20 March 2012

OPENING REMARKS BYMr. JALE FOTOFILI
PERMANENT SECRETARY OF THE MINISTRY OF DEFENCE, NATIONAL SECURITY AND IMMIGRATION OF FIJI
FIJI POLICE ACADEMY
SUVA, REPUBLIC OF FIJI

Chair of the MSGHERF Mr Ian Jinga, Director OSCA, PNG Department of Prime Minister & NEC,
Heads of Delegations of Papua New Guina, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Fiji,
Delegates,
Staff of the MSG Secretariat,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

 First and foremost Bula Vinaka and welcome to our happy home of Fiji.  I trust that your journey was a safe one and I thank you all for your commitment to this very important half day Workshop.

At the outset Distinguished Delegates, I wish you all to join me in extending my sincere appreciation and gratitude to current MSGHERF Chair Mr Ian Jinga, Director of the Office of Security Co-ordination and Assessment (OSCA) of the Government of Papua New Guinea for his leadership and expertise in managing the MSGHERF since our last workshop in 2010 and also for his guidance in ensuring the strong level of cooperation amongst our members will enable them to amicably participate in this Workshop.

Colleagues, our meeting today like other meetings that are scheduled for this week is equally important and that is why I seek your full understanding and cooperation in discussing the issues before us.

I understand the Workshop will focus on two main areas concerning the HERF concept which will need to go before the Leaders for their deliberation and consideration.  The information emanating from this Workshop will allow them to decide on how to proceed with the HERF Concept.

In these days of increasing natural disasters in our region that have claimed many lives as well as the effects of Climate Change which has caused the displacement of many families and tribes througout the Pacific, I would urge you to give some serious consideration on the importance of the HERF and its purpose.  Although cost may be an issue for some members, in the long term, the HERF or similar arrrangement is necessary and will enable our region to utilise our own HERF experts to go out and help our people.

This may also require considerable investment by our members in supporting this concept therfore, I would again, urge you to ensure that you provide all the necessary information to our Leaders.

Without saying too much, I shall allow your working group syndicates to  help us reflect on the presentations today and to present appropriate outcomes to the Sub-Commitee on Security (SCS) meeting tomorrow and later be presented to the Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) this week.  As Chair of the SCS, I am looking forward to the Outcome of your deliberations.

With these remarks to you MSGHERF Chair, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen, again welcome and  I wish you all the best in your deliberations this afternoon and I take this opportunity to now officially declare this special MSGHERF Worksohp open.

Vinaka Vakalevu! Tenkiu tumas.


MSG Secretariat
Port Vila, Vanuatu