Valery Timoshenko – Oceania: the Forgotten Problems of the “Unnecessary” Region. Part 1

Oceania – the edge of an infinite number of islands in the South Pacific has long been considered kind of “paradise” on earth, a place where there is peace and tranquility. For a long time Oceania was under the watchful eye of Western countries, primarily the United States, Britain, France and Australia. After the Second World War, the strategic importance of the islands led to domination in the region of U.S. interests, which allows us to transform this part of the globe in the U.S. inland lake. With the end of the Cold War the strategic importance of the oceans has fallen sharply, and the region become “unnecessary” to his former patrons. Oceanic Independent States have experienced great economic and political difficulties that led to internal instability and aggravation of many ethnic conflicts.

Size Does Matter

According to generally accepted system of international stratification of most states of Oceania are classified as “micro” (“dwarf states”) which, according to the system of stratification have very weak economic potential, and even unable to defend the sovereignty on its own. If before the internal stability in the region was provided by Western countries, by end of the Cold War, the state of Oceania were left alone with their problems. In the early 90’s professionals and political scientists have tried to identify opportunities for small countries and microstates in a changed world. Among the set of concepts and views on this issue there are two opposite directions.

The first direction is based on the infamous concept of Francis Fukuyama on the end of history, according to which the world has come a kind of harmony, based on the victory of liberal and democratic values, the Atlantic Center. Leading world powers have reached consensus on major issues of international relations, and the new world order will be rational and peaceful … and more favorable for small countries than the old order” [1]. Security of small countries will be provided by more powerful states such as during the First World War, the Entente countries guarantee the security of the little Belgian. Optimistic proponents of this direction have added events in the Persian Gulf, when the leading countries in the world and the United Nations unanimously stood up for a little Kuwait.

The second direction was of a pessimistic nature. His supporters believed that the end of the Cold War does not promise anything good for small countries. Back in the 70’s by Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme was suggested that the detente between the superpowers could end the independence of small nations [2]. This possibility was realized after the disappearance of the old world order, its ideological and political foundation. It is ideological and political considerations in a competitive environment between the two systems provides a process of decolonization and served as guarantors, albeit limited, but the sovereignty of small states. After the Cold War, before these countries rose the prospect, or enter into larger units such as the European Union, either be in the “banana republics” and get into the full economic and, therefore, and political dependence on the powerful countries, or even be useless to anyone, and found himself on the margins of world politics.

Termination of ideological competition and changing geopolitical interests invariably led to a revision of relations between great states and small states. This primarily affected states of Oceania. Peripheral position makes it “unnecessary” for the top powers in the new historical conditions. As noted by Professor R.Herr at the University of Tasmania, there were signs saying that in the new world order to the region will be given the role of the secondary, remote and isolated “region of the globe [3]. And indeed, since the early 90’s former metropolis suddenly ceased to urge the state of Oceania to join them as partners to “promote progress” and allies “in defense of freedom” [4].

End of the Cold War changed the nature of economic relations through the “center – periphery”. If you have previously donated aid flowing into the area was spent on maintenance of public sector and the social sphere, the new sponsors, such as Japan and Taiwan, which replaced the United States and Britain have demanded a more sustainable economic development based on quality management and privatization. On the recommendation of the World Bank and IMF governments Oceania rather than to protect local steel producers diligently to reduce protective tariffs, creating an attractive environment for foreign investment. Rather than support the development of national projects, they began to sell public assets and wholesale privatization of public enterprises. However, instead of the expected growth of the state of Oceania have mass unemployment, increasing immigration, social tension and the worsening crime situation. The country has seen a sharp differentiation in incomes of the population that has increased social inequality and exacerbated the struggle for the distribution of national wealth. As noted by Professor S.Firth University of South Pacific «trouble was in the new rules established by globalizing world people who have very limited interest to small countries” [5]. They have created the standards ignore the specifics of micro and special conditions for their development. In other words, according to an Australian S.Lawson, in modern politics “size matters” [6].

On the Way of “Africanisation”

Since the late 80’s, it would seem, previously stable region began to shake the numerous internal conflicts. Dramatically escalated the political situation in Fiji, due to the relationship between the two main ethnic groups – the descendants of Indian immigrants and the indigenous Fijians. The country only in 1987 had been committed two military coup that brought to power, Colonel S. Rabuka, who represented the interests of the indigenous population. Similar events occurred in the Solomon Islands. Armed rebels seized control the capital, Honiara, and placed under arrest, Prime Minister Bartholomew Ulafaalu. These events were the result of fierce fighting factions of the two main islands – Malaita and Guadalcanal. Exacerbate the situation on the border of Papua New Guinea and Indonesia. Tens of thousands of Papuan refugees fleeing the persecution of the Indonesian army, to suppress separatism in the province of West Irian. In turn, the Government of PNG in 1989, was forced to send army units to the other end of the country to crush a separatist rebellion in Bougainville. The tense political situation involving an armed conflict and political killings occurred in Vanuatu and Samoa.

All these events have changed the vision of the Pacific as “an oasis of democracy” to the side of presenting it as an “arc of instability” [7]. Policymakers in Australia, New Zealand and the U.S. “hastily began to consider the safety of Oceania as a defense against internal instability in the Pacific Island States” [8]. Leading expert on security issues in the region G. Fry proposed to shift the emphasis in the interpretation of the concept of “defense” of military significance in the direction of the threats from political and economic instability, human rights violations and environmental degradation [9]. In academic and political circles have been increasingly talking about the “Balkanization” of Oceania, the “insular ethnic epidemic”. Political scientist at the Australian National University, B.A.Relly argued that the independent states of the South Pacific are on the path of “Africanisation”, the main features of which are “a growing tension between civil regimes and military forces. Relationship of the processes of ethnic identification with the struggle for natural resources, the weakness of democratic and political institutions, as well as increased natural resource exploitation by external forces” [10].

The main challenge to regional security and stability were ethnic conflicts. South Pacific in ethnolinguistic terms is the most complex in the world. Only in Melanesia, there are about 1200 languages ​​and dialects. Exactly the differences between linguistic groups, between clans and tribes become sources of ethnic conflict. For a long time in the historiography, particularly Soviet, dominated the view that separatist sentiments, tribal and national strife were the legacy of colonialism and burned by external forces. Part of such a view is unfounded. Indeed, during the colonial period there was a process of forced inclusion of various ethnic groups in public education solely because of political considerations. So, one million Melanesians living in the Dutch New Guinea was incorporated into Indonesia as the province of Irian Jaya. Such public education as Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu have covered literally hundreds of distinct cultural and linguistic communities, which “before the independence did not have anything in common and did not want to have anything to do after its accomplishment” [11]. There is no surprise that these states have experienced the most problems during the construction of a viable nation-state. Leaders of the separatist movement in Bougainville, for example, long lamented its “unfortunate colonial history” which linked their political and economic destiny of Papua New Guinea. Leaders of the separatist movement in Bougainville, for example, long lamented its “unfortunate colonial history” which linked their political and economic destiny of Papua New Guinea. Such “primary identification” is typical for the population of Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands. Many residents identify themselves exclusively with their island, its villages, with their language group. American researchers D.T.Finin and Wesley-Smith pointed out that “the problem of Oceania is not that they can disconnect, but that they never really connected” [12].

The Army Named After the Football Club

The main factor of interethnic tensions in the independent states of the South Pacific region is a mix of ethnic identity and the struggle for control over natural resources. Land tenure and land use have always played a major role in the economic and social development of peoples of Oceania. In addition to providing food products, the land had a special social and spiritual values ​​in the area of ​​the globe. Any attempts to change the land status led to sensitive issues to the islanders. Landowners on Buginvile since the late 60’s resisted discovery on the island of copper mine. Although tempted by the high deductions from earnings of production of copper, they succumbed to government pressure PNG, it soon became apparent that no interest could not compensate for the myriad social and environmental disaster caused by the implementation of the project. Gratuitous money only accelerated the social disintegration of the local community and contributed to a crisis that grew into more than a decade of civil war.

The land question lay at the basis of events in Fiji 83% of the land stock is owned by indigenous Fijians, a leading traditional economy. Part of the land leased by immigrants from India who grew sugar cane for the sugar industry, which was the basis for the Fijian economy. Government attempts to extend the lease have caused the protests of indigenous people and led to a military coup.

Ethnic conflict in the Solomon Islands was also worn by the character of the land. Over the previous decade as a result of irresponsible stands the principle of private ownership of land communal land around the capital Honiara on Guadalcanal were resold privately migrants, mostly people from the island of Malaita, who were eager to settle in more prosperous metropolitan area. A new generation of indigenous people, remained without land and work, was to challenge the legality of these land transactions. They not only demanded compensation for the loss of their lands, but “generally opposed to the presence in their area a large number of” outsiders”, selivshihsya on their palm plantations, which undermined the local traditional palm oil production” [13]. To protect their own interests Guadalcanal residents have united in an organization “Isatabu – Movement for freedom and created the People’s Armed police ‘Guadalcanal Revolutionary Army”. In turn, migrants have created an organization “Malaita Eagle Force”, adopting the name of a popular native island football club. In September 1998, confrontation between the two sides escalated into armed clashes, accompanied by mass killings, burning of homes, violence and looting. According to the organization “Amnesty International” to the beginning of 1999 on the island were dozens of killed and missing persons, and the total number of refugees, mostly malaityan reached 32 thousand people [14].

Cost of Democracy

The worsening situation in the Pacific after the Cold War has revealed the crisis of the democratic system in the island states. For a long time this region is considered an “oasis of democracy”. With the exception of Tonga, in the newly independent countries formed the republican form of government with a seemingly stable elements of Western-style democracy. U.S. researchers have noted that the transition to democracy in the new formations proceeded smoothly and “the majority of island states adopted a political system based on combining local traditions and the British style of government” [15]. In the 90 years, Oceanic “oasis of democracy” has become increasingly subject to criticism even from Western countries, who considered it once a model for democracies in the developing world. B.Relly wrote that the hallmark of the “formal” democracy is the ability to “throw a lot of scams through the electoral process.” In contrast to the authoritarian regimes in Africa and Asia, South Pacific, the election represented “a rich trade between weak political parties and the ruling leaders and governments, in which “losers do not lose the basic privileges” that led to “sustained commitment to democracy among the elite island states” [16]. Professor University of the Pacific in Suva, chairman of the Fiji NGO “Constitutional civil forum” V.Naidu said, that the leaders of most states were not able to be responsible for human rights, equality of citizens, a fair distribution of resources. Instead, they “had a tendency to fill their own pockets, abuse of public position, to mobilize their supporters to protect their own interests on the basis of their hereditary status, and ethnicity” [17]. V.Naidu called Oceania region the most corrupt in the world where there is no «clean» government. All attempts to prevent the corruption ran into stiff opposition from the authorities.

Many regional and foreign experts, politicians and public figures came to the unequivocal conclusion that corrupt government in the states of Oceania, is a major threat to their security. “The riots, rebellion, separatist and civil wars, illegal overthrow of the democratically elected governments, are a consequence of the rule of the corrupt leaders in the island states”- noted participants of the Conference on Security of the South Pacific states, held in Honolulu in 1999 [18].

My Police Saves Me?

Consequence of underdevelopment of the political system was a conflict between civil society and the military. Armed men in uniform, designed to protect the interests of the citizens of their country, have now become a source of constant threats of the civilian population. Phenomenon typical of African countries and earlier in Latin America, when the military turned into an independent political force in the 90 years it has become manifest also in Oceania. V.Naidu pointed out that “security forces in the island nations are an oxymoron, because they have become a major source of instability and insecurity in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands” [19].

In addition to Fiji, the military gained strong political influence in Papua New Guinea. In March 1997, army troops surrounded the parliament and forced the Prime Minister Dmitry Chan to resign as a sign of disagreement with the government’s decision to use foreign military assistance in resolving the conflict on the island Bougainville. In 1996, among the soldiers of the paramilitary Vanuatu Mobile Force was riot in connection with the non-payment of the promised money. The rebels seized the country’s president and prime minister, forcing them to go to meet their demands. Solomon Islands police have been accused of killing civilians during the conflict on Guadalcanal and in the subsequent military coup. According to Amnesty International “local people feared the armed police more than the armed insurgency” [20].

Quasi-States or “Syndrome of “Failed States”

Economic and political weakness of states of Oceania, the inability of local governments and the South Pacific Forum to cope even with little internal conflict questioned the viability of the region. At a conference in Honolulu Japanese scientist T.Yoshiaki called the situation in Oceanic countries “syndrome “failed states” [21]. He referred to the concept of well-known Canadian political scientist Robert Jackson’s “quasi- state”. According to the theory of Jackson look like a quasi-state, they have all the same (technically, at least) right: representation in the UN flag as in real State. Even if their rulers are not able to control its own territory and use the power for the social benefits of its population, even if the government in these countries is absolutely worthless, they still get international recognition, because both countries want to determining world policy. In other words, a quasi-states have all the formal attributes of an independent state, but do not have the internal capacity for self-government, so they are not in any way can not be counted as a full Member [22]. Many Oceania States fits to the concept of quasi. For example, the budgets of some countries in Oceania are formed entirely by foreign aid. However, most experts on the region do not share this view and continue to hope that “democracy promotion” sooner or later will bear fruit.

Chinese Triad…

Since the early 90-ies China began interfere into the internal situation of the region and of individual countries. The Chinese began to explore the region since the middle of the XIX century. Whereas previously they tended to assimilate and adapt to the traditions of the local society, with the end of the Cold War the situation changed. A new wave of Chinese immigration was more closely linked with their historical homeland and formed a separate Chinese community. New Chinese were serious competition for local residents in the area of ​​business and trade. Many of them came on the territory of Oceania illegally and were closely related to Chinese criminal circles. Third of the total intercepted by police in Oceania heroin was of a “Chinese origin”. The delivery was organized by Chinese living in Southeast Asia, as well as a local distributor advocated Chinese diasporas in Fiji [23]. In addition, Chinese entrepreneurs have been involved in many corruption scandals in virtually all of Melanesia, in particular related to the issuance of licenses for the exploitation of natural resources and illegal passports for Chinese immigrants. For example, many Chinese citizens traveling on forged passports in Nauru and Tonga, where they could freely travel to Western countries [24]. In the early 90-ies of the Marshall Islands Government has decided to issue an annual ethnic Chinese to 200 passports in hopes of inflows into the country. In 1996 the decision was reversed, as it became clear that no investment is not and never will. In 1996 the decision was reversed, as it became clear that there is no investment and never will be. During this time, the Marshall Islands have issued a passport and more than 2000 Chinese went to Australia and the United States [25]. Philippine authorities have noted an increased number of ethnic Chinese who arrived in the country with passports illegally issued to them by officials in Nauru. In 2001, the Fiji government announced the existence of the country’s entire underground network engaged in illegal immigration across the country Oceania. These criminal organizations were also in Kiribati and Tuvalu. Even the American island of Guam was used for the transit of illegal immigrants. In 1998 and 1999, the Guam U.S. Coast Guard were revealed 1869 illegal migrants, primarily Chinese [26].

The Chinese Government has not formally accepted responsibility for all ethnic Chinese living abroad. Including active interest of China to the Pacific region, any conflict between the Chinese communities and local residents can cause a backlash by Chinese authorities. In this regard, R. Crocomb noted that “the Government of China promotes Chinese immigration in the region, including illegal to provide long-term Chinese presence here to defend their interests” [27].

… and the “Russian Mafia”

In addition to illegal immigration and drug trafficking Oceania attracted international organized crime as a profitable place for money laundering. Like most small states which do not have more economic opportunities, Oceania had to raise capital to create attractive conditions for the financial and banking transactions. Banking regulations in most of them contain the minimum requirements to allow the registration of financial institutions and provides a high secrecy of deposits to customers [28]. Only in small Niue, with a population of more than two thousand people in 2000 were registered 5,500 international companies and banks, including those belonging to the “Russian Mafia”. In this case, “nor domestic financial institutions, neither local nor foreign authorities can not get any information about them” [29]. Another tiny state of Nauru is the most convenient place in the world for money laundering. It registered more than 400 offshore banks. In 1999, the media in the region are constantly emerging messages on money laundering “Russian Mafia” in Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu, Samoa and the Cook [30].

“Pacific Way” – the Key to Success?

By the turn of the century it became clear for all in Oceania that that self-selected states in the region with its internal problems, including ethnic conflicts, can not manage on their own. Solution of the problems anticipated only in regional and international cooperation, based upon the model of so-called “Pacific way” – the essence of which was to create a kind of regional harmony, when the Oceanic nations make decisions only on the basis of full consensus.

The idea of ​​”Pacific way” has been implemented through a network of organizations concerned with internal security and stability. Still the main one is the South Pacific Forum. In the state of the permanent Secretariat of the forum are officials concerned exclusively with security issues. In addition to the Forum security issues discussed at a regional conference on security, that integrates and coordinates the activities of internal affairs, customs, immigration services, etc. Occur annually in the Pacific Chiefs of Police Conference. Permanent organization “Oceania Customs Organisation” and the “Principal Immigration Office”.

However, if the earlier co-operation on security satisfied members of the South Pacific Forum, by the beginning of the twenty-first century, the ability of the Forum to respond to new challenges has strongly restricted. SPF members understood the need to create new supranational structures in the region, but not everyone agreed with the transferring of part of its sovereignty. Their attitude towards regional problems, they expressed through the Declaration of the Forum position paper of participants and recommend actions on specific issues. In 1992, the Forum adopted the Declaration of Honiara. It recognized the need for deeper integration of security and the fight against transnational economic crime. Forum identified threats such as money laundering, terrorist recruitment, passport forgery, human trafficking, environmental crimes, drug trafficking and other crimes. To combat these phenomena was proclaimed the need for a legislative framework for the fight against crime, according to the extradition of criminals, the joint struggle against economic crimes and the establishment of the Forum for the structure that coordinates these activities. In 1997, the regional states adopted the Declaration of Aitutaki. It was aimed at strengthening coordination to solve the political and security problems and further develop “mechanisms for preventive diplomacy” through the Regional Security Committee. It was decided to collect the committee meeting more than once a year, and in cases of emergency. Forum leaders also agreed to develop an agreement on the presence of regional armed forces on their territories [31].

However, the adoption of national laws and declarations of Honiara and Aitutaki was held with some difficulties. Many states under the pretext of “bureaucratic difficulties” delayed the adoption of local laws aimed at enhancing regional security cooperation. New Zealand expert on jurisprudence N.Boyster believed that the region’s leaders have considered these problems as “minor,” that “undermine regional legal response to security threats and reduces the “effectiveness of such answer” [32]. Analyzing the legal problems of regional security, established in 2005 as part of SPF organization “The Pacific Plan for Strengthening Regional Cooperation and Integration” (Pacific PLAN) noted that the main reason for delaying the adoption of local laws were political reasons: leaders of the Oceania could hardly accepted the need on priority of regional interests over national [33].


New Century – New Challenges

While the country’s SPF brought their legislation in accordance with the needs of the regional security, situation in the region has worsened. In May 2000, almost simultaneously, there have been two military coups in Fiji and the Solomon Islands. The President of Fiji, Sir Kamisese Mara declared a state of emergency after armed rebels seized the parliament building and took hostage Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry and some members of his cabinet. Another coup was led by Fijian nationalist and businessman George Spreyt. His main requirement was to deliver the power from the representatives of the Indian community to the government, which would be represented by the indigenous ethnic groups. It is interesting that his father George Speight was a close friend of Sitiveni Rabuka, who led the previous coup in 1987, after which Rabuka became prime minister and kept the post until May 1999. The coup was accompanied by killings, massacres, hostage-taking and violence against Indo-Fijians. Fiji’s security forces were not only unable to stop the atrocities, but even “the actions or inaction of security forces helped to achieve the purposes of the revolution” [34].

June 5, 2000, two weeks after the coup in Fiji, similar events occurred in the Solomon Islands. Rebels from the organization “Malaita Eagle Force” who controlled the country’s capital Haniaru, with the support of local police dismissed Prime Minister Ulafaalu and demanded the parliament to elect a new prime minister. As the leader of malaityan E.Nori said, his actions were caused by “the inability of the country’s leadership to resolve the conflict” and “loss of police control over security in the capital” [35]. As in Fiji, the coup was accompanied by indiscriminate shooting, murder and violence that continued even during the negotiations with the government and international mediators. It become abundantly clear that regional efforts at conflict resolution, and adoption of declarations of Honiara and Aitutaki have not brought positive results. Moreover, the South Pacific Forum, was losing the confidence of national leaders, which faced the problems of armed uprisings. Not accidentally B. Ulafaalu in June 1999 as a mediator to resolve the crisis in Gudalcanal didn’t invite the representatives of the Forum, but invite the most “undemocratic leader S.Rabuka, who committed two military coups in Fiji. It is remarkable that he arrived in the Solomon Islands as a special envoy of the British Commonwealth of Nations, despite the fact that S.Rabuka declared Fiji a republic, and from 1987 to 1997 the country wasn’t a part of the Commonwealth. During the mediation of S.Rabuka between the warring factions two agreements were signed, which suspended the conflict for a while, but did not solve the main problems. Mediator service was also suggested by France, which under the pretext of “protecting human rights and democracy” has sought to compete with “Anglophone Commonwealth” in control over the region,” which is a part of its great global project” [36]. Earlier, France has established close relations, including military with S.Rabuka in Fiji who was rejected by the Government. These circumstances have greatly alarmed the rest of the South Pacific Forum, especially Australia and New Zealand at the helm since 1998, which proved to be of force, urged a more aggressive policy in the region. on regular meeting of the Forum in August 2000 New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark and her Australian colleague D.Howard insisted on adopting more effective measures against the countries region of which violating democratic norms. As a result of the discussions there was adopted a Biketav Declaration. The Declaration proclaims the principle of “good governance”, “human rights”, “democratic process” and “rule of law” in “respect for the principles of noninterference in internal affairs of other countries – members of the SPF” [37]. On the recommendation of New Zealand was also decided to establish a regional police force to maintain peace and stability on the Solomon Islands. Representative Forum delegation was directed to the country, which contributed signing of Townsville agreement in October 2000 under which the conflicting parties agreed on deployment of peacekeeping forces on Guadalcanal. The leaders of Australia and New Zealand enthusiastically adopted the Biketawa Declaration. Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer called it “an important step forward all Oceanic nations” [38]. His New Zealand counterpart, F.Goff regard the adoption of the declaration as recognition of the region’s leaders “a new era in which ethnic and other tensions will play a big role” [39]. However, many experts skeptically estimated the possibility of new structures for safety. D.Rolf doubted in the ability of regional police forces quickly and effectively respond to crises, due to long bureaucratic procedures for the coordination of their control. Moreover, there is no guarantee that structures will serve the interests of all, and not only the interests of national elite” [40]. Political scientist from the University of the South Pacific C.Firth believed that regional security should be based not on strengthening the armed forces but on creating “more transparent, more efficient and therefore more legitimate and safe forms of government [41]. Skepticism about the BiketavDeclaration added the General Secretary SPF Noel Levi, stating that the Forum “was lost”, by interfering in the internal affairs of Fiji and the Solomon Islands. He objected cruel actions taken for “a return to democratic norms” [42].

Will “Assistant of US Sheriff” Help?

Difficulties with the formation of collective security structures were not only in the fears of the countries’ leaders of Oceania to lose part of the sovereignty of their countries. The proposed model of collective structures included the creation of inter-regional peace-keeping forces and stability, which would be sent to crisis areas. Out of all countries of Oceania, only Fiji and Papua New Guinea had its own armed forces. But these countries were too busy with their internal problems. Hence, the core of future regional military forces would have amounted of Australia and New Zealand solders. Considering that the financing of future operations would lay on the shoulders of these two countries, it becomes possible to complete military and political domination of Australia and New Zealand, and in the words of an American political scientist G. Fry, there is the possibility of becoming Oceania, from the “American Island Sea”, to the “Inland Sea of ​​Australia” [43].

Following the doctrine of the Australian Prime Minister John Howard, the “green continent” must take responsibility of “Assistant of U.S. sheriff” and restore the order in the South Pacific. Influenced by the events happened on September,11 2002 in the U.S. Pacific Islands Forum adopted the Declaration of Nasonini concerning regional security and terrorism fighting. In addition to direct terrorism law enforcement agencies in the region were to strengthen the fight against organized crime, drug trafficking, money laundering and even sexual violence. This work must be leaded by the General Prosecutor of Australia, and direct executors were to become police forces of Australia and New Zealand. In 2003, under the auspices of the SPF was established the Regional Commission for Assistance to the Solomon Islands. On Guadalcanal it was decided to send peacekeeping force, the main part of which were Australian soldiers. Peacekeepers arrested around 4 thousand people, including cabinet ministers, senior police officials, the leaders of warring factions. Under the protection of Australian police about 2 thousand refugees have returned to their former homes [44]. Satisfied with the work on Guadalcanal, Australians have reduced their military forces, but not for long time. After the murder of Australian policemen on the island in December 2005, the peacekeepers came back. Tensions on Guadalcanal still exist.

If the actions of Australia in the Solomon Islands can be called successful, the Australian intervention in resolving the crisis in Bougainville was not as successful. The most part of the island is still in the hands of the separatists. Negotiations between the PNG government and the rebels brokered by Australia, gave no results. Currently, PNG Army, trained and armed by Australians, controls all three points on the coast. The island, with the support of Australian forces was taken into a rigid blockade, which affects its 200-thousand population. Even the delivery of humanitarian assistance on the island was prohibited [45]. However, these measures have not led to the cessation of resistance. Eventually, the PNG Government under the pressure of Australia and the United States was forced in 2001 to sign an agreement for a referendum on independence which will be held in 10-15 years. In 2004, Bougainville granted broad autonomy within Papua New Guinea, which will operate until the referendum on the island.

Ethnic confrontation in Fiji also far from the complete normalization. Although in 2001 the country returned to democratic norms of governance, and rebel leader George Speight was arrested and convicted, the representatives of Indian communities of the island were not included into new government. In 2003, has failed the talks on forming a coalition government. Leaders of the opposition Labour Party on Fiji refused to join the united cabinet, dissatisfied by dividing ministerial portfolios. The country has frozen and waited for new parliamentary elections scheduled for July 2006. But elections have not changed the political balance of power. Ethnic conflict in Oceania, and the reasons behind them, not just issues for the South Pacific region. In the modern world, such phenomena are widespread. More and more “dwarf states” appear on the political map. A significant portion of them are typical “quasi- states”, incapable to ensure its territorial integrity and create acceptable living conditions for its citizens. Then the question arises: why do we need such state? What is their role in the modern world? Why the world community recognizes the right to self-determination for some peoples (East Timor, Bougainville) and ignores the same rights for others (Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Karabakh)? All these issues leave the field for wide discussion. With regard to the independent states of Oceania, in Australia have been increasing calls to return to the “good old days” of colonialism for the benefit of the Oceania peoples.


Translation by Marina Osipova


Bibliographic notes:

1. Richard A. Herr. South Pacific Microstate Sovereignty in the Post-Cold War World Order: The Day After Waterloo? // Pacific History. Papers from the 8th Pacific History Association Conference.University ofGuam press. -Guam, 1992. – P. 249

2. See: Ibid.

3. Asia-Pacific in theNew WorldOrder. Ed. by A. McCrew and C. Brook. – L: N.Y; 1998. – P. 209

4. See: Gerard A. Finin and Terence A. Westley-Smith. Coups, Conflicts, and Crises: The NewPacific Way? –East-WestCenterWorking Paper No. 13, June 2000. – P. 18

5. The Pacific Islands and the Globalization Agenda //The Contemporary Pacific 12(1) Spring 2000. – P. 178

6. Security in Oceaniain the 21st Century. Ed. by Eric Shibuya and Jim Rolf. -Asia-PacificCenter for Security Studies. Research Publications. -East-WestCenter, -Honolulu, 2003. – P. 10

7. See: Ben Relly. The Africanisation of the South Pacific // Australian Journal of International Affairs, – Vol. 54, No. 3, 2000. – P. 262

8. Security inOceania… P. 42

9. G. Fry. South Pacific Security and Global Change: the New Agenda. –AustralianNationalUniversity. Working Paper No. 1, 1999. –Canberra. – P. 3

10. Ben Relly. Op. cit. – P. 262

11. Gerard A. Finin and Terence A. Westley-Smith. Op. cit. – P. 7

12. Gerard A. Finin and Terence A. Westley-Smith. Op. cit. – P. 18

13. Pacific Islands Report, June 9, 2000

14. Radio Australia, 30 September 1999 – http//

15. The Pacific Islands: Politics, Economics, and International Relations.- East-West Center, Honolulu. – 1993. – P. 84; The South Pacific: Emerging Policy Issues and US Policy. Special Report. – Wash etc.: Brasseg’s, 1990. – P. 10-14; The South Pacific. Problems, Issues, Prospects. Ed. By Ramesh Takur. – Houndmiles, Basingston and L.: Macmillan, Danedin; University of Otago. – 1991. P. 10

16. Ben Relly. Op. cit. – P. 262

17. Security in Oceania … P. 27

18. Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, Pacific Islands Perspectives on Security, Report on the Conference on Island State Security, 22-24 June, 1999, Honolulu –

19. Security in Oceania … P. 30

20. Solomon Islands: A Fogotten Conflict. – Amnisty International World Wide Sites –

21. Security in … P. 99

22. See: Robert H. Jackson. Quasi-states: Sovereignty// International Relations and the Third World. – Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990

23. BBC News, October 29, 2000 –

24. Migration News, University of California, 6(10) 1999 –

25. Security in Oceania … P. 175

26. Ibid. P. 176

27. Ibid. P. 223

28. Ibid. P. 177

29. Pacific Islands Reports. East-West Center /Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawaii. 10 March 2001. – P.14

30. Security in … P. 181

31. Aitutaki Declaration on Regional Security Cooperation. Forum Secretariat. Twenty Eighth South Pacific Forum. Rarotonga. 19 September 1997 – – 6k

32. Neil Boister. Threat Assessment by the Pacific Forum. 2001 Pacific Islands Law Officers Meeting. Fijian Resort, Yanuca Island, 22 October 2001 –

33. Enabling Environment – Good Governance and Security / Pacific Plan Online. –

34. Security in Oceania … P. 237

35. Solomon Islands: A Fogotten Conflict. – Amnisty International World Wide Sites –

36. Security in Oceania … P. 73

37. Pacific Islands Forum, Biketawa Declaration, attachment to Thirty-First Pacific Islands Communique, Tarawa, 27-28 October 2000 – – 8k

38. Ibid.

39. A move to succeed where colonial powers failed. The New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade – – 11k

40. Security in Oceania … P. 240

41. Ibid. P. 49

42. Pacific Islands Report. 15 September 2000 –

43. G. Fry. South Pacific Security and Global Change: the New Agenda. Australian National University. Dept. of International Relations Working Paper, No 1, 1999, P. 2

44. Amnesty International. Report 2005 –

45. Bougainville – The Forgotten War in the South Pacific. By Janine Roberts –

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