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.[3]

Pacific Islands Forum
Membership (dark blue) of the Pacific Islands Forum.
Seat of Secretariat Suva, Fiji
 Forum Chair
Annual rotation
Henry Puna
 as South Pacific Forum
 renamed Pacific Islands Forum
8,509,959[1] km2 (3,285,714 sq mi)
 2018 estimate
38.759 million[2]
4/km2 (10.4/sq mi)
GDP (nominal)2012 estimate
US$ 1.689 trilliona
 Per capita
US$ 40,000
HDI (2007–2008) 0.753a
high · 97tha
  1. If the Forum considered as a single state.

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).[4]

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.[5][6][7] The Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, and the Federated States of Micronesia also decided to leave the Forum after Palau's decision.[8][9]

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.