THE Government of Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Immigration Border Security on Monday 22 May 2023, to strengthen and enhance border security.
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Mr. Collin Beck signed the MOU with the Chief Migration Officer of the Papua New Guinea Immigration and Citizenship Service Authority, Mr. Stanis Hulahau in Port Moresby.
In welcoming the framework, Permanent Secretary Beck said the agreement is a milestone as it tries to harmonize and improve on areas of concern, increase capacity building and support between the two countries.
It also looks at issues of trans-national crime along the common border and the continuous facilitation of border crossing between the traditional border inhabitants of both Solomon Island and Papua New Guinea.
“It is a milestone agreement, one that ensures the border space between our two states are predictable when doing business, ensure they are reliable and well regulated,” Permanent Secretary Beck added.
The MOU entails various aspects of collaboration, including capacity building, technical assistance, and border security cooperation provided for under the Framework Treaty Guiding the relations between Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea (2020). Under the agreement, Papua New Guinea will assist the Solomon Islands Government in ensuring the successful hosting of the 2023 Pacific Games.
Technical assistance will be provided to the Solomon Islands Immigration Division under the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Labour and Immigration towards processing and facilitating athletes, visitors, and Heads of Delegations for the upcoming Games to be held in Honiara from November this year.
The MOU also provides opportunity for training and exchange of technical support and further strengthen agency-to-agency network and cooperation.