Secretary General addresses UN Resolution 1540 Committee and meets the Executive Director

03 March 2014

At the invitation of Ambassador Joon, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations in New York and Chair of the UN 1540 Committee, Secretary General Mr. Kunio Mikuriya addressed an open session of the UN 1540 Committee on 28 February at UN Headquarters in New York.

The Secretary General’s address coincided with the commencement of events to mark the tenth anniversary of the establishment of the Committee.

The Committee is responsible for overseeing the implementation of UN Resolution 1540 (2004), which affirms that the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and their means of delivery constitute a threat to international peace and security. The Resolution imposes binding obligations on all States to adopt legislation and establish controls to prevent the proliferation of such weapons.

Introducing Secretary General Mikuriya, Ambassador Joon expressed his gratitude to the WCO for its ongoing work with the Committee and its Expert Group and the excellent collaboration that exists between the two entities. 

Mr. Mikuriya spoke about WCO priorities as contained in the Strategic Plan and outlined the major developments that are currently driving the international Customs community agenda.

The Secretary General stated that security and economic development go hand in hand, and emphasized the important contribution that Customs make in the context of national and international security and non-proliferation.

Following his presentation, the Secretary General engaged in a lengthy and wide-ranging question and answer session with the large audience present at the open session.

The presentation concluded with both the Secretary General and Ambassador Joon pledging to continue the excellent cooperation that exists between the WCO and the 1540 Committee.

Meeting with the Executive Director of the Counter Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED)

At the invitation of Mr. Jean-Paul Laborde, Executive Director of the CTED, Mr. Mikuriya visited the offices of the Counter Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) in New York on 28 February.

The CTED is mandated to assess Member States implementation of Resolution 1373 (2001) which inter alia obliges UN Members to criminalize assistance to terrorist activities, deny financial support and safe haven to terrorists, share information about groups planning terrorist attacks and protect their borders against the movement of terrorist and their wares.

Customs participate in Member State assessments and contribute Customs knowledge and expertise to the process. However, participation is limited and subject to strict budgetary criteria. Mr. Laborde expressed a desire for greater Customs input into the assessment process. Henceforth, additional funding will be made available to ensure greater Customs participation.

The Secretary General welcomed this development as recognition of Customs input to the CTED, and both the Secretary General and the Executive Director undertook to continue cooperation in this crucial domain.