Capacity building cooperation with WTO and WIPO

24 January 2011

Capacity building cooperation with WTO and WIPO

Geneva, 20-21 January 2011

Report

Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya met WTO Director General Pascal Lamy in Geneva on 20 January 2011 to discuss further cooperation between the two Organizations.During their meeting they touched on a wide range of areas as Customs provides infrastructure for trade by connecting economies at borders. The discussions included implementation of the results of the trade facilitation (TF) negotiations under the Doha Development Agenda, rules of origin, the aid for trade initiative and trade-related research.

Secretary General Mikuriya explained the ongoing development of various tools addressing the priorities of Customs administrations, which would also help implement the TF principles being negotiated in the WTO.These tools include the Risk Management Compendium, the Single Window Compendium and the Coordinated Border Management Typology, as well as the revision of the Time Release Study Guide. Mention was also made of the WCO's plans to develop a pool of experts to deliver capacity building assistance.

Director General Lamy appreciated WCOs efforts in preparing for the post-negotiation implementation phase, in addition to the assistance already provided in the negotiations and needs assessment because he regarded the WCO as the principle capacity building partner for trade facilitation.In this connection, he asked the WCO to participate in the Global Aid for Trade Review, scheduled for July this year.

Both Secretary General Mikuriya and Director General Lamy agreed that stronger cooperation in research was useful to better understand global trade, particularly in complex but crucial trade fields such as rules of origin.

On 21 January 2011 the Secretary General participated in the Multi-Stakeholder Roundtable on Technical Assistance against Counterfeit Medicines held at the headquarters of the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva.The Roundtable comprised participants from other international organizations, including the WHO, the WTO and Interpol as well as pharmaceutical and non-governmental organizations. WIPO Director General, Francis Gurry, chaired the Roundtable.

Secretary General Mikuriya explained WCO technical assistance which is country demand-driven and focused on practical implementation of capacity building for Customs officers in applying risk management.These technical assistance activities often revealed deficiencies in appropriate national legislation, cooperation with the private sector, and political support in implementing border protection against fake medicines.He stated that these deficiencies could be best addressed by enhanced cooperation in technical assistance with other international organizations and the pharmaceutical sector present around the table.

Other participants also stressed the importance of pooling resources among players for effective technical assistance, and connecting regulatory and enforcement advice as appropriate for the fight against counterfeit medicines.

The meeting appreciated the stocktaking by stakeholders to better understand each other and agreed to continue this network of sharing ideas and information.