Until last week, the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat consisted of 18 members and covered a vast, resource rich, highly strategic zone on the front line between Asia and the Americas.
Despite millennia of regional travel, in the 1830s, French Naval officer Jules Dumont d’Urville divided the islands and peoples of Oceania into three groups, based partially on geography and partially on dubious ethnography. That’s how we ended up with the concepts of Melanesia (“islands of Black people”), Micronesia (“small islands”), and Polynesia (“many islands”). The terms are problematic with the region, and the degree to which they have become embedded in bureaucratic structures has created an enormous impasse regarding regional leadership priorities.
For the full, detailed feature on the Pacific Islands Forum, please visit the link below: