Samoa first hosted the 18th Pacific Immigration Directors Conference, (P.I.D.C) in 2015. From there the wheels went into motion for the P.I.D.C to relocate to Apia from its Suva Fiji location.
That is now a reality with the dedication of the new P.I.D.C Secretariat in Apia located on the 3rd floor of the Development Bank building yesterday to commemorate the relocation coupled with Samoa again hosting the 20th annual P.I.D.C meeting in Apia this week.
The P.I.D.C’s return to Apia on a permanent basis also signifies a new era in regional border security and control.
“And it’s a milestone,” attested Samoa’s Immigration Minister and Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi.
“By hosting the P.I.D.C headquarters it reaffirms Samoa’s commitment to fostering multilateral cooperation within the members,” added Prime Minister Tuilaepa.
“The government and the people of Samoa welcome the P.I.D.C to our shores and is evident by the swift execution of the necessary documents to facilitate a smooth transition from Suva to Apia.
“The relocation signifies the values of the P.I.D.C family and in recognition of the role that P.I.D.C plays in bringing together states and territories of the Pacific towards the common interest of protecting our borders.”
One the of main characters leading with facilitating the relocation is the Chief Executive Officer with the Ministry of Prime Minister and Cabinet Agafili Tomaimano Shem Leo.
“With the increase of illegal activities relating to people movement as well as drugs and arms smuggling, there is an imperative need for immigration authorities in the region to engage to manage the Pacific gateways to ensure the safety of borders, thereby contributing to broader regional objective,” said Agafili.
“The events this week in Apia marks a significant chapter in the organization’s short history and the culmination of a journey that we value and respect.
“It also marks a new journey as we sail on the va’a name P.I.D.C together into unchartered waters.”