Integrated Border Management Consultation Completed in Vanuatu

June 1, 2023

His Excellency Chiba Hirohisa, Japanese Ambassador to the Republic Vanuatu, and Mr. John Ezra representing the Government of Vanuatu (both pictured centre) during the handover ceremony of border management equipment.

Photo: UNDP

Port Vila, Vanuatu: The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pacific Office in Fiji has undertaken a national consultation with key border management stakeholders in Vanuatu, focusing on the establishment of a Joint Border Risk Assessment Centre for the country.  

The Joint Border Risk Assessment Centre will enhance the clarity and efficiency of pre-arrival risk profiling and assessment for legitimate travel and trade. This will involve strategically allocating resources to address identified risks in a coordinated manner. 

This work is being undertaken with thanks to support from the Government of Japan and UNDP's Integrated Border Management Project. Vanuatu, alongside Fiji and Palau, are being supported to reinforce their capacities, capabilities, and systems for effective and efficient movement of travellers and cargo, and to strengthen links for data and knowledge sharing, inter-agency and cross-regional cooperation.

By implementing rigorous border control measures in early 2020, Vanuatu emerged as a prominent global figure in limiting community transmission of COVID-19. The swift establishment of the COVID-19 Advisory Taskforce by the National Disaster Management Office, along with the valuable input from the Department of Customs and Inland Revenue, played a crucial role in devising efficient protocols for processing cargo and passengers.

In 2022, UNDP, in partnership with the International Organization for Migration, facilitated an initial consultation session that brought together key officials from various departments such as the Ministry of National Security Council, Internal Affairs, Immigration, Passport Services, Health, Customs, Inland Revenue, Biosecurity, and Tourism. During this session, the participants recognised the importance of establishing a Joint Border Risk Assessment Centre and a National Integrated Border Management Governance Committee.

It was at this event where participants identified the importance of the creation of a Joint Border Risk Assessment Centre, including the establishment of a National Integrated Border Management Governance Committee.  


Mr. Collins Gesa of the Department of Customs and Inland Revenue discussing the Joint Border Risk Assessment Centre.

Photo: UNDP

Speaking at the opening of the consultation Japan’s Ambassador to the Republic of Vanuatu, His Excellency Chiba Hirohisa, said Japan remained firmly committed to strengthening border management activities in the country.  

“As we move forward in a post-pandemic world, I would like to reiterate the Government of Japan's support toward modernizing systems and processes and strengthening the capacity of border management agencies across the Pacific to perform their functions,” he said.

John Ezra, Director of the Department of Strategic Policy, Planning and Aid Coordination with the Government of Vanuatu, said that preparedness for any traditional or non-traditional threats at the country’s borders remained a government priority.  

“As a small island developing state, we are at a critical juncture in regard to ensuring we are ready for what comes next. This project continues to support our border agency work in Vanuatu, particularly with regard to managing and improving our processes and protocols," he said.  

UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji Effective Governance Team Leader (Officer in Charge), Rustam Pulatov, commended Government of Vanuatu and key implementing partners for their commitment to furthering an integrated approach to border management.

"This consultation emphasises the importance of collaboration and information sharing, two key aspects of the Integrated Border Management Project. Once again it is fantastic to see multiple agencies working together to ensure improved data collection, and the continued flow of both people and goods across the country’s borders,” he said.  

As part of the national consultation, a handover ceremony was conducted to deliver border management equipment to representatives from Airports Vanuatu. This equipment – valued at US$60,000 - will be utilized to enhance operational capacity at Port Vila's main port of entry, Bauerfield International Airport.

Implementation of UNDP's Integrated Border Management Project is supported by the International Organization for Migration, and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.  

For further media enquiries please contact:

Nick Turner, Communications and Advocacy Specialist, UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji. (P) +679 971 6458 - (E)