The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) was formed in 1989 as an informal dialogue group with limited participation. Today its membership includes 18 major economies of the region cooperating together to sustain regional and world growth. APEC has become the primary vehicle regional vehicle for promoting open trade and practical economic cooperation. APEC members represent about 46 percent of the world’s total merchandise trade.
ASEAN, the Association of South East Asian Nations, was established on 8 August 1967 in Bangkok, Thailand, with the signing of the Bangkok Declaration by the five original member countries, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Brunei Darussalam joined the Association on 8 January 1984 and Vietnam became the seventh member on 28 July 1995. The ASEAN Member Countries are united in a joint effort to promote economic cooperation and the welfare of the people in the region. ASEAN’s three main objectives are to promote the economic, social and cultural development of the region through cooperative programmes; to safeguard the political and economic stability of the region against power rivalry; and to serve as a forum for the resolution of intra-regional differences.
A development finance institution promoting the economic and social progress of developing countries in Asia and the Pacific.
The Commonwealth Secretariat, which is based in London, was established in 1965. It is the central executive agency of the Commonwealth and is responsible to the Commonwealth governments. It is the main organ of consultation and cooperation among Commonwealth governments and organises consultations among Commonwealth governments, carries out the mandates of the Commonwealth governments through technical and consultative programmes in social and economic development and facilitates multilateral communication among member governments.
Created in March 1947 and located in Bangkok, ESCAP is the largest of the five UN Regional Commissions. It comprises 51 members and 9 associate members. ESCAP members include Japan, Australia, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and Hong Kong. Nineteen (1) small Pacific Island developing countries account for over one third of ESCAP's total membership. ESCAP works with governments include such challenges as poverty eradication, education, infrastructure needs, and a deteriorating environment and social rebuilding.
The Forum Fisheries Agency was established in 1979 under a Convention signed by twelve Members. The Convention reflects the common concern of member nations on matters of conservation, optimum utilisation and coastal states’ sovereign rights over the region’s living marine resources. FFA has its headquarters in Honiara, Solomon Islands. Membership of the FFA has now increased to sixteen - Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, New Zealand, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
Established in 1945 by 29 countries signing its Articles of Agreement (its Charter), IMF did not begin commercial financial operations until 1947. Current membership stands at 182 countries. Objectives include promoting international monetary cooperation, facilitating the expansion of balanced growth of international trade, promoting exchange stability, assisting in the establishment of a multilateral system of payments, making its general resources temporarily available to its members experiencing balance of payments difficulties under adequate safeguards, and shortening the duration and lessening the degree of disequilibrium in the international balances of payments of members.
OECD is a grouping of countries which share the principles of the market economy, pluralist democracy and respect for human rights. Member countries of OECD include the countries of Europe and North America, Japan, Finland, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Czech Republic, Hungary, Korea and Poland.
The purpose of the Pacific Islands Development Program (PIDP) of the East-West Centre is to help meet the special development needs of the Pacific Islands region through cooperative research, education and training. PIDP conducts specific research and training activities based on issues and problems proritised by the Pacific Islands Conference of Leaders, which meets every three years. Actions mandated by the Conference are carried out by PIDP which is its secretariat. The Standing Committee of island leaders created in 1980, reviews PIDP’s research and training programs and ensures that they are relevant and responsive to the needs of Pacific Island countries.
The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) was established in 1985 at the first SAARC Summit held in Dhaka, Bangladesh. SAARC members include Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. It's main goal is to accelerate economic and social development in member states through joint action in certain agreed areas of cooperation. SAARC annual summits provide a unique opportunity for regional cooperation and bilateral consultations among the leaders.
When the South Pacific Geoscience Commission (SOPAC) was started in 1972 it was then known as the Committee for Cooperation of Joint Prospecting for Mineral Resources in South Pacific Offshore Areas (CCOP/SOPAC). In 1984, CCOP/SOPAC’s legal status was changed to a fully-fledged inter-government regional organisation. In 1989, member countries decided to change its name to the South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission but retaining the acronym SOPAC. SOPAC members are Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Guam, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. A new constitution adopted in 1990 allows Pacific island territories to participate in SOPAC as associate members. The fundamental objective of SOPAC is to assist Island member countries in identifying, assessing and developing non-living marine resource potential of the extensive marine resource jurisdictions they have declared under the United Nations Law of the Sea Convention of 1982.
The oldest of the inter-government regional organisations, the South Pacific Commission (SPC) was founded on 6 February 1947 by an agreement known as the Canberra Agreement, by the Governments of Australia, France, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. The Commission is a non-political organisation and exists purely to provide assistance to the countries of the region within its annual work programme, with emphasis on activities conducted in rural areas and at grassroots level. The SPC’s work programme covers diverse activities such as agriculture and plant protection, marine resources, environment management, rural development, rural technology, community health, statistics, economics, demography, women’s programmes and activities, community education training, media conservation and exchange.
Founded in the early 1980’s as an informal association of national tourism organisations in the region, the Tourism Council of the South Pacific is now a regional inter-governmental organisation with a secretariat based in Suva, Fiji. Since 1986, the TCSP has been assisted by the European Union to establish a secretariat and undertake a wide-ranging work programme. Its current membership includes American Samoa, Cook islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, New Caledonia, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. TCSP aims to strengthen its resource capabilities to service more effectively the needs of the tourism industry, both public and private sector. The TCSP Secretariat seeks to expand its membership, particularly to include the private sector.
USP was established in 1969 in Suva, Fiji through an initial grant from the Government of the United Kingdom for the period 1969-72. USP is a regional university with three schools located in the main Laucala Campus in Fiji - School of Humanities, School of Pure and Applied Sciences and School of Social and Economic Development; the School of Agriculture on Alafua Campus in Samoa and School of Law on Emalus Campus in Vanuatu. In support of its distance education programmes run through University Extension, USP has established Centres on its member island countries. USP also has a number of action-oriented institutes in Fiji and throughout the region.
The World Bank which consists of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA). The World Bank Group is made up collectively of five institutions. Apart from the IBRD and the IDA, it also includes the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). The World Bank's main aim is to help its borrowers reduce poverty. It provides loans to borrower governments for projects and programmes that promote economic and social progress by helping raise productivity so that the quality of life for people everywhere, especially the poorest, is improved.
The World Trade Organisation (WTO) located in Geneva, Switzerland and created by the Uruguay Round Negotiations (1986-1994) was established on 1 January 1995. As of September 1997, it has a membership made up of 132 countries. It is the only international body dealing with the rules of trade between nations. Its functions include administering WTO trade agreements, forum for trade negotiations, handling trade disputes, monitoring national trade policies, technical assistance and training for developing countries and cooperation with other international organisations.