Secretary for Foreign Affairs Ms Barbara Age and Chief Migration Officer Solomon Kantha signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation, cost-sharing and posting of Immigration Officers to PNG Diplomatic Missions last Friday in Cairns, Australia.
Mr. Kantha says Papua New Guinea’s Diplomatic Missions overseas must be supported adequately to ensure they promote the interest of the country effectively. He made these comments during the signing of MOU between Immigration and Citizenship Authority (ICA) and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in Cairns. The signing coincides with the opening of the new office of the PNG Consulate in Cairns.
The MOU will strengthen the relationship and cooperation between both government agencies in providing effective services at PNG’s Diplomatic Missions and provides guidelines for the administrative and financial responsibilities for both agencies in the Diplomatic Missions.
“This MOU is to solidify the relationship we have with the Department of Foreign Affairs and to work towards achieving a common goal of ensuring that our Diplomatic Missions abroad represent the interest of the country effectively,” said Mr Kantha.
The signing was witnessed by the PNG High Commissioner to Australia Mr John Kali, Enga Governor Sir Peter Ipatas and Central Governor Robert Agarobe who were in Cairns for bilateral consultations.
Ms Barbara Age believes more can be achieved through close cooperation between the two departments.
“I believe that we can achieve a lot more together and this MOU is a way forward for us to better represent Papua New Guinea’s interest abroad,” said Ms Age.
Ms Age said PNG is a signatory to the Vienna Convention which enables the country to establish and operate Diplomatic Missions abroad.
ICA was part of DFA since 2010 when it separated to become a Statutory Authority. The MOU will create the pathway for ICA to continue sending its staff to work alongside DFA officers in selected Diplomatic Missions to perform Immigration services.
Source: Immigration and Citizenship Authority Media Release