The director general of the Pacific Islands Forum secretariat says the region can overcome the uncertainties of the changing world if it focusses on its collective strengths.
Dame Meg Taylor, speaking just ahead of the leaders' summit in Apia, says the Pacific faces significant challenges to realising its political and development ambitions.
She said the current context of global, political, economic and environmental uncertainty exacerbated this.
Dame Meg said, for instance, there was a huge gap in terms of the financing needed for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
She said environmental uncertainties meant climate change and environmental disasters would increasingly impact on the Pacific's ability to sustain and ensure the resilience of its development gains.
Dame Meg said to respond effectively the region needs to channel its energies in a collective way.