Samoa Signs Cooperation Agreement with International Organisation for Migration

Peseta Noumea Simi, Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade congratulating Jacqueline Weekers, IOM Chief of Mission for Australia and Coordinator for New Zealand and the Pacific on the signing of the Cooperation Agreement between the Government of Samoa and IOM. Photo Credit: IOM Samoa.

Apia, Samoa – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Government of Independent Sate of Samoa signed on 13 December a cooperation agreement, aimed at strengthening the partnerships for future efforts in migration governance.

The agreement was signed by Honourable Tuala Tevaga Ponifasio, Deputy Prime Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Jacqueline Weekers, IOM Chief of Mission – Australia and Coordinator for New Zealand and the Pacific.

A press release states that migration plays a vital role for the socio-economic development of Samoa.

“Labour mobility provides a valuable source of income for Samoan migrant workers and their families. It also offers an opportunity to gain new experiences, knowledge and skills, which benefits  national development,” states the Deputy PrimeMinister.

“Like many Pacific countries, Samoa is highly vulnerable to natural hazards and climate-induced emergencies, which also makes climate mobility a key topic to be addressed.”

The Deputy Prime Minister adds that Samoa is specifically at risk to tropical cyclones, storms, tsunamis, and sea level rise.

“Formalising the relationship between the Samoan Government and IOM provides a tremendous opportunity for the country to address challenges of ever-growing complexity surrounding migration,” said Jacqueline Weekers.

“Present on the ground, IOM will be able to assess concretely the local migration contexts and listen to migrants and stakeholders. The partnership also empowers IOM to work more closely with the Government and relevant stakeholders to develop tailored, effective responses to rapidly shifting dynamics of migration in Samoa,” adds Weekers.

With funding from the Government of Japan, IOM Samoa is currently implementing a regional project to improve border control capacity and response to infectious diseases in Pacific Island countries, contributing to socio-economic recovery from the pandemic of COVID-19 and gradual resumption of border management operations.

As part of the project, IOM is supporting the Government of Samoa in upgrading the border management system to enhance border security.