To support members achieve improved regional security and political integrity through the provision of high quality advice, coordination and implementation assistance.
The Programme’s overriding objective is to give effect to the desire of our Leaders and members for a secure and well-governed region through the provision of high quality policy advice, coordination and implementation assistance:
- in support of members’ security and governance priorities; and
The Programme is able to achieve this through robust research and independent analysis, and its regional perspective on governance and security issues. It has specific mandates from Leaders through the Pacific Plan and frameworks such as the Honiara, Aitutaki, Biketawa and Nasonini Declarations.
The Forum Secretariat's Political Governance & Security Programme aims to give effect to the desire of our Leaders and members for a secure and well-governed region.
The principal focus of the Programme is the promotion and development of an understanding of the strategic elements of regional security and political integrity in the region, and the use of this expertise to assist our Members in appropriate national, subregional and regional responses to their key security and governance challenges.
The Political Governance and Security Programme is mandated primarily through the Leaders’ and the Forum Regional Security Committee’s decisions. The Programme is also directed when required by mandates from ad hoc meetings of Forum Foreign Affairs Ministers and relevant decisions of the Secretariat’s governing body, the Forum Officials Committee.
Integral to the Programme’s response is the promotion of the principles and practices of good governance across all levels and sectors in the region; and the pursuit of strengthened regional cooperation and integration.
The annual meeting of the Forum Regional Security Committee is the principal forum for setting a regional security agenda and identifying priorities for enhancing the capacity of members to respond to internal and external security threats.
In relation to transnational security, the Programme assesses the nature and level of transnational criminal activity in the Pacific and provides an annual analysis of this activity to inform members. The Programme also works closely with the region’s specialist law enforcement and border agencies and together they support joint activities, capacity building initiatives, and agency specific projects to address regional law enforcement and security challenges.
The Programme works to strengthen the region’s response on security related matters by assisting members to develop and implement legislative frameworks which are practical and consistent, bearing in mind relevant regional and international obligations.
The Programme also provides advice and support to members on global security and disarmament issues, including the ratification and implementation of global security treaties (in partnership with organisations dedicated to such issues); and advocacy with the broader international community on identified security priorities such as nuclear liability and non-proliferation.
Under the Biketawa Declaration, which was adopted by Forum Leaders in 2000, the Programme has developed a series of responses to conflicts and crises in the Pacific. The Declaration provided the framework for the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) and the Programme supports the regional oversight and review mechanisms of RAMSI. The Programme is also actively involved in supporting the implementation of the Biketawa Declaration in other member countries facing political crises or instability.
The Programme further advises and coordinates assistance in conflict prevention, together with the UNDP Pacific Centre, under a Framework for Human Security and Conflict Prevention endorsed by Forum members. Conflict prevention centres on three elements: ensuring underlying causes are being addressed; enhancing the monitoring of potential conflict escalation; and strengthening existing conflict resolution capacities in Forum island countries.
In relation to good governance, the Programme works to strengthen the region through supporting institutions and processes that ensure transparency, accountability and equity. This includes working with members on approaches to deepen regional cooperation and integration between institutions of governance, law and justice and human rights under the Pacific Plan.
With regard to human rights, the focus of the Programme, together with key partners, is on assisting members to consider appropriate forms of national human rights institutions and the added value of ratification of core human right treaties, and explore regional human rights mechanisms.
The Programme will continue its work to support the enhancement of democracy in member countries, including through electoral observation and capacity building. The Programme also remains committed to working with development partners and senior legal officials in Forum island countries to ensure sustainable legislative drafting capacity in the region.
Finally, as the home of the Secretariat’s expertise on regional politics, security and international law, the Programme provides advice and assistance to the Executive, other programmes and key partners as required, on political and international legal elements or ramifications of their work. This includes management of the Forum Leaders’ Meeting and other high level summits. The Programme also ensures that the Secretariat fulfils its obligations under international law, including as Depositary of nine regional treaties.