PACIFIC IMMIGRATION DIRECTORS

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PACIFIC ISLANDS FORUM SECRETARIAT Suva, Fiji Islands

 

PRESS STATEMENT November 9, 2001

TO MEET IN COOK ISLANDS

Pacific Island Immigration Directors meet in the Cook Islands this month to discuss issues ranging from people smuggling to terrorism and improved border management.

"Immigration scams in one form or another have posed special challenges for small Pacific Island countries for many years," said the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Mr. Noel Levi, CBE.

"In recent weeks, public attention has been focused on people smuggling and asylum seekers in the region. There is long-term criminal pressure from immigration fraud involving passports and other border requirements.

"The immigration environment is also taking on a stronger security focus due to threats from terrorism and other security risks.

"There is much we can learn from each other, and more to gain by working together in the immigration arena," Mr. Levi said.

The 5th Pacific Immigration Directors Conference, November 13-16, will hear country reports from delegates outlining their progress in key areas, such as legislative requirements, training and support networks.

Other reports will come from representatives of the Forum Secretariat, Oceania Customs Organization, South Pacific Chiefs of Police Conference, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Organization for Migration.

The delegates and observers to the conference are working under the umbrella of greater regional cooperation, as set out in the Honiara Declaration on Law Enforcement Cooperation, adopted in 1992 by Forum Leaders.

For additional information, contact: Ulafala Aiavao at UlafalaA@forumsec.org.fj

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