11 December, London – Representatives of Commonwealth small states have initially identified key issues such as vulnerabilities and crisis derived from climate change, high crime rate, gun violence and illicit drug trade, as key peace and development challenges which should be tackled through a South-South initiative aiming to drive sustainable peace and inclusive development.

“The principles of South-South collaboration – horizontal exchange, ownership and non-conditionality, and solidarity – have always been hallmarks of the Commonwealth,” said Katalaina Sapolu, Director of Governance and Peace Directorate at the Commonwealth, in her opening remarks. “In a time of interesting global innovations and democratic challenges, South-South cooperation is an essential tool to enable more diverse opportunities and models for development, and create spaces for innovative solutions.”