The Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Tuiloma Neroni Slade, says Philipp Muller, who died in Auckland at the weekend, gave exceptional service to the region.
He says Mr Muller will be remembered as an admirable regional diplomat and strong rugby man.
Mr Muller was a former director of the Forum Fisheries Agency in the 1980s and later the director of the Pacific Islands Applied Geoscience Commission.
Mr Slade says he was a fundamental player in building these regional organisations into the strong entities that they are today.
Mr Muller went on to manage the Samoa Rugby Union and was later appointed honorary consul for Nauru in New Zealand.