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PNG AND SOLOMON ISLANDS BORDER COOPERATION

To further strengthen and continuing the cooperation on border security, PNG Immigration Citizenship Service Authority (PNGICSA) and the Solomon Islands Immigration Division (SIID) completed a two-day Border Management System (BMS) workshop in Honiara last week.

The workshop was held in consultation with the Solomon Islands national stakeholders which included Foreign Investment, Labour, Police, the Information Communication and Technology Service Unit, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, on the SIID BMS project.

A Border Management System allows a government to collect, process, store and analyze information of persons entering and departing the country.

PNG’s Deputy Prime Minister, John Rosso, who is also responsible for the Ministry for Immigration and Border Security, said that the workshop in Honiara was a follow-up on a workshop in Port Moresby that was held earlier this month between PNGICSA and SIID.

“In the workshop in Port Moresby, both agencies discussed capacity building options, and mapped out the foundations to explore, identify, and select, a Border Management System for the Solomon Islands,” Minister Rosso said.

“The workshop in Honiara, introduced the BMS to the stakeholders in the Solomon Islands and explained why it is needed.”

“I understand that SIID is developing a new visa regime which will be implemented soon, and to go online to support investment, facilitate travel, trade, and tourism,” he stated.

The proposal to procure a BMS for SIID will be funded by the Australian Government through the Department of Home Affairs.

Due to an existing Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between ICSA and SIID, and ICSA’s technical experience, the Department of Home Affairs has offered the leadership role to PNG to assist Solomon Islands procure the BMS.

“Papua New Guinea stands ready to assist our Pacific Islands family. Our countries should unite and collaborate to address the issues in our region,” Minister Rosso said.

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