The Commonwealth has made a commitment to represent the interests of small states at this year's scheduled summits of the Small Island Developing States and the G-20.

The commitment emerged from the inaugural meeting of a Commonwealth working group held on the sidelines of the Global Biennial Conference on Small States, hosted by St. Lucia.

The working group includes Jamaica, Maldives, Malta, Lesotho, Samoa, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Namibia, Seychelles and Sri Lanka.

Seychelles Foreign Minister Jean-Paul Adam, who chaired the meeting, told reporters the committee looked at key areas of concern for small states, such as climate change, development and trade and ocean governance.

"The Commonwealth is very well placed to help us in terms of technical assistance and also in terms of presenting a framework which is actually achievable in the context of international development," he said.

"From my experiences, there've not been many occasions when we've had such a strong technical document to put forward. We have a much stronger technical document than we've had before and that gives me confidence," Adam added.

Most small states have been excluded from aid to mitigate the effects of climate change, simply because they have been reclassified as middle-income countries, the minister pointed out.

Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma told reporters that his organization has the means and the will to represent the small states.

"The Commonwealth is the preferred interlocutor for the Group of 20 working group on development and they look forward to all the input that we can bring from the outer world," he said.

"We say very often that 90 percent of the world's GDP is on the table of the G-20, but 90 percent of the world's countries are outside," he said.

"So who is going to make available the dilemmas and the anxieties and the expectations of the outside world? The Commonwealth does it in a variety of ways," Sharma said. EFE