Regionale Kooperation im Südpazifik

South Pacific Forum

  • Peter Kreuzer (Autor/in)


The South Pacific Forum is one of the few international organizations which successfully integrate members of the First and the Third World, thus functioning as bridge, enhancing mutual understanding. By depicting the genesis of the South Pacific Forum, pointing out its organizational structure and its most important policy issues, and by describing the role of the Forum Secretariat (SPEC) in the process of regional political and economic integration, the article tries to find the conditioning factors for the success of the South Pacific Forum. At the same time, the organizational limits are laid open. The article argues that one special feature of the Forum its ad-hoc character and open institutional framework is the paramount cause for both its success and limitations. In finding common political standpoints, which do not include binding economic obligations or even the transfer of state power but offer the chance of an enhanced regional standing in conflicts ordinating and even policy-making agency. In intra-regional policies, the major interests of the participants are often too heterodox to be reconciled by an organization which lacks the power to inflict legal or economic sanctions on its member states. So the main functions of the South Pacific Forum are the creation of distinct South Pacific political, and to some extent even cultural, identity, the integration of the region's views on conflicts involving outside actors, and functioning as clearing-house for intra-regional policy issues, even if "national interests" mostly have top priority for the national leaders.