Samoa is hosting the Pacific Islands Law Officers Network (PILON) this week, with 18 member countries including New Zealand and Australia.
Prime Minister of Samoa, Hon. Tuila’epa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, in his keynote address, emphasized the crucial role the forum provides in the Pacific countries’ collective effort to counteract crimes in general.
“The government of Samoa continues to acknowledge and emphasize the significance of PILON as a forum for addressing law and justice issues common to countries within the Pacific region.”
“I am therefore pleased to note that many of our Pacific colleagues have made the effort to travel here and take part in this meeting.
“The success of this gathering is dependent on the collective contribution of all our Pacific members. I trust that by the end of this week, much will be achieved, in terms of dialogue and addressing the common challenges faced by many if not all members within our region.
“This year’s PILON annual meeting provides once again an opportunity for members to undertake training to share ideas and networks with another concerning issues within our region. We face many challenges in our effort to protect our citizens from criminal activities and with the efforts of our law enforcement offices, such as the need for effective resourcing, technical skills and where required further changes to our law. The continual collaboration between our countries is therefore very important to help ensure the effective promotion and maintenance of law enforcement within the pacific. Moving forward it is imperative that we continue and encourage the joint effort between our countries within our PILON in the face of increasing and progressing criminal activities within our region.”
“I would therefore encourage your continued work to address issues such as fighting corruption, cybercrime, and gender violence in the pacific region. Having considered the matters to be discussed at this year’s annual meeting, I am pleased with the current initiative undertaken by PILON to address the more recent issues facing our pacific societies today. I would encourage our legal minds within the pacific to continue their efforts to devise ways to deal with and minimize the prevalence of such issues, and likewise any other issues which might pose genuine harm to societies within our region.”
Tuilaepa also acknowledged Samoa as the newest elected Chair for the PILON this year.
The PILON forum is held every year. The last time Samoa hosted the PILON forum in 2009. Last year, Cook Islands hosted the forum with Solicitor General, Steward Baker as chair.
New Zealand and Australia according to Attorney General of Samoa,Lemalu Hermann Retzlaffspeaking to Newsline Samoa said that they have contributed a lot to the development of issues with their own financial contributions to make these regional forums possible.