A former chief justice of Papua New Guinea, Sir Arnold Amet, says aid donors cannot battle corruption in the region, but Pacific leaders to confront the problems within their own governments.
Sir Arnold has presented this year's Pacific Cooperation Foundation lecture on the topic of the challenges facing constitutional democracy in the Pacific.
Sir Arnold says the prime challenge is the unethical behaviour of leaders and the way this has compromised the institutions of government.
He says change has to come from within, with the leadership recognizing that the institutions have to be strengthened.
"Where the rule of law and the processes that we have inherited have become corrupted and compromised, and we are not enforcing and administering them as diligently and as effectively as we ought, as we have done before, and have now become diluted and compromised and weakened."