27 Jun 2005

Forum taskforce to review request by American Samoa to join security committee

7:04 am on 27 June 2005

American Samoa's request for full membership in the Pacific Island Forum Regional Security Committee will be reviewed by a taskforce that will make recommendations to heads of government.

Governor Togiola Tulafono has requested that the Forum Secretariat Regional Security Committee allow US and French territories to become full members in order to strengthen links between independent and non independent nations in the Pacific region.

American Samoa's Homeland Security Advisor, Leiataua Birdsall Alailima, who attended the recent meeting of the Security Committee in Auckland, says he participated in a high level planning session for a Pacific wide counter terrorism exercise called Ready Pasifika.

He says American Samoa's experience in conducting seminars, workshops, and a full scale terrorist exercise can certainly be of benefit to other Pacific countries looking to enhance border and response capability.

He has asked that all US Pacific territories be invited to participate in the exercise planned for September.