The acting Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum, Feleti Teo, has paid tribute to Greg Urwin, the man who previously held the post, saying the Pacific has lost a leader who had the region at heart.
Mr Urwin, who headed the Forum until earlier this year, died at his home in Apia at the weekend.
Mr Teo says, having spent almost all his working life in the region, Mr Urwin was familiar with the challenges it faced.
He says this empathy was critical in his selling of the merits of the Pacific Plan on regional co-operation and integration.
"Most of the people around the region and commentaries around the region were pretty sceptic[al] about the Pacific Plan but I think Greg has done remarkably well It is certainly an ambitious framework for co-operation but I think with the achievement to date it certainly points to the fact that things can be done if countries have the political will and the commitment to pool their resource together."