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Pacific Regional Order

Pacific Regional Order

Dave Peebles
Copyright Date: 2005
Published by: ANU Press
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  • Book Info
    Pacific Regional Order
    Book Description:

    The way ahead … New policies are needed if the Pacific is to realise its potential as a peaceful, prosperous region, where the Pacific's citizens enjoy good standards of health and education, long lives and many opportunities; where Pacific economic growth is constantly improving, driven by environmentally sustainable service industries; where coups, civil conflict and the dangers of failed states have been relegated to the past; where the Pacific is integrated into the wider region, and is an influential voice in world affairs. This timely book argues that Pacific countries including Australia, need to embrace regional integration to realise this vision. The book sets out a comprehensive plan for realising a Pacific regional community dedicated to promoting sustainable development, security, human rights, the rule of law and democracy.

    eISBN: 978-0-7315-3733-4
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Foreword
    (pp. ix-x)

    This book shows that a new strategic vision is needed for the Pacific to realise its potential as a prosperous, dynamic region. The Pacific currently lacks a vision that marries forward-looking goals with the depth of regional integration needed to resolve the current underlying causes of regional disorder.

    The book proposes that members of the Pacific Islands Forum should pursue five goals: sustainable economic development; security; the rule of law; democracy; and integration with the wider region. To realise these goals, Forum members must commit to far more substantive regional integration in these critical areas. To this end, the Forum...

  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. xi-xi)
  4. Tables
    (pp. xii-xiii)
  5. Figures
    (pp. xiii-xiii)
  6. Abbreviations
    (pp. xiv-xv)
  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xvi-xvi)
  8. 1 A strategic vision
    (pp. 1-12)

    In 1993, The Australian National University’s National Centre for Development Studies initiated a series of studies under the banner ‘Pacific 2010’ (Callick 2000a; Cole 1993; Tait 1994). Based on the available data and policy settings then, the series considered what the Pacific may look like in 2010. The vision was a bleak one.

    Population growth in the Pacific islands is careering beyond control: it has doubled to 9 million; malnutrition is spreading and is already endemic in squatter settlements…there are beggars on the streets of every South Pacific town…levels of unemployment are high…deaths from AIDS, heart disease and cancers have...

  9. 2 Challenges to regional order
    (pp. 13-43)

    This chapter provides an overview of the present state of the Pacific. The purpose is to highlight the gap between the present state, and the vision of a prosperous, dynamic Pacific in 2020. This considerable gap demonstrates why a comprehensive program of regional integration is so critical for the Pacific.

    The challenges currently confronting Pacific states are grouped according to the five goals of regional order and cover: challenges to sustainable economic development; to security; to the rule of law; to democracy; and the challenge represented by the rise in regionalism elsewhere in the world, a development that has so...

  10. 3 Australia and regional order
    (pp. 44-57)

    As the largest member of the Pacific Islands Forum—in terms of population, economy, defence and diplomatic resources—it is vital that Australia demonstrate leadership if the Forum is to evolve. This chapter considers the important threshold question of whether Australia could be convinced of the merits of pursuing regional integration through the Pacific Islands Forum.

    This chapter first considers the history of Australia–Pacific relations and the degree to which each phase has promoted the five goals of regional order. The argument is then made that there are indeed challenges that call for a new phase in Australia’s Pacific...

  11. 4 The Pacific Islands Forum
    (pp. 58-80)

    The Pacific Islands Forum is the Pacific’s pre-eminent regional organisation. As such, it is the most obvious vehicle through which Pacific states can work together to address the challenges they face.

    Nonetheless, a clear-eyed approach is needed in considering the Forum’s potential to evolve. This chapter recounts the background to the establishment of the Forum, and provides an overview of its current institutional structure before surveying the Forum’s efforts to promote the five goals of regional order. Often, Forum members have resisted developing a shared sovereignty and a framework is provided to explain the Forum’s missed opportunities.

    The chapter then...

  12. 5 From a Forum to a Community
    (pp. 81-101)

    Pacific states face serious challenges to sustainable economic development, security, human rights, the rule of law and democracy, as well as the danger of isolation from the wider region. Aid alone has failed to resolve these challenges. Further, a lack of partnership between the Forum Secretariat and the Forum members with the resources to assist in the resolution of the challenges has previously been a feature of regional policymaking.

    New and better approaches are possible, as the Forum’s Biketawa Declaration, which led to the exercise of a regional sovereignty in the Solomon Islands, demonstrates (Pacific Islands Forum 2000a). Yet a...

  13. 6 Free trade
    (pp. 102-139)

    Lack of development is one of the prime causes of Pacific disorder.¹ A key test of Pacific regional order would thus be whether it can facilitate sustainable economic development. As discussed in previous chapters, economic theory and the experience of the European Union, CARICOM and other substantive regional integration projects suggest that increased trade leads to greater economic growth. Thus, a comprehensive common market—promoting trade in goods, services, investment and labour—would be the Oceania Community’s most important initiative for lifting Pacific economic growth.

    Therefore the Oceania single undertaking treaty should include four agreements to establish the Oceania common...

  14. 7 Monetary cooperation and integration
    (pp. 140-160)

    The European Union has pursued monetary integration as an important element in its efforts to promote sustainable economic development. A regional monetary policy has been regarded as a vital means of combating inflation, increasing trade and facilitating further economic reform (Yläoutinen 2001). This chapter outlines how the Oceania Community could pursue monetary cooperation, then integration, in a way that would likewise contribute to sustainable economic development.

    Monetary policy has been the missing element from the Forum’s economic reform agenda. This chapter proposes some practical initial steps to rectify the situation: improving the standard of economic data across the region; initiating...

  15. 8 Security
    (pp. 161-192)

    Since security is such a wide-ranging topic, this chapter is delimited in three respects. First, I do not dwell on issues where work is already taking place. Second, I do not consider every single security issue in the Pacific; rather, my focus is on measures where the need can be reasonably anticipated, and that it is appropriate to include in the Oceania security agreement as part of the single-undertaking treaty. For example, a high-impact peace enforcement action, should it be required, is most likely to be handled through UN mechanisms. It is therefore unnecessary (and, arguably, inappropriate) for the Oceania...

  16. 9 Human rights
    (pp. 193-214)

    Two institutions are crucial if the Oceania Community is to address, at the regional level, the Pacific’s challenges to the rule of law. This chapter considers the first of these institutions, the Oceania Human Rights Commission, which would be governed by the Oceania Human Rights Charter. The companion institution, the Oceania Regional Court, will be considered in Chapter 10.

    The rate of ratification or accession to the key UN human rights instruments is extremely low in the Pacific—a significant challenge to the rule of supranational law (see Table 2.9). The human rights environment in the Pacific is not benign,...

  17. 10 The rule of law
    (pp. 215-228)

    Pacific regional order would be incomplete without a mechanism for interpreting the single undertaking agreement and its protocols, to allow members to enforce their rights and peacefully settle disputes. Therefore, the Oceania Community should have a Court, with four chambers dealing with human rights, common market, environmental and constitutional issues. The development of a regional jurisprudence, and the interplay between the Oceania Court and national courts, would assist in addressing the challenges to the rule of law currently constraining the Pacific.

    This chapter considers the Pacific Island Forum’s current approach to dispute settlement, and contrasts it with CARICOM. The European...

  18. 11 Democracy
    (pp. 229-242)

    Democracy has proven a consistent force for security and sustainable, equitable development. Democracy should be an integral part, then, of Pacific regional order. An institution is needed that engages Oceania citizens in their regional polity, demonstrating the benefits of collective political action in tackling the challenges confronting the Pacific. Ensuring democratic values are embedded in the Oceania political order from the outset would produce a transparent, sustainable regional order (World Bank 1994; Iqbal and Jong-Li You 2001; Gradstein and Milanovic 2002; Dethier and Hafez Coli 1999; Garton-Ash 1998; Dettke 1994; Elman 2000).

    This chapter outlines the issues surrounding the creation...

  19. 12 Evolution
    (pp. 243-258)

    Previous chapters have considered the measures needed to deepen the Pacific integration process to promote the first four goals of regional order successfully. This chapter discusses the steps needed to widen the integration process to realise the fifth goal—integration with the wider region.

    This chapter first considers the Forum’s current efforts to establish wider relations, suggesting that a more dynamic approach is needed to address the concerns of Forum members about being isolated and excluded from other regional groupings in the Asia Pacific region. A commitment to attracting new members to the Oceania Community would win the benefits of...

  20. 13 Forging regional order
    (pp. 259-268)

    Any change effort involves three essential steps (Backhard and Pritchard 1992). The first involves identifying the need for change. The second involves creating an attractive alternate vision of the future, promulgating the guiding philosophy of the vision and the detailed plans required to realise it (Collins and Poras 1991). The third step is implementing those plans.

    This concluding chapter begins by re-considering the first step, namely identifying the need for change in the Pacific context, by revisiting some of the salient features of the present state of the Pacific. Next, I return to the importance of a strategic vision for...

  21. Appendices
    (pp. 269-275)
  22. References
    (pp. 276-314)
  23. Index
    (pp. 315-322)