Press release

Seychelles continues to champion cause of small state as Chair of Commonwealth Ministerial

September 26, 2014

Minister for Foreign Affairs Jean-Paul Adam, Chairman of the Commonwealth Open-Ended Ministerial Working Group (OEWG) on Small States, led a third round of discussions on the issues of small states in the margins of the 69th UN General Assembly taking place in New York.

The open-ended working group, which aimed at building on the momentum from consultations held earlier this month in Samoa, was an opportunity for discussions on the challenges that small states face and to explore possible ways to address these issues.

The meeting was opened with statements by H.E Professor G.L Peiris, Minister of External Relations of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, representing the current chair of the Commonwealth, and H.E Minister George Vella, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malta, representing the next chair of the Organization.

Minister Adam warmly thanked Sri Lanka and Malta for their engagement in ensuring that the cause of small states continues to be at the heart of the work of the Commonwealth.

The meeting was attended by the Foreign Ministers of Sri Lanka, Malta and Maldives and high level representatives from Brunei Darussalam, Jamaica, Maldives, Mauritius, Namibia, Singapore, and St Vincent and the Grenadines.

During the discussions, the group agreed that the vulnerability of small states is multi-faceted; “a one-size-fits-all concept is irrelevant and cannot be adopted for small states as with this concept, the big become bigger and the smallest of us will continue to struggle” said Minister Adam.