“Our Objective is security that ensures stable and safe human, environmental and political conditions for all.” – Framework for Pacific Regionalism
The Pacific region’s security environment has become increasingly complex. Pacific communities are vulnerable to security threats from transnational crime groups, climate change, terrorism, natural disasters, political instability, and internal conflicts. Consequences include domestic disorder, diminished border revenues, increased local crime, and weaker law enforcement.
In 2020 the Pacific and the entire world has faced a new threat, the COVID-19 pandemic. The Pacific acted quickly and decisively in response to COVID-19, but the socio-economic impact is significant.
Pacific Islands Forum Leaders have long recognised that security and stability underpin sustainable development and economic growth. Under the 1992 Honiara Declaration, Forum Leaders noted that balanced economic and social development, the primary goal of all the countries of the region, could not be achieved without the assurance of safety and security.
The Framework for Pacific Regionalism reiterates the importance of security by identifying it as a principal objective and calling for “security that ensures stable and safe human, environmental and political conditions for all.”
In addition to the Framework for Pacific Regionalism, the key Forum Leaders’ Declarations that guide the region’s security work are:
- 1992 Honiara Declaration on Law Enforcement Cooperation: recognises that an adverse law enforcement environment could threaten the sovereignty, security and economic integrity of Forum members and jeopardise economic and social development.
- 1997 Aitutaki Declaration on Regional Security Cooperation: provides principles governing security cooperation in the region.
- 2000 Biketawa Declaration: sets the framework for regional crisis management and conflict resolution initiatives.
- 2002 Nasonini Declaration on Regional Security: recognises the need for immediate and sustained regional action in response to the current regional security environment
The Forum Secretariat recognises that there is a need and an opportunity for assistance at the regional level to support national institutions in the law and justice sector, the security sector and broader governance and accountability mechanisms. The Forum Secretariat partners with security and law enforcement institutions and officials to explore deeper cooperation and integration at the subregional and regional level that will assist in maintaining a secure environment for all.
The table (full PDF) provides an overview of the types of capacity development activities and training provided by organisations and/or programmes that operate in Forum Island countries.
A detailed list of the activities provided by law enforcement agencies to Member countries can be obtained upon request from the Forum Secretariat’s Law Enforcement Unit. Information provided is based on information submitted by the respective organisations as well as information obtained by way of research into activities performed by regional law enforcement and national agencies.
The Biketawa Declaration, on guiding principles and courses of action for regional responses to crises in the region the current roles performed by the Secretariat are:
- Provides election monitoring to Member countries;
- Oversight of Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI);
- Assessment and monitoring of political developments within members.
Under the Biketawa Declaration, which was adopted by Forum Leaders in 2000, the Programme has supported the implementation of a series of responses to conflicts and crises in the Pacific, including the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands or RAMSI (2003-2017), and the Forum’s targeted measures against Fiji (2006-2014). In addition, the Pacific Regional Assistance to Nauru or PRAN (2004-2009) was developed under the aegis of the Biketawa Declaration
The Biketawa Declaration also informs and guides the Programmes work on strengthening good governance and conflict prevention. This includes supporting members uphold democratic processes and institutions, including through electoral observation and capacity building; supporting institutions of transparency, accountability and equity; and supporting and working with members on approaches to deepen regional cooperation and integration between institutions of governance, law and justice and human rights.