IPI HomePublicationsPolicy PapersDevelopment and Security in the Pacific Island Region

 

print print  |  share share back back

Policy Papers - September 15, 2006

Development and Security in the Pacific Island Region

M. Anne Brown

 

 

Pacific Island states face serious challenges and dilemmas, as a series of crises in the region indicate. Across the region, countries struggle with significant problems of state capacity, including poor leadership, poor governance and weak links between state institutions and community life and values. From the Executive Summary: However, the region is also characterized by high levels of social resilience; although this is often overlooked. State-centric responses that ignore social resilience may in fact damage it, worsening the situations states confront.  

  
Pacific Island states could be better described as “emerging states,” rather than “failing states.” Violent conflict has not been widespread and social collapse is both rare and geographically confined.  
   
Community life is the basis of the social cohesion and resilience in the region. The health of communities is thus central to states working well in the Pacific. To meet the challenges of rapid socio-economic change, and of still developing state-society relations, citizenship and accountability, it is of fundamental importance to engage positively with communities.     


Economic development activities should be better targeted at rural economies, and focus more on small enterprises compatible with community structures and that bridge the informal exchange economy and the formal cash economy.
           
Regionalism is growing and could play an important role in development and security initiatives. Taking the time to talk across various levels of society about the intense changes underway across the region is important, as is the growing role of the sixteen member, intergovernmental Pacific Islands Forum in pooling regional strengths.

The Global Observatory

Defying Spain, Catalans Vote for Independence, But What’s Next?
The unofficial Catalan referendum has raised several questions about Catalonia’s future and its relationship with Madrid.

Key Global Events to Watch in November
A list of key upcoming meetings and events with implications for global affairs.

2014 Top 10 Issues to Watch in Peace & Security: The Global Arena
A list of ten key issues to watch that are likely to impact international peace and security in 2014, compiled by IPI's Francesco Mancini.

The Global Observatory, produced by IPI, provides timely analysis on peace and security issues, interviews with leading policymakers, interactive maps, and more.

Recent Events

November 05, 2014
Top-Down Governance Hurts Women, Youth Participation
Governments in the Sahel and Maghreb are still using top-down approaches to governance that make it hard for women and youth to have a say in public life, even though their participation can help their governments’ struggle against instability and extremism.

November 03, 2014
Apakan on Ukraine: "To Be Present Is Important"
On November 3rd, IPI’s Vienna office hosted Ambassador Ertugrul Apakan, Chief Monitor of the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

November 03, 2014
Enhancing Women's Share in Peace and Security
“We did not want to make war safe for women; we wanted to end war for everyone,” Ambassador Anwarul Chowdhury said, recalling the goal of a new resolution he introduced as president of the Security Council in the year 2000.

View More