UN appreciates customs contribution to SDGs

WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya and UN’s Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohammed

The United Nations and World Customs Organisation (WCO) have agreed in a discussion that customs globally could contribute to the UN 2030 agenda in areas of domestic resource mobilization, border management to improve the life of people and promotion of trade through trade facilitation.

The two world bodies acknowledged the crucial role played by customs in regional integration, especially in the context of the intra-continental trade and development in Africa.

This was an outcome of the discussion held between the UN’s Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohammed and the WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya when he visited the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York last week where he explained the WCO’s contributions to the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Dr. Mikuriya also met with Sir Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary General of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and both underscored the importance of a fast (re-)opening of the borders after a natural disaster or crisis has taken place, to ensure fast clearance of relief goods. In that context, effective coordination among border agencies was highlighted as a critical success factor.

They also discussed about border management in conflict zones where the Secretary General indicated the importance of security – development nexus. He added that extreme measures such as closing borders by military force can be avoided by putting Customs in the frontline, and maintain trade at the borders to support the economy, including in border areas, while using risk management to detect conflict-related flows of goods, people and currency.

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