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11 August 2014

INTERPOL Chief’s visit to Marshall Islands highlights country’s role in regional security

Combating maritime piracy focus of visit

MAJURO, Marshall Islands – INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble has travelled to the Marshall Islands to meet with President Christopher Loeak and members of his Cabinet, as well as with senior law enforcement and government officials in a bid to understand the unique needs of police in this island country located in the Pacific Ocean.

During Mr Noble’s first mission to the Marshall Islands, the INTERPOL Chief met with President Loeak and his entire Cabinet to discuss a variety of security challenges facing the country. In addition, Mr Noble discussed issues relating to INTERPOL’s National Central Bureau (NCB) in Majuro with Minister of Justice, Rien Morris and Police Commissioner and Head of NCB, George Lanwi.

With some 36 vessels sailing under the Marshall Islands flag hijacked by pirates in recent years, discussions focused on boosting law enforcement capabilities by ensuring police in the country have access to the most up-to-date tools and knowledge to tackle all forms of transnational crime.

“Challenges faced by police in the Marshall Islands and other countries in the region are significant. Increasing regional and international law enforcement cooperation through INTERPOL will offer much-needed support to our country’s police forces in the areas of capacity building and training,” said President Loeak.

"For this reason, the Marshall Islands has agreed to host an INTERPOL workshop dedicated to the challenges of investigating and prosecuting maritime piracy," concluded President Loeak.

Secretary General Noble applauded President Loeak and the determination of the Marshall Islands police to further engage in tackling the major crime issues facing the country, such as maritime piracy, and encouraged the country to make full use of the global tools and services offered by INTERPOL.

“Working under often challenging circumstances, police in the Marshall Islands are in need of support from INTERPOL, in addition to the strong support already received from important regional partners such as Australia, Japan, New Zealand and the US, in order to prevail in their efforts to turn back crime,” said the INTERPOL Chief.

“This marks the 185th INTERPOL member country I have visited as Secretary General, and brings me closer to meeting my commitment to travel to each and every one of our 190 member countries to see first-hand the needs of the world’s police. Only by doing so can one truly appreciate the important contribution INTERPOL can make to keeping the world safer for us all,” he concluded.

During the visit, the Marshall Islands officially recognized the INTERPOL Travel Document (ITD) and offered to grant a visa facilitation to its holders, making it the 73rd member country to recognize the ITD, which enables INTERPOL to provide faster support to countries requesting assistance.