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Regional Office for Capacity Building (ROCB) for the Europe Region officially opens in Baku

19 October 2011

Regional Office for Capacity Building (ROCB) for the Europe Region officially opens in Baku
 
Baku, 17 October 2011
 
Report

The WCO and Azerbaijan Customs organized an International Conference on Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs on 17 and 18 October 2011 in Baku, Azerbaijan. This event was attended by 43 Customs administrations from all six WCO regions and by related international and regional organizations. The ROCB for the Europe Region, located in Baku, was also formally opened on this occasion.

Azerbaijan’s Deputy Prime Minister Ali Hasanov, who is also Chairman of the State Commission on the Fight Against Drug Addiction and Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs, opened the International Conference by underscoring the existence of political support at the highest level to tackle this global problem.
 
During the opening session, both WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya and the UNODC’s Executive Director Yury Fedotov stressed the importance of international and regional cooperation with a view to sharing information among Customs and other law enforcement agencies and joining forces in the fight against this illicit trade.
 
They also welcomed the initiative taken by the Director General of Azerbaijan Customs, Aydin Aliyev, to share experiences and build a spirit of cooperation on this important topic. The International Conference adopted a set of Recommendations following an extensive exchange of views between participants under the chairmanship of Alain Bellot, Director General of Luxembourg Customs. 

The ROCB was opened in the new premises provided by Azerbaijan Customs. WCO Council Chair Josephine Feehily and Secretary General Mikuriya congratulated the Europe Region on its efforts to bring this highly anticipated project to fruition and conveyed their best wishes to the ROCB’s new Director, Vitali Mikeladze.

Secretary General Mikuriya and UNODC Executive Director Fedotov had a meeting with Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev, during which the President expressed his strong support for Customs’ role at borders and for the WCO activities to take place within the ROCB.

Baku also played host to a related "Say “No” to Drugs" exhibition and a charity concert in aid of drug treatment centres.