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Vanuatu strengthens Immigration Border Enforcement


PORT VILA, Vanuatu – October 16, 2018: 4.55pm (PIDC): Vanuatu has become the 14th Member of the Pacific Immigration Development Community (PIDC) to sign the PIDC Memorandum of Arrangement (MoA) to share immigration information for border enforcement purposes.

The arrangement, which was opened for signature in June of this year, provides a framework for Members to share information and coordinate activities to combat serious transnational and border related crimes that threaten the Pacific region.

The arrangement specifically calls for national immigration agencies to share agreed information types for law enforcement purposes through a network of National Contact Points with the support of the PIDC Secretariat based out of Apia, Samoa.

Acting Director for Vanuatu Immigration  Jeffrey Markson, who signed the Arrangement while in Apia to attend a meeting of the PIDC Information Sharing Working Group, advised that “Vanuatu has long worked to support regional efforts to combat transnational crime.

In 2016 Vanuatu opened an Immigration Document Examination Lab in Port Vila and continues to work with other PIDC Members to strengthen the capacity of the PIDC enforcement network to target and identify potential threats before they cross national borders”.

Assistant Chief Executive Officer for Samoa Immigration PIDC Siaopo Pese who was also attending the Working Group Meeting, welcomed Vanuatu to the information sharing Network and noted that: “the provisions of the MoA formalises a number of clear and transparent processes and activities that we PIDC Members have been doing at varying levels for over 20 years to protect Pacific communities”.

Head of Secretariat for PIDC Ioane Alama welcomed the commitment shown by Vanuatu and noted that PIDC continued to offer support to the 5 remaining PIDC Members working to sign the MoA.

Alama noted that “Pacific Islands Forum Leaders through the recent Boe Declaration have provided clear direction on regional security priorities and PIDC has worked to advance this critical work by strengtheninig law enforcement collaboration not only amongst our own Members, but also with our  regional partners such as the Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police, Oceania Customs Organisation and the Pacific Transnational Crimes Network”.

The PIDC plays a vital role in coordinating joint responses to common law enforcement and border management issues faced by Member administrations.  Key activities include supporting Members to achieve national immigration and border control obligations by: (a) coordinating and implementing strategic approaches to common challenges; (b) supporting immigration and border control related technical assistance; and (c) coordinating capacity building activities to enhance capacity of PIDC Members and their officers.

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