The meeting will take place in the Cook Islands at the end of the month.
The 2-day post-Forum dialogue gives Leaders an opportunity to meet with major powers, with an interest in the region.
Correspondent: Jemima Garrett
Speakers: Tuiloma Neroni Slade, Secretary-General, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat
Gerard Finin, Resident Co-Director, Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center, Hawaii
Annmaree O'Keefe, former Deputy Director-General of the Australian government aid agency, AusAID, now acting Director of the Myer Melanesia Program at Lowy Institute
GARRETT: China's growing power and the United States reaction to it is being felt in the Pacific Islands.
In recent years, both countries have sent increasingly heavy-weight delegations to the post-Forum dialogue.
Last year, the United States sent a 50-member pose of diplomats led by the Deputy Secretary of State.
China's Delegation was lead by its Vice-Foreign Minister.
This year, Hillary Clinton is set to lead the US group - the first time a Secretary of State has attended the talks.
Pacific Islands Forum Secretary -General Tuiloma Neroni Slade says its a significant move.
SLADE: Absolutely significant! We have had very high level representation, from last year, as you know, and this high-level engagement of the international community through the Forum's partners are, obviously, of the highest importance to the region.
GARRETT: What sort of opportunity does it present for the Pacific, if Hillary Clinton attends?
SLADE: Well, clearly of the highest value, an opportunity for our own leaders to interact with the very high leadership of the United States.
GARRETT: In the lead up to the Pacific Islands Forum, a high-level inter-agency delegation from Washington has just completed a 7 nation tour of the region - taking in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Kiribati, Palau, the Marshall island and the Federated States of Micronesia.
But the main game is strategic - President Obama's so-called pivot to the Pacific.
With the rise of China and the winding down of US military commitment in Iraq and Afghanistan winding down Washington is shifting its diplomatic, military, and economic focus to this region.
Gerry Finin, is Co-Director of the Pacific Islands Development Program at the East West Centre in Hawaii.
FININ: Secretary Clinton has been very strong in her support of the pivot. In fact, she is one of the prime movers in articulating in what the pivot or the rebalancing is all about and i think this will provide her with an opportunity at the Forum to say what the pivot means for US Pacific Island relations.
GARRETT: And how do you see it playing out in the region?
FININ: Well, I think the presence of China is a positive one, for the most part, and that it is a positive kind of situation to the extent that the Pacific Islands are engaged with many countries from around the globe, and obviously China is one of the major players.
GARRETT: How much of a role could the post-Forum dialogue play in making sure that relations between China and the region and the US and the region are on that co-operative footing and focus more, perhaps, on things like aid than defence?
FININ: Yes, well, I think that is precisely why the Secretary is interested in going is to ensure that the dialogue moves in a very productive directioin and also works to ensure there are open lines of communication. As you know, there are many nations that attend the post-Forum dialogue meeting so this will allow her not only to speak with people from the Pacific but from the entire Asia Pacific region as a whole.
GARRETT: How can Pacific Island leaders get the most out of the dialogue?
FINN: Well, I think they will be very candid, they'll be very honest in terms of the challenges that they face as national leaders and I am sure that Secretary Clinton will have a very good appreciation of that having spent so many years in the White house herself.
GARRETT: Gerry Finn from the Pacific Islands Development Program, in Hawaii.
In terms of aid dollars, China is way ahead of the United States as a donor in the Pacific.
Numbers are hard to come by but latest estimates suggest China's has given more that US$600 million in aid and soft loans over 5 years.
The United States, prefers to leave the running to Australia and New Zealand, but has recently increased its commitment to $20 million a year.
The Lowy Institute's Annmaree O'Keefe, says the new high-level diplomatic representation at the post-Forum dialogue will put pressure on the Pacific countries.
O'KEEFE: Pressure to respond, perhaps, more effectively to the development challenges confronting the various countries because there is now more of a spotlight on what is happening in the region but it also puts a bit of pressure more on those post-Forum dialogue partners to support the countries in their development aspirations.
GARRETT: Aid co-ordination is one of the issues that has been tackled at the post-Forum dialogue. how much progress has been made on that?
O'KEEFE: The Cairns compact which was the product of the Forum in 2009 has been a very important vehicle for trying to improve aid co-ordination in the Pacific. it was unfortunate that, at that time, china refused to sign on to it, even though it is not a compulsory agreement. but, I think we have seen in years subsequent to that, that china has increased or demonstrated a greater willingness to try and co-ordinate or, at least communicate better with other donors. We've seen it at the high-level Forum on aid effectiveness in Korea, last year. we've also seen it in the way it is working more closely with the OECD's Development Assistance Committee.