The Summitry of Small States: Towards the "Caribbean Summit"

CIGI Policy Brief #15

April 13, 2009

At previous Summits of the Americas, the concerns of small states have often been overshadowed by those of the hemisphere's larger powers. However, as host to the fifth Summit in April 2009, Trinidad and Tobago - along with the other small states of the Caribbean - now occupies a coveted position. The Caribbean's host status emphasizes its need to find innovative and somewhat unorthodox forms of diplomatic engagement to ensure their interests are well served in a hyper-globalized world. This policy brief discusses the ability of these small states to put key Caribbean policy issues such as regional security, environmental sustainability and economic prosperity at the top of the summit agenda. In light of the sustained engagement of regional civil society groups and the emphasis placed on Caribbean solidarity in the lead-up to the meeting, expectations will be high for the "Caribbean Summit."

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