Following is the welcoming speech by the Commissioner of Correctional Services, Mr Pang Sung-yuen, at the opening ceremony of the 23rd Asian and Pacific Conference of Correctional Administrators (APCCA) this morning (December 8):
The Honourable Elsie Leung, Secretary for Justice,
The Honourable Ambrose Lee, Secretary for Security,
Mr Adi Sujatno, Directorate General of Department of Corrections, Indonesia,
Dr Morgan and Mrs Morgan,
Distinguished delegates and guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,
As Confucius, the great Chinese teacher, has said, "It is a great pleasure to welcome friends from afar", so I have much pleasure, as the host of this conference, in welcoming you to the Opening Ceremony of the 23rd Asian and Pacific Conference of Correctional Administrators today.
On behalf of the conference, I wish to thank the Honourable Miss Elsie Leung, the Secretary for Justice and the Honourable Mr Ambrose Lee, the Secretary for Security of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, for being here this morning. Your presence signifies the strong support the Hong Kong SAR Government has given to this conference.
This is the third time the APCCA has taken place in Hong Kong. You will recall that the formation of the APCCA arose from a series of far-sighted discussions in 1979 among a number of prison chiefs in the Asia-Pacific region and the Director of Australian Institute of Criminology, whose visionary eyes saw the need for regular meetings of correctional administrators in the region to exchange ideas, share experiences and discuss matters of common concern. Twenty-three years ago, i.e., in the year 1980, Hong Kong had the honour of hosting the inaugural conference. Today, building on the strength of cohesion and commitment among members, the APCCA has become a healthy young adult with strong credentials. We set up the APCCA Fund in 1997 to receive voluntary contributions from members to support the conference. We established a permanent secretariat in 2001 to handle conference business between annual meetings. And we signed the Joint Declaration in Bali, Indonesia last year to put this regional grouping on a more formal and professional footing.
As a founding member of the APCCA, the Hong Kong Correctional Services Department is delighted to see the APCCA grow from strength to strength. The Department is privileged to contribute to its management by serving as the APCCA Fund Administrator, co-hosting the Conference Secretariat with the Singapore Prison Service, and taking up the role of Governing Board Chair for the current year. In so doing, the department has benefited from the professional sharing and networking opportunities provided by the APCCA. We will continue to leverage on this regional forum in our best endeavour to achieve the department's vision of being an internationally acclaimed correctional service.
In closing, I would like to thank Dr. Neil Morgan and his wife Irene for agreeing to serve as Rapporteur and Co-rapporteur of this Conference. With their professional assistance, I am sure that a high quality record of the conference will be produced for our reference. I also wish to thank the organising committee for their hard work in making this conference possible. Last but not least, may I offer the services of myself and my staff, particularly the liaison officers and those working with the in-house secretariat, to ensure that you have all the tools and facilities you might need in order to make this conference a success. After a day's hard work at the conference, remember to take time out to enjoy Hong Kong. Thank you.
Ends/Monday, December 8, 2003