Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat
Human Security Framework
The Political Governance & Security Programmes supports members achieve improved regional security and political integrity through the provision of high quality advice, coordination and implementation assistance.

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 The Human Security Framework for the Pacific 2012-2015

Leaders believe the Pacific region can, should and will be a region of peace, harmony, security and economic prosperity, so that all of its people can lead free and worthwhile lives.
From the Leaders’ Vision, 2004


Click to enlarge diagram (download PDF)

1. The Framework and Pacific Human Security Objectives

The Framework was developed at this time to bring conceptual conclusion to six years of research, option papers and practical implementation of the human security approach in the Pacific. It is a concrete and common representation of the unique understanding of human security in the Pacific region that has been developed by the Secretariat on the basis of the guidance of Member States and partners. The aim of the Framework is to provide a clear common foundation and strategic guidance to Forum Island Countries, the Secretariat and other stakeholders for improving the understanding, planning and implementation of human security approaches in stand-alone and broader peace, security and development initiatives in the unique Pacific context. It provides a common language and sound basis for discussions, planning and carrying out of human security initiatives in the region and facilitates greater cooperation for strengthening it. The Framework is also a tool for communicating to partners and governments inside and outside the region what the common understanding of human security is by Forum member countries.

The goal of human security in the region is a Pacific where communities, families and individuals are secure and safe from threats to their wellbeing and dignity, and enjoy political stability, sustainable economic development and social fulfilment in the unique context of the region.

All aspects of the Framework including the goal, elements and principles have been drawn from the consultations, research and case studies done from 2006 to 2008 and major regional documents including the Aitutaki Declaration (1997), Biketawa Declaration (2000), Leaders’ Vision  (2004), Pacific Plan (revised 2007),  and directives from the FRSC in Outcome Statements (2006-2011). Moreover, the experiences and lessons learnt from the implementation of the Framework’s concepts (2008-12) have fed in to the Framework.

Drawing upon and aligning with the above sources, the Framework is definitively Pacific specific as per the directive of the 2007 FRSC.

It is important to note that the Framework is not a change in policy or direction but rather the encapsulation of the approach that has been utilised by the Secretariat and key partners over the last six years since 2006. The Framework does not dictate what actions must be taken but only provides guidance on principles to consider and suggested types of interventions.

The 2008 FRSC recommended that a Human Security Framework for the Pacific include the following factors. Under each of the 3 factors are recommended actions, which are being followed up by the Secretariat and partners.

i. Addressing causes of conflict

ii. Monitoring conflict escalation

iii. Strengthening conflict resolution mechanisms

The Framework covers these factors under a number of Principles and Elements. The Principle of ‘Preventive’ includes conflict sensitivity in programmes and policy as well as the addressing of root causes and mobilisation of grievances. 

The monitoring of conflict escalation through the more effective collection and analysis of information and the further development and implementation of early warning and early response mechanisms are included under the Preventive principle but also draw upon the Localised principle and the Collaborative principle in that these actions should involve local capacities and partnerships with different types of organisations.

Strengthening conflict resolution mechanisms and capacities as well as exploring options for regional crisis responses under the Biketawa Declaration is covered by a number of principles.  The Inclusive and Localised principles ensure that consideration is given to customary approaches in conflict resolution initiatives. The Preventive principle calls for the further development and implementation of early warning and early response mechanisms. Moreover, as part of the ongoing process of the Framework the capacity of Forum Island countries will continue to be strengthened in Human Security approaches as evidenced by the workshop for FRSC officials and representatives of civil society in the lead up to the FRSC and the ongoing CPAD project by UNDP.

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2. Framework Principles

Five principles guide the work of human security in the region. Member states, the Secretariat, and other actors in the region who aim to improve human security when engaging in peace, security and development initiatives are invited to consider the following principles.  The principles should all be consistently applied regardless of the type of intervention undertaken. Excluding a single principle would lessen the human security impact of any intervention.

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3. Elements and Example Actions

The five elements of the Framework are interconnected and interdependent. There is cross-over between each pillar and a single action may improve human security over a number of elements. For example, promoting equitable access to basic education to girls and boys increases social fulfillment but in the longer term increases economic security. Moreover, promoting community traditions that strengthen equity and harmony also strengthens social fulfillment. Similarly, protecting fish stocks is beneficial for both economic and environmental security.

Actions which strengthen the following improve Political Security: Good governance, democratic structures, human rights, rule of law, legitimate use of force, tackling transnational organised crime, self-determination, gender equality in governance, and free and fair elections.


Actions which strengthen the following improve Economic Security: Employment, economic growth, budgeting for human security, economic gender equality, sustainable resource extraction, food security, and, relevant education and training.


Actions which strengthen the following improve Community, Family and Personal Security: Safe home and community, crime prevention, freedom from fear, inter-ethnic and inter-sectarian harmony, and conflict resolution mechanisms.


Actions which strengthen the following improve Environmental Security: Climate change and sea level rise adaptation and mitigation, disaster risk management, natural environment preservation, and clean air and water.


Actions which strengthen the following improve Social Fulfillment: Basic education, primary health, spiritual fulfillment, access to information, preservation and development of culture and tradition, and, local and Pacific identity.


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4. Ongoing Process

To ensure the relevancy, focus and effectiveness of the Framework, the following approach will be employed:

The development of indicators to measure the ongoing impact of the Framework and the progress and challenges in the pursuit of Human Security in the region will be considered in consultation with Members. This will require further methodological work by the Secretariat to ensure that the indicators provide an accurate measurement of Human Security in the region and identify what pillars of the Framework may need additional attention. 

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© 2018 Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat www.forumsec.org