Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat

Forum Secretariat Mission Statement

We support Forum Members to work together through deeper forms of regionalism in support of sustainable development, economic growth, good governance and security. We co-ordinate action by states and other stakeholders to achieve these objectives. Our focus is innovative, game changing initiatives for regional action. We promote an inclusive regional public policy approach to arrive at proposals for Leaders’ to consider and endorse.

Our role is primarily policy advice, coordination and ensuring the effective implementation of Forum Leaders’ decisions leading to tangible improvements in the lives of the people of the Pacific. We report annually on our performance against results.

For almost five decades, the countries of the Pacific have addressed common interests through a variety of regional, and increasingly sub-regional, approaches. The motivation for this is simple: we know that we can achieve more together, than alone. A political community of 18 independent states and self- governing territories, the Pacific Islands Forum seeks to address the challenges and opportunities that face the Pacific through political dialogue and decision-making. This commitment is formalised in The Framework for Pacific Regionalism which was endorsed by Forum Leaders in July 2014. The Framework for Pacific Regionalism is the lens through which the Forum Secretariat supports the Pacific Islands Forum to realize its vision for the Pacific region.

To do this the Forum Secretariat facilitates political discussion which enables Forum Leaders to make political decisions on regional action to harness opportunities and mitigate challenges for the people of the Pacific. The Forum Secretariat drives various policy processes to generate ideas and options for regional action.

It also works to coordinate the implementation of Forum decisions. This coordination can take many forms; for example, through supporting Forum advocacy in other regional and international fora, identifying and cultivating relationships with partner countries and organisations, strengthening sub- regional efforts or coordinating the provision of assistance to Member countries to implement specific Leaders’ priorities at the national level.

The Forum Secretariat’s Strategic Outcomes set out the areas of focus for a 5 year period. The interlinked outcomes provide the strategic lens through which the Forum Secretariat will identify opportunities and challenges in order to political dialogue amongst Forum Leaders for the purposes of advancing their vision for the region.

The outcomes are not intended to be an integrated “plan”, nor do they specify particular priority policy initiatives. Instead they seek to frame policy advice for, and implementation, of Pacific regionalism. The individual policy initiatives and decisions of Forum Leaders will evolve as new issues are brought onto their agenda and as decisions are implemented.

The Forum Secretariat’s Strategic Framework 2017-2021 provides more detail on the current approach to its work. The Forum Secretariat is an international organisation established by treaty, enjoying legal personality in each of its eighteen member countries. The Forum Secretariat is based in Suva, Fiji, and mandated to coordinate the implementation of decisions made by the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders. The Secretariat is funded by contributions from member governments and donors.  The Forum Officials Committee (made up of nominated representatives from all Forum Governments) is the governing body for the Secretariat and has oversight of its activities.

The Secretariat is led by Secretary General Dame Meg Taylor of Papua New Guinea. The Secretary General acts as permanent Chair of the Council of Regional Organisations in the Pacific (CROP) and the Pacific Ocean Commissioner. The Forum Secretariat has trade offices in New Zealand (Auckland), China (Beijing), Australia (Sydney), and Japan (Tokyo) that work independently, but come together as Pacific Islands Trade and Invest (PT&I).