Pacific Community (SPC)

Communauté du Pacifique (CPS)

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1947-02-06 Canberra ACT Australia


Founded as an advisory and consultative body, following signature of Agreement Establishing the South Pacific Commission (Canberra Agreement) -- Convention créant la Commission du Pacifique Sud (Convention de Canberra) by governments of Australia, France, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. Area of activities then comprised territories lying generally South of the Equator from and including former Dutch New Guinea in the West to the French Establishments in Oceania and Pitcairn in the East. Additional agreement signed Nov 1951, Nouméa (New Caledonia), on behalf of the Participating Governments, extending the area to include Guam and the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. Netherlands withdrew, 31 Dec 1962, when it ceased to administer the former colony of Dutch New Guinea, now known as Irian Jaya. The following independent and self-governing Pacific States have subsequently been admitted to membership: Samoa (Oct 1965); Nauru (20 Jul 1969); Fiji (5 May 1971); Papua New Guinea (25 Sep 1975); Solomon Islands and Tuvalu (Nov 1978); Niue and Cook Islands (Oct 1980). The Commission's name was adopted at 37th Conference, 1997, Canberra, and took effect on 6 Feb 1998, when the title of the Conference became 'Conference of the Pacific Community (CPC)'. Current legal name adopted Nov 2015, retaining the acronym SPC. Prior to 1974, Commissioners from the participating governments met in annual session, while delegates from the Pacific territories met as 'South Pacific Conference' every 3 years from 1950 to 1967, and then annually from 1967 to 1974, immediately before the Session of Commissioners, making recommendations to it. In accordance with proposals in a Memorandum of Understanding, formally signed by representatives of the 8 participating governments during the 14th South Pacific Conference, 2 Oct 1974, Rarotonga (Cook Is), the Session of Commissioners and the South Pacific Conference united to meet annually as a single body, known as South Pacific Conference -- Conférence du Pacifique Sud. The Memorandum also provided for a Planning and Evaluation Committee and for a Committee of Representatives of Participating Governments to assist the Conference in its work. Another Memorandum of Understanding, signed by representatives of all participating governments on 20 Oct 1976, abolished the multiple voting procedure existing at that time and gave each government one vote in the Committee.

Canberra Agreement amended Jun 1980, to permit accession to the Agreement by any government whose territory is within the territorial scope of the Commission and which is either fully independent or in free association with a fully independent government, if invited to do so by all participating governments, on deposition of an instrument of accession with the Government of Australia.

The 23rd South Pacific Conference, Oct 1983, Saipan (Northern Mariana Is), wishing to modify procedures so that all governments and administrations were admitted to the Commission under equal membership, resolved that Commission members should be the following governments and administrations: American Samoa; Australia; Cook Islands; Federated States of Micronesia; Fiji; France; French Polynesia; Guam; Kiribati; Marshall Islands; Nauru; New Caledonia; New Zealand; Niue; Northern Mariana Islands; Palau; Papua New Guinea; Pitcairn Islands; Solomon Islands; New Zealand; Tonga; Tuvalu; United Kingdom (which ceased to be a member from 1 Jan 1996 but which rejoined in 1998); United States of America; Vanuatu; Wallis and Futuna; Samoa. Under these modified procedures, the Committee of Representatives of Participating Governments (CRPG) and the Planning and Evaluation Committee ceased to exist and a Committee of Representatives of Governments and Administrations (CRGA) -- Comité des représentants des gouvernements et administrations (CRGA) was established, assuming some duties of the Conference, whose sessions were reduced to once every 2 years.


Work for the well-being of Pacific people through effective and innovative application of science and knowledge, guided by a deep understanding of Pacific Island contexts and cultures.


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Conference of the Pacific Community (every 2 years) is governing body with each member entitled to one vote, but usually resolved by consensus. Committee of Representatives of Governments and Administrations (CRGA) meets annually. Executive, headed by Director-General. Programs Directorate, comprising 8 Divisions: Geoscience, Energy and Maritime; Human Rights and Social Development; Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems; Land Resources; Public Health; Statistics for Development; Educational Quality and Assessment Programe; Operations and Management Directorate. Regional Offices (4): Pohnpei (Federated States of Micronesia); Honiara (Solomon Is); Port Vila (Vanuatu); Nuku'alofa (Tonga).


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Annual Budget

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Subjects *

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UN Sustainable Development Goals **

GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-beingGOAL 4: Quality EducationGOAL 5: Gender EqualityGOAL 6: Clean Water and SanitationGOAL 7: Affordable and Clean EnergyGOAL 10: Reduced InequalityGOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and CommunitiesGOAL 13: Climate ActionGOAL 14: Life Below WaterGOAL 15: Life on LandGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions



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