Pacific Law Enforcement Agencies Test Effectiveness
Suva, Fiji, November 23, 2023: The Oceania Customs Organization (OCO) recently completed a 2-week training program on the Indian and Pacific Ocean Regional Information Sharing (IORIS) platform for Customs officers from the region. IORIS is initiated by EU CRIMARIO project and the training for the region was supported by the Expertise France.
The training, held from 6-17 November 2023, aimed to equip OCO members with the necessary skills to effectively utilise the IORIS platform for maritime coordination and information sharing.
IORIS, a secure and neutral web-based tool, serves as a vital resource for national and regional multi-agency use. Its primary function is to facilitate joint planning and coordination of maritime operations, including crisis and incident management. By offering enhanced information sharing functions and strengthening inter-agency collaboration at both national and regional levels, IORIS plays a crucial role in promoting maritime security and safety.
“One of the key benefits of the IORIS platform is its ability to combat “sea blindness” by providing real-time information on various risks at sea, including IUU fishing, drug smuggling, weapon trafficking, human trafficking, and terrorism,” OCO Head of Secretariat, Nancy T Oraka said. “By leveraging the platform’s surveillance functionalities, OCO members can proactively address these challenges and safeguard their maritime territories.
The training workshop saw the participation of 14 officers from various Customs Administrations, including representatives from CNMI, French Polynesia, FSM, Guam, New Caledonia, Nauru, PNG, Tonga, and Vanuatu. Additionally, two participants from the Tonga Police and one from the Tonga Navy also attended the workshop.
The training program encompassed a comprehensive curriculum, combining theoretical learning, practical exercises, written tests, and hands-on experience with the IORIS platform. Participants gained valuable insights into the platform’s functionalities, enabling them to effectively monitor and analyse maritime domain awareness (MDA) and maritime activities within their respective seas.
“The OCO is committed to fostering regional cooperation and capacity building among its members. The successful completion of the IORIS training program marks a significant milestone in enhancing maritime security and strengthening the collective efforts of OCO members in combating maritime threats.”
For more information, queries, or interview requests, please email MediaOCO@ocosec.org
About OCO: OCO is a grouping of 23 customs administrations in the Pacific region. It facilitates regional cooperation, information sharing and capacity building of its members with the overall target of supporting economic growth and improved border security in the Pacific.