Forum Standing Meetings
The Pacific Islands Forum has five standing meetings. More details on the purpose and outcomes of each meeting can be found below.
Pacific Islands Forum Leaders meet annually to develop collective responses to regional issues.
The Forum’s membership has increased from the original seven founding members (Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, Nauru, New Zealand, Tonga and Western Samoa – now Samoa) to also include the Federated States of Micronesia, French Polynesia, Kiribati, New Caledonia, Niue, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
The Forum’s agenda is based on reports from the Secretariat and related regional organisations and committees, as well as other issues that members may wish to raise. Decisions by the Leaders are reached by consensus and are outlined in a Forum Communiqué, from which policies are developed and a work programme is prepared.
The annual Forum meetings are chaired by the Head of Government of the Host Country, who remains as Forum Chair until the next meeting.
The next Pacific Islands Forum Leaders meeting is scheduled to be held in Tuvalu in 2019.
Smaller Island States membership within the Pacific Islands Forum comprises:
Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau and Tuvalu.
At the 2005 Pacific Islands Forum held in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, Leaders welcomed and endorsed the Pacific Plan for strengthening regional cooperation and integration.
In endorsing the Plan, Leaders agreed to note, among other things, the need to advocate the special and peculiar needs of Smaller Island States; provide special assistance for the implementation of the Pacific Plan, and ensure that they derive the fullest possible benefit from the Plan, particularly given their limited capacity and fragile and vulnerable environment.
In 2016 SIS Leaders agreed to adopt a new Regional Strategy as the platform to ensure greater influence and presence by the SIS in shaping the regional policy agenda and direction.
The Forum Secretariat houses a Smaller Islands States Unit who work ensure this Leaders decision is implemented.
The next Smaller Islands States Leaders meeting is schedule to take place in Tuvalu in 2019.
Click here to contact the individual SIS and Pacific Regionalism Coordinators
The Forum Foreign Ministers meeting was first convened in 2016 in Suva at the Forum Secretariat following recognition from Forum Leaders that that Foreign Ministers have a key role to play in deepening regionalism through strengthening policy cohesion on agreed regional political priorities and policy positions, and engaging on these in regional and international fora.
The purpose and role of the Forum Foreign Ministers meeting is to discuss and direct action on:
- foreign policy issues affecting Forum priorities and the pursuit of deeper regionalism;
- regional security and governance issues, including the development and implementation of regional norms and standards;
- opportunities presented by regional and international meetings to engage on agreed Forum political priorities and policy positions;
- partnership arrangements with non-Forum members, including for example all Forum Dialogue partners, relevant inter-governmental organisations and the development of relevant multi-stakeholder partnerships;
- applications for membership of the Forum, including admission of Associate Members and accreditation as Observers;
- High level international candidacies by Forum members.
- Ensuring policy coherence and cohesion across regional Ministerial meetings on relevant political priorities and policy issues.
The meeting is an annual event with the next scheduled to take place in Suva, Fiji in 2019.
You can find the outcomes statements for previous Foreign Ministers meetings here.
The Forum Economic Ministers have a critical role in deepening regionalism through strengthening policy cohesion on agreed regional economic priorities and policy positions, and advocating these in other regional and international fora. Accordingly, the Forum Economic Ministers Meeting remains an important standing meeting of the Pacific Islands Forum for Forum Finance and Economic Development Ministers to assist and inform Forum Leaders of relevant regional and international economic and development issues facing the region.
It is expected that the Forum Economic Ministers meeting will oversee and take leadership in:
- All economic policy issues affecting Forum priorities and the pursuit of deeper regionalism;
- All regional economic development issues, including economic development related Climate Change issues;
- The oversight and tasking of intermittent or ad hoc Ministerial or Officials’ level groups as needed to advance and protect the Forum’s regional economic policy issues;
- The oversight and leadership of Forum priorities to strengthen regional norms and standards, and meet associated international obligations, on relevant economic development issues; and
- Identifying opportunities presented by regional and international high level meetings to engage and advocate agreed Forum views, and driving engagement and other strategies for regional influence in significant global fora.
The meeting is convened by the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat every 12 months commencing in 2019, hosted at the Secretariat with a member country hosting on a triennial basis.
Each Economic Ministers meeting will be chaired by the relevant representative of the incumbent Forum Chair when the meeting is convened at the Forum Secretariat Headquarters, Suva. However, when it is hosted by a Member country, then it will be chaired by the host country.
The next Forum Economic Ministers meeting is scheduled to take place in Fiji in 2019.
The Forum Officials Committee oversees the work of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat. The Committee was created as part of the Agreement Establishing the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, done at Tarawa on 30 October 2000.
Article V of the agreement states that:
- The Secretariat shall have an Executive Committee to be known as the Pacific Islands Forum Officials Committee (hereinafter called “the Committee”).
- The Committee shall be composed of one representative of each of the members of the Secretariat.
- The powers and functions of the Committee shall be to give general policy directions to the Secretary General and to make reports and recommendations to the Forum. In particular the Committee shall:
(a) approve, reject or amend the annual budget estimates and any interim budget submitted by the Secretary General;
(b) receive, examine and comment on the Annual Report of the Secretary General on the operation of the Secretariat; and
(c) lay down staff establishment, salary policy and scales.
- The Committee shall appoint a Chairman at its first and subsequent annual meetings who shall remain in office until the next annual meeting.
- The Chairmanship shall rotate annually as decided by the Committee.
- The Committee shall hold a meeting at least once in each calendar year and shall meet prior to meetings of the Forum.
- The Secretary General, in consultation with and at the request of the Chairman, shall convene meetings of the Committee.
- All matters shall be decided wherever possible by consensus or if necessary by a majority of the representatives present and voting. Each representative on the Committee shall have one vote.
- The Committee shall establish its own rules of procedure.
The next Forum Officials Committee meeting will be in Fiji in December 2018.