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The Pacific Islands Forum is an inter-governmental consultative organ which aims to enhance cooperation between the independent countries of the Pacific Ocean and represent their interests. Formerly known as the South Pacific Forum, the name was changed to better reflect the correct geographic locations of its member states in both the north and south Pacific.

Member states are: Australia, the Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, the Marshall Islands, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.

The decisions of the Forum are implemented by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS), which grew out of the South Pacific Economic Cooperation bureau (SPEC). As well as its role in harmonising regional positions on various political and policy issues, the Forum Secretariat has technical programmes in economic development, transport, and trade, and chairs the Council of Regional Organisations in the Pacific (CROP).

New Zealand and Australia are much larger in population (with the exception of Papua New Guinea) and wealthier than the other small, poor, and in some cases downright impoverished island nations that make up the rest of the forum. Those two are are significant aid donors and big markets for exports (for instance, through a concessional tariff deal on textiles exports from Fiji to Australia). Australia's population is around twice that of the other 15 members combined and its economy more than five times larger. In Papua New Guinea (in Bougainville) and the Solomons, Australian and New Zealand have recently conducted peacekeeping/stabilization military operations.

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