The secretary general of the Pacific Islands Forum, Tuiloma Neroni Slade, is calling on Pacific countries to take charge of the challenge presented by the global economic crisis.
Speaking at the opening of the 12th Pacific Economic Ministers' Meeting in Port Vila, he said the region faced a range of critical economic issues.
He says while the price of oil is falling, the region is still having to cope with prices far above the average of the past five years.
Mr Slade says while the global economic crunch is yet to hit the Pacific Island countries it will come and the region needs to ready for reduced demand for its goods and services and a possible crunch in its tourism industry.
"We need as a region to take charge of a challenging situation to demonstrate the resilience of Forum island states which have shown in past crises. We need in particular to re-assess, yesterday I heard the word re-balance."
Tuiloma Neroni Slade