The Pacific Director of the United Nations Population Fund says islands in the region have to invest more in youth in order to safeguard the countries' futures.
A new UNPF global report focusses on the 1.8 billion adolescent and youth around the world and the part they play in transforming nations.
Dr Laurent Zessler says governments need to invest now to realise what he terms a demographic dividend, when the number of people in the workforce exceed the number of dependants.
Dr Zessler says countries like Tonga, Vanuatu and Samoa have large youth populations and their governments need to create policy and investment around education, employment and reproductive health in particular.
"These countries you know are in a transition. They have reduced infant mortality but they still have a high fertility and they really have to realise that unless they invest now, today, they will not be able to sustain their development which means better governance systems, macroeconomic management, open trade. All these depend on if they invest in the young population."
The Pacific Director of the United Nations Population Fund, Dr Laurent Zessler.