About

  • Established: 1972
  • Location: Suva, Fiji
  • Secretary General: Tuiloma Neroni Slade (Samoa)
  • Members: Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Marshal Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

The Pacific Islands Forum (known until October 2000 as the South Pacific Forum) is the key regional political organisation in the Pacific.

The Pa'a Afia from Samoa, chops down a bunch of misiluki bananas grown on his property.
Pacific nations often have vulnerable economies dominated by agriculture. The PIF is seeking to strengthen regional cooperation so that farmers like Samoa's Pa'a Afia face brighter futures.

The first Pacific Islands Forum meeting — attended by the seven founding members, Australia, the Cook Islands, Fiji, Nauru, New Zealand, Tonga and Western Samoa - was held in 1971 in Wellington, New Zealand. The meeting stemmed from a desire by leaders to address common issues from a regional perspective and to give their collective views greater weight in the international community.

The founding member countries have since been joined by nine other Pacific states. New Caledonia and French Polynesia are Associate Members and current Forum Observers include Tokelau, Wallis and Futuna, the Commonwealth, the United Nations, the Asian Development Bank, and the Word Bank, with Timor Leste as Special Observer.

Oxfam New Zealand works in a number of these countries. Find out how we are improving livelihoods across the Pacific:

Focus

The political mandate of the Forum has been apparent since the communiqué of the first Forum meeting in 1971. From the start, Forum meetings have focused heavily on regional trade and economic issues. Good governance and security have more recently become part of the Forum’s agenda.

Forums

Forum Heads of Government meet annually in formal session, including a Leaders’ Retreat which provides an opportunity for private and frank discussions at the highest level. The Heads of Government meeting is preceded by a meeting of the Forum Officials Committee (FOC) which reports to leaders on regional issues. There are few set rules governing the conduct of Forum meetings.

The Forum is chaired usually on an annual rotating basis by the head of the host government. The 42nd Forum meeting was held in Auckland, New Zealand in September 2011 and this year's summit will be in Rarotonga, Cook Islands, from August 27-31, 2012.

Recent forums: Cairns, Australia and Port Vila, Vanuatu

The 40th Forum was Chaired by the Australian Prime Minister and held in Cairns in August 2009. Key outcomes are set out in the Cairns Communiqué. They include the Cairns Compact on Strengthening Development Coordination in the Pacific; a Call to Action on Climate Change, in advance of Copenhagen, agreement to commence negotiations on a new regional trade and economic agreement (PACER Plus), and the hosting of meetings seeking to strengthen protection and management of regional fisheries resources and on improving energy security.

The 41st Forum, held in Port Vila in August 2010, reaffirmed support for the Cairns Compact on Strengthening Development Coordination, adopted climate change financing principles and called for accelerated progress towards the UN Millennium Development Goals.

  • Events and activities
    Find out what took place at the Pacific Island Forum in Auckland last year.
  • Pacific showcase
    The newest addition to Auckland's waterfront was home to the best of Pacific culture during the PIF. Oxfam's stand highlighted support for Pacific agricultural producers and the opportunities for Fairtrade and organics to add value to export.
  • Oxfam's work in the Pacific
    See how Oxfam is working with partners in Tonga, Samoa, Vanuatu, PNG, East Timor and the Solomon Islands.