WCO and United Nations agree to enhance cooperation and high level interaction

22 February 2012

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WCO and United Nations agree to enhance cooperation and high level interaction

Brussels, 21 February 2012

Press Release

Secretary General of the World Customs Organization (WCO), Kunio Mikuriya, met Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), Ban Ki-moon, for comprehensive talks at UN Headquarters in New York on Tuesday, 21 February 2012.

Expressing appreciation for the wide ranging contact between the two organizations, both leaders pledged to continue to enhance cooperation and high level interaction in the future.

Noting the many areas of common interest and complementary actions, some initial discussions as to how the relationship between the UN and the WCO could be further enriched were proposed.

Discussions covered security, protection of the health and safety of citizens from illicit trade, such as narcotic drugs and fake medicines, trade facilitation as a basis for economic growth, sustainable development and environmental challenges, such as hazardous waste, inter-agency cooperation, and alignment of objectives for maximum impact.

The meeting concluded with an undertaking for further high level consultation between the WCO and the UN in the immediate future to progress the ideas discussed during the talks.

"I appreciate the daily interaction between the two organizations,” said Secretary General Mikuriya. “This enables the Customs community to align with the global agenda and strengthen connectivity."

"I am aware of the excellent work done by the WCO and its close cooperation with many UN agencies,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.” This meeting is a great opportunity to enhance our relationships."

Earlier in the day Secretary General Mikuriya paid a courtesy visit to Helen Clark, Administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) during which they discussed illicit financial flows and their impact on economies, the trade in hazardous waste and illicit timber, Aid for Trade, and specific issues concerning landlocked countries.