Solomon Islands has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC), and the International Organisation for Migration to implement a Border Strengthening Program in Solomon Islands.

Permanent Secretary of Solomon Islands Department of Commerce, Industries, Employment and Immigration, Mr Jeffrey Wickham, accompanied by the Acting Head of the Solomon Islands Immigration Division, Mr Mason Fugui travelled to Canberra to take part in the Signing Ceremony on Thursday 16 October 2008.

The signed MOU provides the basis for a program of cooperation in strengthening the capacity of the Solomon Islands Immigration Division in relation to migration management of Solomon Islands borders.

The Border Strengthening Program is a two-year program focused on core Immigration Division functions, including legislation, policy development and business processing. The program will be managed through the International Organization for Migration, based at the Immigration Division offices in Honiara.

The overall objective of the program is to assist the Solomon Islands Immigration Division in moving forward toward a fully functioning, accountable and more sustainable immigration agency.

The Border Strengthening Program was developed in cooperation between the Solomon Islands and Australian Governments, with an emphasis on collaboration, cooperation, sustainable results and long-term engagement.

The MOU articulates the cooperative ties between Solomon Islands Government and the Australian Government, to work towards sustainable Pacific development.

Mr Andrew Metcalfe, Secretary of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, signed on behalf of DIAC. Mr Jeffrey Wickham signed on behalf of the Solomon Islands and Mr Mark Getchell, signed on behalf of the IOM.

Press Release (Australian High Commission, Honiara, Solomon Islands)