Chirac applauds Customs' fight against fake medicine

24 June 2010

Chirac applauds Customs' fight against fake medicine

Brussels, 24 June 2010

Press Release

In an address to the Council of the World Customs Organization, meeting in Brussels for their annual sessions, former French President Jacques Chirac applauded the efforts of the WCO's 176 Member Customs administrations to combat the illegal and often lethal trade in counterfeit medicines.

Jacques Chirac, in his capacity as the President of the Chirac Foundation, has taken up the fake medicine cause to protect consumers and their health and safety, particularly in Africa, by ensuring they have access to safe medicines through a global initiative aimed at fighting this dishonest fake trade.

In his intervention, Didier Reynders, the Belgian Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, reinforced the theme of President Chirac’s address by underlining that Belgium – which is to assume the European Council Presidency shortly – would ensure that the fight against fake medicine remains a priority during their six-month term.

"Countries across the globe in particular those in Africa suffer the scourge of being flooded with fake and sub-standard medicine and this has become a matter of rising international concern," said WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya. "Information from Customs administrations reported to the WCO show that in 2009 seizures of fake medicine covered more than 30 well-known brands ranging even more shockingly from malaria tablets and heart treatment medication to swine flu vaccine," Mr. Mikuriya added.

During President Chirac's visit, Secretary General Mikuriya signed the Cotonou Declaration as a symbolic gesture of the WCO's commitment to combating the increasing trade in fake medicines. Numerous Heads of State, the United Nations Secretary-Generaland other international organizations are committed to the ideals of the Cotonou Declaration which forms the basis of the Chirac Foundation’s initiative.

The WCO Secretary General further said, "Customs administrations have been tackling the trade in fake medicines for a long time and have emphasised the need for a concerted international response to the problem, so I am pleased that through the Cotonou Declaration we can form a united and formidable front to stop this illegal cross-border trade."

To strengthen its fight against fake medicines, the WCO and its Members will continue to conduct hard-hitting border enforcement operations that will specifically target fake medicines along with other dangerous counterfeit goods.

Links

Click here to read President Chirac's address.
Click here to read Mr. Mikuriya remarks.