Talk:Pacific Community

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search


Old text on SPC, South Pacific Commission :

No redirect to SPC, please...

South Pacific Commission (SPC - now the Pacific Community) is one of the oldest regional organisations in the world.

In 2017, SPC will celebrate its 70th anniversary, marking its founding on February 6 1997. It is a non-political, scientific and technical organisation supporting development in the Pacific Islands region.


The South Pacific Commission, as it was formerly known, was founded in 1947 under the Canberra Agreement by the six ‘Participating Governments’ that administered territories in the Pacific: Australia, France, New Zealand, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Now all 22 Island countries and territories are full members, along with the five remaining founding powers (the Netherlands is no longer a member; the United Kingdom, which had earlier resigned, rejoined in 1998). Each member can exercise one vote at the Conference of the Pacific Community, although debates are usually resolved by the Pacific way of consensus (general agreement) rather than a vote.

Although the region features a third of the world’s languages, SPC meetings bring together representatives from all of the island countries and territories using just two: English and French. The bilingual nature of SPC is a great and necessary strength, and it was in establishing SPC that the region, as opposed to a collection of 7,500 diverse islands, came to exist.

Changing membership[edit]

The first formal change to the Commission’s boundaries happened in November 1951, when the six Participating Governments amended the Canberra Agreement to add Guam and the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands to the SPC area. Thus 91,000 Micronesians were included in the Commission’s territorial scope, and SPC extended its influence into the North Pacific.

The second change involved a much greater number of Pacific Islanders: in 1962, the Netherlands transferred administration of Netherlands New Guinea (now known as Irian Jaya), to Indonesia, moving a population of 728,000 outside the Pacific Island region.

Full Island members[edit]

No provision had been made in the Canberra Agreement for any additions to the six original Participating Governments. When New Zealand granted Western Samoa independence in 1962, it was technically removed from the Commission’s membership. An amending agreement, signed in London on October 6 1964, named Western Samoa (the only independent island state at that time) and stated that any territory within SPC’s influence could become a full member if invited to do so by all the Participating Governments. Western Samoa became a full voting member of the Commission on 17 July 1965, and was followed by Nauru on 24 July 1969, and Fiji on 5 May 1971, when those Pacific Islands achieved independence.

The amending agreement also changed the voting procedure. Previously each member had had one vote, but the new system gave members one vote for each dependent territory, to be transferred to the territory after independence and accession as a full member. Therefore Australia had five votes, France, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States four each, and Western Samoa one when it joined the five remaining metropolitan countries. The newly independent island states were able to continue receiving assistance because even after acceding to the Canberra Agreement as Participating Governments, they remained under the scope of the Commission.

Blending the old and the new[edit]

The single greatest change to SPC’s membership occurred in 1983, at the 23rd South Pacific Conference in Saipan. At this meeting all associate members of the Commission joined the Participating Governments as full voting and contributing members of SPC. Thus a truly regional organisation came of age, with a comprehensive membership and equally distributed voting power regardless of political status.

At the beginning of 1996 the United Kingdom withdrew from SPC known at the time as the South Pacific Commission, but rejoined in 1998. The country withdrew again in January 2005.

fr:Commission du Pacifique sud ja:???????

Improving references in this article[edit]

The article had been tagged with Template:Primarysources but it now has some solid third party citations--for instance the UNESCO and Canberra Agreement citations. It is now more appropriately tagged with Template:Refimprove because there is at least one unsourced statement which needs support to remain on Wikipedia. (see WP:V) Note, for instance, the quotation:

"the [South Pacific] Commission to be set up should not be empowered to deal in any way with political matters or questions of defense or security"

This quote is problematic because it appears to contradict a citation found here: Stearns, Editor, Peter N.; et al. (June 2002). "The Pacific Region, 1944-2000: The Islands, 1946-2000: 1947". The Encyclopedia of World History: Ancient, Medieval, and Modern. Retrieved 2008-08-13. 

Please kindly locate and cite the source of the paraphrase or quotation. If you can explain the apparent contradiction, that would be very useful. Thank you! Also, on "talk" pages, it is customary to sign your remarks by typing or pasting four tildes, as inside the following parentheses: (  ~~~~  ) at the conclusion of comments, which, saved, yields: Newportm (talk) 22:07, 13 August 2008 (UTC)

With all due respect, is hardly the most credible reference on a matter of this kind. But my quotation (that "the [South Pacific] Commission to be set up should not be empowered to deal in any way with political matters or questions of defense or security") was from an unpublished intergovernmental letter in the SPC archives. As far as wikipedia is concerned it doesn't exist, so I guess the PUBLISHED reference from Bartleby will have to prevail. I'm getting a bit fed up of this requirement of Wikipedia for all references to have been previously published. There may be good reasons for it, but it's taking away much of the driving force behind Wikipedia - the enthusiasm of its amateur contributors --Timonroad (talk) 08:09, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

I have located some resources to advance this issue:
1.) "Secretariat of the Pacific Community". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica. 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-16.  Supports SPC's formation "to advise on economic, social, health matters affecting the South Pacific Island territories..." (does not mention any SPC political or military role - appears to undercut Bartleby reference)
2.) A.H. McLintock, Editor, ed. (originally published 1966). Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand, updated 2007-09-18. International Relations: The South Pacific Commission. ISBN 978-0-478-18451-8. Retrieved 2008-08-16.  Check date values in: |date= (help) "From the outset political and security matters were excluded from consideration; the proposed Commission was to act in a consultative capacity on questions of welfare of the peoples in the area and social and economic development." (supports the unsourced quotation)
3.) South Pacific Commission (1988). "South Pacific Commission: History, aims, and activities". Pacific Islands Internet Resources. Michael R. Ogden, PhD. Retrieved 2008-08-16.  "The establishment of the Commission was a response by the then colonial powers to assure the economic and social stability of the Island countries and avoid a repeat of the World War II experience by creating mechanisms for meaningful relations among governments." (explains the apparent contradiction of the two citations: While SPC was not directly empowered for political or military roles, its role in promoting Pacific region socio-economic stability and the channel it provided as an intergovernmental mechanism for relations, in the end, supported Western military and political interests)
These are incorporated in the article and the {{fact}} tag has been removed from the previously unsourced quotation. Newportm (talk) 23:04, 16 August 2008 (UTC)