Keywords: capacity building, coordination, emergency management, empowerment, FRANZ agreement, humanitarian assistance, regional cooperation, risk reduction, South Pacific, France, disaster management
The FRANZ agreement: France's complex involvement in South Pacific regional cooperation on emergency management
In 1992, France, Australia and New Zealand decided to coordinate their emergency management efforts in the South Pacific through the FRANZ agreement to optimise their humanitarian assistance during disasters. The South Pacific is a complex area that requires regional cooperation. The FRANZ agreement provides a suitable framework for considering the political, economic and social difficulties that constrain efficient disaster management in Pacific islands. France's position on the FRANZ agreement is of particular concern in this paper. The country's unique geographic and diplomatic relationship with the South Pacific makes its position more complex than that of Australia and New Zealand. The FRANZ operations still face many challenges; however, the potential expansion of the partnership could provide a solution to the main challenge: going beyond simple emergency management and investing in disaster risk reduction and capacity building.