The Pacific Community Governance compendium Fourth edition


Good governance provides an important foundation for any organisation. It builds trust, accountability and enables a participatory and inclusive decision-making process, resulting in better outcomes for its members and the increased confidence of our partners.

In recent years, SPC has focused on improving our internal governance processes, and building a culture of accountability, that better serves members and partners. This Governance Compendium is part of that journey. It brings together all the key documents that provide the legal and administrative framework for SPC’s governance, from the text of our founding treaty as amended over the years, through to the most recent decisions of our governing bodies.

In this fourth edition, we have aimed to increase usability and accessibility, and for first time, we have published the documents as single bilingual publication to reflect SPC’s two official working languages: English and French.

The Compendium is divided into four separate parts.

Part I is an annotated consolidation of the current legal text of SPC’s founding treaty, the Canberra Agreement, as amended.

Part II contains the Pacific Community Governance Arrangement, as approved by SPC’s governing body at the Tenth Conference of the Pacific Community in Noumea, New Caledonia. In this edition, it has been annotated to show where recent decisions by our governing bodies have modified the text.

Part III contains the key policies agreed by SPC’s governing bodies, including the Policy on membership and observer status, the handling of members’ arrears and SPC’s internal audit charter. In this edition, we have, for the first time, included SPC’s Financial Regulations and Staff Regulations, key governance documents.

Part IV sets out the terms of reference for the three subcommittees of CRGA which support its work. The Subcommittee for the Strategic Plan is a new committee, whose terms of reference were approved in November 2020. It replaces the previous Subcommittee for the Implementation of the Strategic Plan.

For completeness, in the appendices, you can find the original text of the Canberra Agreement as well as all agreements, decisions and Conference resolutions that have amended the legal text of the Canberra Agreement since it was first signed in 1947.

As Director-General of SPC, I am proud to introduce this fourth edition of The Pacific Community Governance Compendium.

Dr Stuart Minchin, Director-General of the Pacific Community (SPC)