Small States in the Global Society

image of Vulnerability

This study is the result of a decision by Commonwealth Heads of Government at their 1983 Meeting in New Delhi. It was conceived in the framework of the Commonwealth’s long-standing concern with the economic problems of its very many small member states. The ‘vulnerability’ of small states is the essential concept informing the enquiry and it is considered in all its relevant aspects – military, political, economic, technical, social and cultural.  



Foreword by the Commonwealth Secretary-General

When they met in New Delhi in October 1983, Commonwealth Heads of Government were deeply concerned about the precarious state of the international situation. They reflected this concern in their Goa Declaration of International Security. But, while their anxieties encompassed the global situation, they were at the time acutely aware of the peculiar vulnerability of small states which had been brought so dramatically to the world's attention over the preceding month with events in Grenada.


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