Monrovia, Liberia - The Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Liberia, Mr. Alan Doss, has opened the first in a series of six workshops intended to strengthen the skills of Liberian immigration officers throughout the country. Addressing about 50 participants, the UN Envoy called on the officers to carefully control Liberia's borders, ensuring that those who came into the country did so for the right purposes in accordance with the Aliens and Nationality Laws of Liberia.
"Your work must be done in conformity with various international agreements that Liberia has ratified, particularly the agreements and protocols with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)," Mr. Doss stressed.
The SRSG also appealed to the immigration officers to eschew corrupt practices, noting that "you are the face of Liberia for most foreign investors and you have to give them a good impression".
The Commissioner of the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization, Counsellor Abla Gadegbeku Williams said the viability and survival of any institution largely depended on the reliability and quality of its services. Those could be achieved through training workshops such as this one. She expressed appreciation to UNMIL for their support in organizing the sessions.
The training sessions are expected to benefit 700 immigration officers, including regional commanders, countrywide, who are responsible for regulating and maintaining the flow of aliens and Liberians entering and leaving Liberia. They have been jointly organized by the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization and UNMIL, through its Legal and Judicial System Support Division.
Participants will discuss topics such as the functions and responsibilities of immigration hearing officers, examination of laws governing entry, admission and departure of aliens, interviewing techniques, the powers of and ethical conduct of immigration officers, and their relationship with the courts of justice. Facilitators are drawn from the Liberia National Bar Association, Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization and UNMIL.
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