Solomon Islands represented at INTERPOL General Assembly in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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SI delegation at the INTERPOL General Assembly congratulates and presents a gift to the new Interpol President, Kim Jong Yang (2nd from right)

One year on from joining the global police organisation INTERPOL, Solomon Islands has been represented at the 87th INTERPOL General Assembly in Dubai, United Arab Emirates from 18 – 21 November 2018.

The INTERPOL General Assembly is held annually and brings together police chiefs and delegations from around the world to discuss important and emerging issues affecting global law enforcement and security. Solomon Islands was represented by RSIPF Commissioner Matthew Varley, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Police, National Security and Correctional Services Karen Galokale and Assistant Commissioner (Crime) Ian Vaevaso.

“Two key highlights of this year’s General Assembly were the election of a new President of INTERPOL and voting for the admission of Vanuatu and Kiribati as new member countries. The election of Mr. Kim Jong Yang from the Republic of Korea was a key milestone in INTERPOL’s history and a strong step forward for the future of international police cooperation,” explains Commissioner Varley.

“South Korea and Solomon Islands already have strong diplomatic ties and share common values, particularly in regards to the importance of police cooperation in the interests of security for the Asia-Pacific region. I met with Mr Kim prior to his election as President and he assured us of his strategic interests in enhancing police cooperation across the Pacific to address transnational crime and security challenges. We were also among the first delegations to congratulate him immediately after he was elected as President and we presented him with a book about the culture and beauty of Solomon Islands as a congratulatory gift,” says Commissioner Varley.

During the General Assembly, member countries also voted to admit Vanuatu and Kiribati as new INTERPOL members. They became the 193rd and 194th members of INTERPOL

“Solomon Islands already has close relationships with Vanuatu and Kiribati but their admission to INTERPOL will strengthen our regional efforts on security and law enforcement across the Pacific,” says Permanent Secretary Karen Galokale.

She adds: “The Police Forces of both countries are committed and hard-working members of the Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police forum and the Pacific Transnational Crime Network. They both have long records of cooperation on important security and law enforcement matters affecting the Pacific.”

Assistant Commissioner (Crime) Ian Vaevaso says, “Last year in Beijing, Solomon Islands proudly become the newest Pacific Islands member of INTERPOL and one year on, I am pleased to report that our INTERPOL National Central Bureau (NCB) is fully operational and already we have strongly benefited from joining the global Interpol community. We thank the Interpol General Secretariat and also our colleagues from the Australian Federal Police for their ongoing support in the first year of our NCB operations. We will be in a good position to assist our colleagues in Vanuatu and Kiribati as they establish their own NCBs.”

“The continued exchange of criminal intelligence and the active cooperation between police organisations are the key to addressing the unique transnational crime and security challenges affecting the Pacific. There is still more work to do to extend INTERPOL’s reach across the Pacific Islands, because some of our neighbours are not yet members,” AC Vaevaso adds.