Treaties are agreements between States (countries) which are binding at international law. A number of treaties have been developed through the Pacific Islands Forum to provide regional frameworks, binding under international law, for Member countries to address issues of common concern. One of the most well-known examples is the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty, ‘the Rarotonga Treaty’, which establishes a nuclear free zone across the territories of the 13 State Parties to the Treaty.
The Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat is designated as the Depositary for a number (but not all) of the treaties which have been developed through the Forum (see below). The Depositary is effectively the custodian of a treaty, responsible for: the safe-keeping of the original treaty documents: notifying all Parties of new treaty actions (for example when states become Parties to the treaty, or withdraw etc): and keeping accurate records on the treaty.
As an international organization, the Pacific Islands Forum is also governed by treaty (see below).
The Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat serves as the Depositary for the following treaties (in alphabetical order):
- Convention for the Protection of the Natural Resources and Environment of the South Pacific Region (the ‘Noumea Convention’)
- Convention to Ban the Importation into Forum Island Countries of Hazardous and Radioactive Wastes and to Control the Transboundary Movement and Management of Hazardous Wastes Within the South Pacific Region (the ‘Waigani Convention’)
- Memorandum of Understanding on the Establishment of the Pacific Forum Line
- Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (‘PACER’)
- Pacific Islands Air Services Agreement (‘PIASA’)
- Pacific Islands Civil Aviation Safety and Security Treaty (‘PICASST’)
- Pacific Islands Countries Trade Agreement (‘PICTA’)
- South Pacific Nuclear Weapons Zone Treaty (the ‘Rarotonga Treaty’)
- South Pacific Regional Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement (SPARTECA)
In addition to the above, the Treaty Establishing the Micronesian Trade and Economic Community has been registered with the Secretariat (although it is not identified as the Depositary).
The treaty governing the Pacific Islands Forum
The Agreement establishing the Pacific Island Forum was done at Port Moresby, 27 October 2005 and is the basis for the establishment of the Secretariat and governing council. The Government of Fiji is the depositary.
- Noumea Convention for the Protection of the Natural Resources and Environment (French)
- Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (2001)
- Pacific Island Countries Trade Agreement (PICTA)
- Agreement Establishing the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (2000)
- Memorandum of Understanding to Establish Pacific Forum Line Limited (1977)
- Noumea Convention for the Protection of the Natural Resources and Environment (English)
- South Pacific Regional Trade and Economic Co-operation Agreement (SPARTECA)
- Pacific Islands Air Services Agreement (PIASA)
- Pacific Islands Civil Aviation Safety and Security Treaty (PICASST)
- South Pacific Nuclear Zone Treaty (Raratonga Treaty)
- South Pacific Nuclear Zone Treaty Protocols
- Agreement Establishing the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (2005)