Officials from the Immigration Departments of Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea have successfully concluded a weeklong capacity-building workshop on Friday 3 February in Honiara.
The workshop provides an avenue for participants from the two Melanesian countries to exchange information and experiences in border management and to chart a way forward for more collaboration to improve immigration services between the two countries.
More importantly, the workshop is vital for Solomon Islands officials to learn from their PNG counterparts as Honiara prepares to host the 2023 version of the Pacific Games in November this year.
The PNG Immigration Department is pleased to share its experience after hosting a number of international and regional events including the 2015 Pacific Games in Port Moresby.
Deputy Secretary Technical of the Ministry of Commerce, Industries, Labour and Immigration, Eric George Ongoa said the agency-to-agency engagement has paved a way forward for officers to boost capacity to address issues of migration to deliver quality services the two countries.
“We acknowledged that Solomon Islands and PNG National Border Security is our governments’ interests and priority to ensure our economies and people are safe and protected,” DST Ongoa said.
Solomon Islands acknowledged the long lasting relationship with the people of Papua New Guinea through families, marriages, trade, economy, cultural ties and security cooperation.
“We understand and acknowledged the Government of Papua New Guinea’s commitment to help stabilize national security in Solomon Islands ensuring Solomon Islands remain a happy Isles,” Ongoa said.
The workshop also culminated into a draft MOU between the PNG ICA and Solomon Islands Immigration Division for ensuring safety and protection for Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea nationals that eases people movement and creating opportunities for trade, joint border operations and trainings.
Solomon Islands also acknowledged the PNG ICA support for the Solomon Islands Immigration Division for the PG 2023 to ensure Solomon Islands Immigration is equipped with right knowledge, logistics, and capacity to facilitate arrivals and departures of the athletes, delegates, visitors and VIPs for the PG 2023.
“We are looking forward to our continued partnership and collaboration through our bilateral relationship between our two Governments,” Ongoa said.
– Government Communications Unit