NUKU’ALOFA, Tonga (Pacific Islands Report, Feb. 11) – The Island Kingdom of Tonga supports a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the Recognition of Maritime Qualifications between Pacific Island Countries (PIC’s).

The Tonga government Information Unit says the memorandum seeks to provide mutual recognition of certificates of competency.

It relates to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watch keeping for Seafarers.

Parties to the memorandum shall ensure that the education, training and assessment of seafarers are administered and monitored with appropriate provisions.

The Information Unit says Tongan seafarers are now employed by Cook Islands and Samoa.

With the signature of government, these employment arrangements will be formalized.

Samoa has already signed the Memorandum.

February 11, 2003

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