Pacific Union

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Pacific Union
Map indicating members of the Pacific Islands Forum (potential Pacific Union).
Map indicating members of the Pacific Islands Forum (potential Pacific Union).
• Total
13,962,549 km2 (5,390,970 sq mi)
• 2008 estimate
40 million
• Density
4/km2 (10.4/sq mi)
GDP (nominal)2012 estimate
• Total
US$ 1.689 trillion
• Per capita
US$ 28,543

The Pacific Union is a proposed development of the Pacific Islands Forum, first suggested in 2003 by a committee of the Australian Senate,[1] into a political and economic intergovernmental community. The union, if formed, would have a common charter, institutions and currency.[2] Although John Howard, the former Prime Minister of Australia, spoke of a Pacific Union whilst in office, his government's emphasis was focused on bilateral relations and agreements with the individual states of the Forum.[3]

Existing integration[edit]

The most prominent example of pre-existing regionalism amongst countries of the Pacific Ocean is the Pacific Islands Forum, an intergovernmental organisation that aims to represent the interests of its members and enhance cooperation between them. The Pacific Islands Forum does not have a common charter, institutions or currency.

Closer Economic Relations (CER) free trade agreement between the governments of New Zealand and Australia allow the free trade of most goods and services between the two nations without the tariff barriers or export incentives.[4] The Melanesian Spearhead Group is a more recent trade treaty governing the four Melanesian states of Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and recently, Fiji.[5] The nations of Australia, Nauru, Kiribati and Tuvalu use the Australian dollar while the Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau, and New Zealand use the New Zealand Dollar.

In October 2000, national leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum signed the Biketawa Declaration constituting a framework for coordinating response to regional crises leading to New Zealand and Australian military and police forces participating in regional peacekeeping/stabilisation operations in Papua New Guinea (in Bougainville), Solomon Islands (2003–present), Nauru (2004–present) and Tonga (2006).

Future prospects[edit]

There has been a call from within both the Australian and New Zealand business communities to extend the Closer Economic Relations (CER) Free Trade Agreement to other Pacific Island nations, moving towards a single market and allowing the free movement of people and goods.[6] Harmonising both the CER and the Pacific Regional Trade Agreement (PARTA) is one possibility of moving towards this goal. The idea's future has become somewhat confused with the Rudd government's call for an Asia-Pacific Community,[7] which would have a wider membership than a Pacific Union.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Senate calls for Pacific community to head off regional crises". ABC. 12 August 2003. Retrieved 15 September 2020.
  2. ^ "Howard push for Pacific union". The Age. 18 August 2003. Retrieved 15 September 2020.
  3. ^ "Australia Plays Down Pacific Union". YaleGloabl Online. 14 August 2003. Retrieved 15 September 2020.
  4. ^ "Closer Economic Relations - CER Australia New Zealand". Australian High Commission. Retrieved 15 September 2020.
  5. ^ "Melanesian Spearhead Group Website". Melanesian Spearhead Group. Retrieved 15 September 2020.
  6. ^ "The New Trend in Asia-Pacific Regional Trade Initiatives" (PDF). Institute for International Economics. Retrieved 15 September 2020.
  7. ^ Kevin Rudd's vision for Asia-Pacific community evolves Patrick Walters, National security editor, THE AUSTRALIAN 26 tháng 10, 2009 12:00AM bản lưu 31/10/2009

External links[edit]

Articles, editorials and reports[edit]