The President of Nauru, Lionel Aingimea, has told a meeting at the United Nations the Pacific views the climate crisis as the defining security issue of the century.
Mr Aingimea, who was speaking on behalf of the Pacific Islands Forum, said Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas was an example of the more frequent extreme weather event that will undermine the region's survival and viability.
The president said building climate-resilient systems that support peace and stability will take a concerted international effort and that the UN has an important role to play in this.
He called on the UN to respond to the Pacific's call for it to urgently appoint a Special Representative on Climate and Security.
Mr Aingimea also spoke of the slow progress being made on health issues, such as non-communicable diseases, pointing out that NCDs account for 75 percent of deaths in much of the Pacific.