Hiroshima Peace Science Volume 15
1992 発行


Characteristics and function of the SPF in the formative period
Since its establishment in 1971, the South Pacific Forum (SPF) has been propelling regional cooperation in various fields. This paper examines the characteristics and function of the SPF in the formative period, from its establishment to the late 1970s, to clarify the fundamental character of the SPF as a whole. Before the establishment of the SPF, regional cooperation in the South Pacific was solely conducted by the South Pacific Commission (SPC) established in 1947 by Metropolitan countries which held colonial territories in the region. Pacific Islands were not satisfied with the SPC which was controlled by the Metropolitan countries. In 1965, Pacific Islands challenged the SPC by raising nuclear issue at the conference and setting up the Pacific Islands Producers' Secretariat (Association, in later-PIPA). Since political issues were not allowed to discuss at the SPC, they set up a new political forum, SPF in 1971. In 1973, the South Pacific Bureau for Economic Cooperation (SPEC) was established to take over the PIPA which was in mulfunction at that time. SPEC became a coordinating body of the SPF in 1975 and since then, the SPF has stepped forward to comprehensive regional organisation dealing with economic cooperation as well as political one. SPF had some characteristics in terms of structure. It was based on loose relationships among the members. There was no centralized system in the SPF. Secondly, the SPF included two 'regional powers', Australia and New Zealand, which were greatly different from the Pacific Island States. Finally, it lacked security system because the members were tacitly depending on the ANZUS Alliance. While the SPF has consolidated regional cooperation in joint actions on nuclear issues, the third UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the first Lome Convention, intraregional cooperation was launched in the middle of 1970s. Pacific Forum Line, South Pacific Forum Fisheries Agency and South Pacific Regional Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement came into existence as intraregional