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Pacific Islands Forum

Pacific Islands Forum (PIF)
Membership (light cream) of the Pacific Islands Forum.
Membership (light cream) of the Pacific Islands Forum.
Seat of Secretariat Suva, Fiji
 -  Forum Chair annual rotation
 -  Secretary General Meg Taylor
 -  as South Pacific Forum 1971 
 -  renamed Pacific Islands Forum 1999 
 -  Total 8,538,293 km2
3,296,653 sq mi
 -  2008 estimate 40 million
 -  Density 4/km2
10.4/sq mi
GDP (nominal) 2012 estimate
 -  Total US$ 1.689 trilliona
 -  Per capita US$ 28,543
HDI (2007–2008)  0.753a
high · 97tha
Time zone
a. If the Forum considered as a single state.

The Pacific Islands Forum is an independent countries of the Pacific Ocean. It was founded in 1971 as the South Pacific Forum. In 1999, the name was changed; Pacific Islands Forum is more inclusive of the Forum's Oceania-spanning membership of both north and south Pacific island countries, including Australia. It is an official observer at the United Nations.

The mission of the Pacific Islands Forum is “to work in support of Forum member governments, to enhance the economic and social well-being of the people of the South Pacific by fostering cooperation between governments and between international agencies, and by representing the interests of Forum members in ways agreed by the Forum”. Its decisions are implemented by the

  • Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat
  • "Backgrounder: Pacific Islands Forum", Xinhua, August 18, 2008
  • AgritradeArticles on Pacific Islands Agricultural Trade at

External links

  1. ^ Unattributed. "About Us". Pacific Islands Forum web site. Pacific Islands Forum. Retrieved 2008-08-23. 
  2. ^ "American Samoa’s Tulafono pleased to be part of Pacific family".  
  3. ^ "Solomon’s Prime Minister says all Forum members backed suspension threat".  
  4. ^ Portal:Oceania - WorldHeritage, the free encyclopedia. (2008-08-26). Retrieved on 2013-07-16.
  5. ^ Statement by Forum Chair on suspension of the Fiji military regime from the Pacific Islands Forum; PIFS Press Statement 21/09, 2 May 2009
  6. ^ "Chair of Pacific Islands Forum says Fiji has been suspended".  
  7. ^ a b c "Fiji suspended from Pacific Islands Forum".  
  8. ^ "Fiji isolated after election deadline expires".  
  9. ^ Statement by Forum Chair on lifting the suspension of Fiji from the Pacific Islands Forum. (2014-10-24). Retrieved on 2015-01-07.
  10. ^ a b communique forum.pdf "Forum Communiqué, Alofi, Niue" (PDF). Thirty-Ninth Pacific Islands Forum. Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat. 2008-08-20. Retrieved 2008-08-22.  The Niue Declaration on Climate Change is Appendix B of this document.
  11. ^ Unattributed (2008-08-22). "Decision on Wallis bid to join Forum (as Associate Member) deferred". Latest Pacific News Headlines. Radio New Zealand International. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 
  12. ^ a b c Vula, Timoci (2011-09-09). "Slade back at the helm".  
  13. ^ Fisher, Mue (2011-09-09). "Forum Leaders endorse Slade's second term as SG". PRESS STATEMENT (83/11). Forum Secretariat. Retrieved 2011-10-29. 
  14. ^ Dave Peebles -Pacific Regional Order 2005 1920942467- Page 141 "As discussed in Chapter Four, in 1995 the Forum instituted a new annual meeting, the Forum Economic Ministers Meeting (FEMM). Accordingto the Forum Secretariat, the FEMM 'plays a key role in assessing regional economic developments, ...
  15. ^ Full PICTA text
  16. ^ a b PICTA status report
  17. ^ "Solomon Islands Ready to Trade Under PICTA", Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat
  18. ^ "Vanuatu ready to trade under PICTA", People's Daily Online
  19. ^ [2] Protocol
  20. ^ Pacific Trade in Services Negotiations - First Round, Pacific Island Forum Secretariat
  21. ^ Gao (2008-08-22). "Fiji ministers "angry" at Pacific Islands Forum's suspension warning". World. Xinhuanet. Retrieved 2008-08-23.  "Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said Pacific leaders were losing patience with Fiji's interim government. He said Australia will mobilize any resources necessary to restore democracy to Fiji."
  22. ^ Unattributed (2008-08-19). "UN to Help Pacific Island States Fight Climate Change". Environment News Service. Retrieved 2008-08-23. 
  23. ^ Unattributed (2013-09-19). "Nuclear contamination still an issue for Marshall Islands". Radio Australia. Retrieved 2013-09-19. 
  24. ^ Unattributed (2013-09-19). "Marshall Islands minister unhappy with John Key nuclear response". Radio New Zealand International. Retrieved 2013-09-19. 


See also

There has been a call from within both the Australian and New Zealand business communities to extend the CER (Closer Economic Relations) to other Pacific island nations, moving towards a single market and allowing the free movement of people and goods. A Pacific Union has been theorized as the next step of the forum.


At the 19–20 August 2008 Pacific Islands Forum meeting in Niue, the leaders discussed Pacific Plan priorities including, “fisheries, energy, trade and economic integration, climate change and transport, in addition to information and communication technology, health, education, and good governance.” Leaders also discussed the impacts of climate change and adopted the Niue Declaration on Climate Change. Restoration of democratic governance in Fiji was discussed as were consequences should the interim government fail to meet established deadlines.[21] Regional assistance to the Solomon Islands and Nauru was discussed, followed by discussion of radioactive contamination in the Marshall Islands from US government tests. Regional institutional framework issues and WTO Doha round developments were discussed, followed by discussion of country-initiatives and the Pacific Region Infrastructure Facility launched 19 August 2008 to provide up to A$200 million over four years to help improve infrastructure in Kiribati, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.[10] The United Nations announced that it would partner with Samoa to develop an Inter-Agency Climate Change Centre to help Pacific island nations combat the impacts of climate change in the region.[22] In the 2013 forum, the Marshall Islands, supported by all other Pacific nations, claimed compensation from the United States for the nuclear tests conducted on the islands during the 1940s and 1950s.[23][24]

An “open skies” policy has been under work by a number of nations. The Pacific Islands Air Services Agreement or PIASA would allow member nations to have more access for their airlines to other member countries. To date there have been ten signatories, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu, while only six have ratified the agreement. These six are Cook Islands, Nauru, Niue, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu.

Recent works

The Office of the Chief Trade Adviser was established on 29 March 2010 to provide independent advice and support to the Pacific Forum Island Countries (FICs) in the PACER Plus trade negotiations with Australia and New Zealand.

After entry into force, countries commit to remove tariffs on most goods by 2021. As of April 2008, The Forum Island Countries are also negotiating an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union. It is important to note that the PICTA discussed here covers only trade of goods. At the Forum Island Leaders Meeting held in Rarotonga, Cook Islands on 28 August 2012, nine members signed the Pacific Island Countries Trade Agreement Trade in Services (PICTA TIS).[19] As of April 2008, there is an ongoing negotiation to design and agree on a protocol to include trade in services and the temporary movement of natural persons (a broader concept than the GATS's Mode 4).[20]

The Pacific Island Countries Trade Agreement[15] (PICTA) aims to establish a free-trade area between 14 of the Pacific Islands Forum countries. As of 2013, it had been signed by 12 states:[16] Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu. (It has not been signed by Palau or the Marshall Islands.) All of the signing states have ratified the treaty, with the exception of Micronesia. As of March 2008, six countries had announced that domestic arrangements had been made enabling them to trade under the agreement:[16] Cook Islands, Fiji, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands,[17] Vanuatu.[18]

Pacific Island Countries Trade Agreement

The Forum Economic Ministers Meeting (FEMM) established in 1995, plays a key role in assessing regional economic developments.[14]

  1. Development and Economic Policy
  2. Trade and Investment
  3. Political, International and Legal Affairs
  4. Corporate Services

There are four divisions in the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, and each of these divisions has direct responsibility for a range of programs designed to improve the capacity of the Forum member countries and to co-ordinate action on matters of common interest:

The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat was established initially as a trade bureau in 1972 and later became the South Pacific Bureau for Economic Co-operation (SPEC). The name South Pacific Forum Secretariat was approved by member governments in 1988 and changed to Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat in 2000.

Library and archives building at the Secretariat complex in Suva, Fiji.

Institutions and legal framework

  • Henry Naisali (Tuvalu) January 1986 – September 1988
  • Mahe Tupouniua (Tonga) January 1983 – January 1986
  • John Sheppard (Australia) (acting) 1982 – January 1983
  • Gabriel Gris (Papua New Guinea) 1980–1982 (died in office)
  • Mahe Tupouniua (Tonga) November 1972 – 1980

Directors of the South Pacific Bureau for Economic Co-operation

[12] The Secretary General also automatically serves as the permanent chairman of the [12] The Secretary General reports directly to the national leaders and the Forum Officials' Committee (FOC).[12] The Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat is appointed to a three-year term by the leaders of the member states.

Secretaries General

Dialogue partners
 Canada  China (CN)  Cuba  European Union
 France  India  Indonesia (ID)  Italy
 Japan  South Korea  Malaysia (MY)  Philippines
 Spain  Thailand  Turkey  United Kingdom
 United States

Map indicating the members and observers of the Pacific Islands Forum

Member states[10]
 Australia (AU)  Marshall Islands (MH)  Niue (NU)  Solomon Islands (SB)
 Cook Islands (CK)  Micronesia (FM)  Palau (PW)  Tonga (TO)
 Fiji (FJ)  Nauru (NR)  Papua New Guinea (PG)  Tuvalu (TV)
 Kiribati (KI)  New Zealand (NZ)  Samoa (WS)  Vanuatu (VU)
Associate members Observers
 New Caledonia (NC)  French Polynesia (PF)  Tokelau (TK)  Timor-Leste (TL)
 Wallis and Futuna (WF)[11]  Guam (GU)
 American Samoa (AS)  Northern Mariana Islands (MP)
 United Nations Commonwealth of Nations
Asian Development Bank WCPFC
For abbreviations, see ISO 3166-1.


Following the Fijian general election of 17 September 2014, the Forum lifted the suspension of Fiji on 22 October 2014.[9]

The 2009 suspension of Fiji marked the first time that a country had been suspended from the Pacific Islands Forum in the history of the then 38-year-old organization.[8]

In August 2008, the Forum threatened to suspend Fiji if the latter did not commit to holding a general election by March 2009.[3] Subsequently, at a special leaders' meeting of the Pacific Islands Forum, held in Papua New Guinea in January 2009, Forum leaders set a deadline of 1 May, by which date Fiji must set a date for elections before the end of the year. Fiji rejected the deadline.[4] Consequently, on May 2, Fiji was suspended indefinitely from participation in the Forum with immediate effect.[5][6] Toke Talagi, the Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum and Premier of Niue, described the suspension as "also particularly timely given the recent disturbing deterioration of the political, legal and human rights situation in Fiji since April 10, 2009".[7] He described Fiji as “a regime which displays such a total disregard for basic human rights, democracy and freedom” which he believed contravened membership of the Pacific Islands Forum.[7] Talagi emphasised, however, that Fiji had not been expelled and that it would be welcomed back into the fold when it returned to the path of "constitutional democracy, through free and fair elections".[7]

Suspension of Fiji

From August 5–7, 1971, the first meeting of the South Pacific Forum was initiated by New Zealand and held in Wellington, with attendants of the following seven countries: the President of Nauru, the Prime Ministers of Western Samoa, Tonga and Fiji, the Premier of the Cook Islands, the Australian Minister for External Territories, and the Prime Minister of New Zealand. It was a private and informal discussion of a wide range of issues of common concern, concentrating on matters directly affecting the daily lives of the people of the islands of the South Pacific, devoting particular attention to trade, shipping, tourism, and education. Afterwards this meeting was held annually in member countries and areas in turn. In 1999, the 30th South Pacific Forum decided to transform into Pacific Islands Forum, with more extensive and formal way of discussion and organization. Immediately after the forum’s annual meeting at head of government level, the Post Forum Dialogue (PFD) is conducted at ministerial level with PFD development partners around the world.



  • History 1
    • Suspension of Fiji 1.1
  • Membership 2
  • Secretaries General 3
  • Institutions and legal framework 4
  • Pacific Island Countries Trade Agreement 5
  • Recent works 6
  • Prospects 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10

In September 2011, the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands were granted observer status in the Pacific Islands Forum.[2]

Australia and New Zealand are generally larger and wealthier than the other countries that make up the rest of the forum, Australia's population is around twice that of the other 15 members combined and its economy is more than five times larger. They are significant aid donors and big markets for exports from the other countries. Military and police forces as well as civilian personnel of Forum states, chiefly Australia and New Zealand, have recently been part of regional peacekeeping and stabilization operations in other states, notably in Solomon Islands (2003–) and Nauru (2004–2009), under Forum auspices. Such regional efforts are mandated by the Biketawa Declaration, which was adopted at the 31st Summit of Pacific Islands Forum Leaders, held at Kiribati in October 2000.


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