Politischer Wandel im Südpazifik

Neue subregionale Konstellationen

  • Kai Michael Schellhorn (Autor/in)


This article deals with the ongoing political changes in the South Pacific which are caused by Fiji's failure to act as political centre of the region. Fiji is occupied with the consolidation of its domestic politics. This resulted in vacuum into which other regional states try to enter. The Melanesian Spearhead Group was founded in March 1988 under the leadership of Papua New Guinea. At the same time another subregional community of common interests is being built under the leadership of the king of Tonga - the Polynesian Alliance. In Fiji the Conservative government of Prime Minister Mara was replaced by the Labour government under Bavadra which was in turn superseded by the coup d'etat of Lieutenant Colonel Rabuka - in April and May 1987. In December 1987 the military government under Rabuka was dissolved and Mara became Prime Minister again. One of the main targets of the new government is to bring Fiji back to her former role of leading power within the group of archipelago states and the framework of the South-Pacific Forum. A new "friend" of Fiji, France, offered 14 million Fiji-dollars as financial aid. This was directed against the old "friends" of Fiji, Australia and New Zealand, which both announced the resumption of their aid. The United States and Canada followed suit. The donor countries tried to prevent Fiji from taking aid from third countries, in particular the Soviet Union and Libya, whose influence in the region is not wanted by the traditional donor countries. Despite the progressing consolidation of Fiji its status quo ante as leading political power has not been regained. Crown prince for taking over the regional key function of Fiji is Papua New Guinea under it's young and active Prime Minister Paias Wingti. The Melanesian Spearhead Group fostered by Wingti has two aims: one is the forming of subregional, Melanese ethno-nationalism, the other aim is the furthering of Papua New Guinea as leading regional power because of its large population. Though there are, in diplomatic terms, reservations against the proposals of the Kanak separatists, there is close tie between them and the Melanesian Spearhead Group. On March 14, 1988 the founding document of the Group to which Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and the Republic of Vanuatu belong was signed in Port Vila/Vanuatu. The Polynesian Alliance (of, possibly, Tonga, American Samoa, the Cook Islands, French Polynesia, Niue, West Samoa and Wallis, Futuna, Tuvalu, Tokelau as well as Polynesians from Hawaii and Maoris from New Zealand) is in statu nascendi. Its main promotor is King Tupou IV of Tonga. The Polynesian Alliance has similar targets as the Melanesian Spearhead Group: the keeping and furthering of Polynesian culture and identity as well as cultural exchanges between the archipelago states. Additionally the economic cooperation between the states is to be developed in order to foster local industries and to encourage local employment opportunities. (Red.)