Regional development experts from the Australian National University say it has been a slow start for the Pacific Island Forum's framework for Pacific regionalism.
The development agenda replacement for the Pacific Plan was endorsed in July last year and featured for the first time at the leaders summit in Papua New Guinea earlier this month.
The ANU's visiting fellow, Tess Newton Cain, says while the leaders succeeded in narrowing their focus to a handful of major issues facing the region, there is still a need for more transparency around processes and more inclusion in the discussions.
"So we had hoped to see more of the sort of concrete action for issues that are about mutual responsibility, mutual accountability. Making use of resources that are already in place and really addressing issues that are key to the livelihood and development of Pacific Island countries."