084_Global12_CWN_V4

Global issue 12

commonwealth network Colloquia/Commonwealth in Action Small states, big challenges Drawn together by the same pressing needs and priorities, representatives from Commonwealth small states convened in London to discuss the current economic, social and environmental challenges and find practical solutions to enhance growth and overcome vulnerability The small states of the Commonwealth gath- need for international support mechanisms recalling its genesis during the Joint Task ered at Marlborough House, London, to ex- for sustained growth. These discussions Force on Small States of March 2000. amine key development concerns and share were centred on a series of policy research They saw many emerging opportunities practical lessons and policy options for build- papers that had been jointly commissioned for advancing the interests of small states, ing resilience at the Second Global Bien- by the Secretariat and the World Bank. including a strengthening of the Common- nial Conference on Small States. Thirty-one Participants also analysed the prevailing wealth-Francophonie-G20 relationship, countries were represented at the conference, practice of promoting regional integration consultations to address the emerging glo- which took place from 17–18 September. only in regards to international trade. This, bal discourse on the post-2015 development The agenda for the biennial meeting was they concluded, disregards a number of ac- framework, and the upcoming 2013 Com- crafted through a consultation with the tual economic benefits. Given the limited monwealth Heads of Government Meeting Commonwealth Secretariat and the World institutional and human capacities, small and 2014 UN Conference on Small Island Bank at the Experts Meeting on Growth internal markets, limited diversification op- Developing States. and Development in Small States, held in portunities, failure to acquire economies It was agreed that the Commonwealth Malta last November. Five priority focal of scale, reliance on strategic imports, and Secretariat will convene the Third Global areas were chosen based on the current and reduced financial resources, participants Conference on Small States in 2014 and most pressing needs and priorities of small called for efforts to unlock new develop- develop a practical programme of work, in states: green growth; tourism development ment opportunities through integration collaboration with small states, develop- and local economy linkages; enhancing around functional cooperation, and to ad- ment partners and international institutions. growth through regional integration; migra- dress the wider development challenges tion and development; and practical ways and social policy responses. Wonderful Khonje, Economic Officer, to build resilience. Participants welcomed the deepening Economic Affairs Division at the At the meeting, delegates discussed the partnership between the Commonwealth Commonwealth Secretariat five priority areas and further highlighted the Secretariat and the World Bank Group, Jamaica at 50: a time for reflection As Jamaica marks its 50th anniversary of independence, the small Caribbean island remembers some of its greatest achievements and looks forward to its bright future This year is a special one for Jamaica as foreign policy. We have made major con- we celebrate our golden jubilee as an inde- tributions to the Commonwealth and the pendent nation. The government, through United Nations – in particular, to the Se- the Jamaica 50 Secretariat, collaborated curity Council for which we have held the with a number of stakeholders to organise a presidency on two occasions. wide range of events for this year-long cel- Since our exploits at the 2008 Olympics ebration, including the Golden Jubilee Vil- in Beijing, Jamaica has been recognised as lage, reggae concerts and dance festivals. the ‘sprint capital’ of the world. The feat The events culminated in a Grand Gala held was repeated at this year’s Olympic Games at the National Stadium in Kingston, featur- in London. The extraordinary perform- ing cultural performances and the ceremo- ture parliamentary system with institutions ances of our athletes, such as Usain Bolt, nial arrivals of state officials. important for the preservation of our de- Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Yohan Blake, This 50th year of independence presents mocracy and which have been the product have placed our nation at the pinnacle of us with an opportunity to reflect on our past of bi-partisan parliamentary approach”. sporting history. achievements and the challenges that con- Jamaica has also made significant strides When you take into account Jamaica’s front us. In so doing, we can develop strat- in health care, achieved comparative stand- size and population, we punch far above egies to move the country forward, as we ards in infant mortality and life expectancy, our weight. seek to make Jamaica the place of choice made improvements in infrastructure and to live, work, raise families, invest and re- expanded access to education at all levels. Aloun Ndombet-Assamba, High Commissioner tire. In the words of Prime Minister Portia On the international stage, Jamaica is for Jamaica Simpson Miller, “the country boasts a ma- known for its independent and principled 84 lwww.global-briefing.org fourth quarter 2012global


Global issue 12
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