Pacific Islands Forum
The Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) is an inter-governmental organization that aims to enhance cooperation between countries and territories of the Pacific Ocean, including formation of a trade bloc and regional peacekeeping operations. It was founded in 1971 as the South Pacific Forum (SPF), and changed its name in 1999 to "Pacific Islands Forum", so as to be more inclusive of the Forum's Oceania-spanning membership of both north and south Pacific island countries, including Australia. It is a United Nations General Assembly observer.
Pacific Islands Forum
|Seat of Secretariat||Suva, Fiji|
• Forum Chair
• as South Pacific Forum
• renamed Pacific Islands Forum
|8,509,959 km2 (3,285,714 sq mi)|
• 2018 estimate
|4/km2 (10.4/sq mi)|
|GDP (nominal)||2012 estimate|
|US$ 1.689 trilliona|
• Per capita
|HDI (2007–2008)|| 0.753a|
high · 97tha
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 (PIFS), which grew out of the South Pacific Bureau for Economic Co-operation (SPEC). As well as its role in harmonising regional positions on various political and policy issues, the Forum Secretariat has technical programmes in economic development, transport and trade. The Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General is the permanent Chairman of the Council of Regional Organisations in the Pacific (CROP).
Australia and New Zealand are generally larger and wealthier than the other countries that make up the rest of the Forum, with Australia's population being around twice that of the other members combined and its economy is more than five times larger. They are significant aid donors and big markets for exports from the other island 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. The 50th meeting of the Forum took place in Tuvalu in August 2019. In February 2021, Palau announced that it would be leaving the Pacific Island Forum after a dispute regarding Henry Puna's election as the Forum's secretary-general. The Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, and the Federated States of Micronesia also decided to leave the Forum after Palau's decision.
The larger Pacific Community functions mainly to promote international development by providing technical and scientific advice and funding development projects, and does not consider security issues or function as a trade bloc.