Commodity export concentration, Dependence on foreign resource flows, Limited capacity to manage the economic environment, High international transport costs
The Recent Economic Performance of Small States

5. The Economic Dimension: Analysis
The Effects of Globalisation: Trade, Financial markets and capital flows, New communications technologies and their impact, The role of the private sector
Trends in Regionalisation: The Lome Convention, The Caribbean, The South Pacific, The Indian Ocean, Africa, The Mediterranean
Small States and Regionalisation

5. The Economic Dimension: Response and Recommendations
Trade Policies and Preferences: Bananas and sugar, Beef, Rice, Textiles and clothing, Other products, other issues, Overall assessment
Commercial and Marketing Policies
Aid Policies and Resource Mobilisation
Recommendations: Trade policy, Marketing policy, Resource mobilisation, Reform and the private sector

7. The Environmental Dimension: Analysis
Environmental Vulnerability
External Risks: Natural disasters, Vulnerability to sea-level rise, Vulnerability to extreme events, Marine pollution
Internal Risks: Deforestation, Desertification and soil erosion, Water, Fishing, Tourism
Ecological Fragility
Vulnerability and Sustainability: Sustainability indicators, Capital stocks

8. The Environment: Response and Recommendations
The Special Problems of SIDS: Reacting to sea-level rise, Natural and environmental disasters, Sustainable tourism development, Financial resources
Macroeconomics and the environment: Macropolicy reform
Demonstrating and Capturing Environmental Value: Demonstrating economic value: resource accounting, Capturing economic value: pricing the environment, Capturing global values, Global environment facility
Other Innovative Sources of Finance
Sectoral Policy

9. The Political Dimension: Analysis
The Caribbean
The South Pacific
The Indian Ocean
The Mediterranean

10. The Political Dimension: Response and Recommendations
The National Level: Enforcement capabilities, Social integrity, Policy capacity
Bilateral Arrangements
Regional Security: The Caribbean, The South Pacific, The Indian Ocean, South Africa, Nuclear Weapon Free Zones

11. National Measures to Enhance Security Through Capacity Building
Human Capital: Education, Women and development
Social Capital: Employment, Empowerment, Social integration
Investing in Technology
Capacity-Building in Small States: The Commonwealth Experience

12. Enhancing the Role of Small States in the International System
The Position of Small States in the Global Context
International Law
The World Trade Organization
The United Nations
The Commonwealth

Annex: Recommendations of the 1985 Vulnerability Report
Members of the Advisory Group