The UN Secretary-General António Guterres has acknowledged the important role played by Customs and as António Guterres and Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, the Secretary-General of World Customs Organisation (WCO) agreed to strengthen the collaboration between both organizations to support the global recovery.
The two leaders recently met at the UN headquarters in New York City.
Secretary-General Guterres appreciated the WCO’s contribution to facilitating the cross-border movement of vaccines, enhancing security to counter-terrorism, supporting economic development through trade facilitation using technology, as well as working closely with many UN agencies. He also acknowledged the progress made by the global Customs community in relation to gender equality and diversity.
He emphasized the fact that the visibility of Customs had been further heightened due to the global pandemic and mentioned his willingness to continue to work with the WCO and offered further support in this respect.
Secretary-General Mikuriya explained that the WCO’s priority is to assist its members in facilitating and securing the global distribution of vaccines by ensuring the integrity of the supply chain, while protecting the health and safety of citizens by organizing global operations, in collaboration with the relevant UN agencies to detect counterfeit, fake, substandard or falsified medicines, vaccines and medical supplies.
He also stressed the importance of digitalizing paper-based procedures and supporting the development of E-Commerce in a sound manner while avoiding its exploitation by organized criminals and terrorist organizations. Dr. Mikuriya expressed his support for achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals and reiterated the WCO’s commitment to contributing to recovery from COVID-19 by supporting legitimate trade.
At the end of the meeting, both leaders agreed on further cooperation to achieve common goals.