The Secretariat for the Pacific Immigration Directors’ Conference (P.I.D.C.) has officially begun operating in Apia to serve its Member Administrations made up of 19 Countries and Territories in the region.
Newly appointed Head of Secretariat, Mr Maumalo Ioane Alama advised that the Secretariat staff had officially commenced operating out of Apia on 8 August 2016.
“As a regional organisation that has worked since 1996 to support Members in strengthening national immigration policies and enhancing national and regional border protection processes, the Secretariat is excited to begin working from its new base of operations in Samoa. We plan to complete work on our new premises at the D.B.S. Building in the next few months and will then look to formally launch our Organisation’s activities in Samoa. In the meantime, we would like to acknowledge the support provided by the Government of Samoa in providing temporary office space to accommodate the Secretariat and its activities.”
Mr Ioane Alama. He was previously employed by Samoa Ministry for Revenue until 2009. From 2009 until 2015 he was employed as the Regional Security Adviser for the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and for the last twelve months has been employed as the Operations Manager for the Oceania Customs Organisation.
Ms Vaosa Epa, former Chair of the P.I.D.C. and Samoa Public Service Commission member also welcomed the establishment of the P.I.D.C. presence in Apia acknowledging the hard work already undertaken to facilitate the Secretariat’s relocation since the signing of the Headquarters Agreement between P.I.D.C. and the Government of Samoa in June 2016
Mr Damien Jacklick, current Chair for the P.I.D.C. and Head of Immigration for the Republic of the Marshall Islands advised that “P.I.D.C. Members are eager to see the establishment of the new Secretariat in Apia and look to moving forward as an organisation to develop activities and programmes that support Members given the ever increasing numbers of people travelling internationally within the region.”
Mr Agafili Shem Leo, C.E.O. of the Ministry of the Prime Minister and Cabinet advised that the Government of Samoa has been happy to support the P.I.D.C. in establishing its operations in Apia. “The ongoing relocation aligns perfectly with the organisation’s theme for a ‘New Beginning and Growth’, which was recently launched in the Republic of Marshall Islands where P.I.D.C. met last month for its 2016 Annual Conference.” Mr Leo noted that at the conference, key issues discussed included the effective management of borders, the collection and sharing of data/information, technical assistance and capacity building activities and the role of labour mobility in economic growth. The P.I.D.C. is a forum for official Immigration Agencies of the Pacific region. It was established in 1996 as a result of an initiative taken by the first P.I.D.C., sponsored by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.
The P.I.D.C. plays a vital role in coordinating joint responses to common issues faced by Member administrations. Key activities include coordinating and implementing strategic approaches to common challenges and supporting immigration and border control related technical assistance and capacity building activities to support Members to achieve national immigration and border control obligations.
The P.I.D.C. works collaboratively with regional law enforcement agencies as well as other regional and global organisations on migration related matters.