A summit is to be open in Paris later today between France and Pacific Island countries.
The meeting will be hosted by the French President Jacques Chirac and is to be attended by delegations from all 16 Pacific Forum countries.
The first such summit was held in Papeete three years ago.
Australia was absent because Paris and Canberra couldn't agree on what kind of representation was appropriate for the occasion.
France expected ministerial representation but in the case of other countries settled for ambassadorial delegations.