Global Security Conference: three-year anniversary of the Punta Cana Resolution

04 October 2018

The World Customs Organization (WCO) hosted a Global Security Conference from 2 to 4 October 2018 at WCO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.  The Conference, bringing together over 150 delegates representing more than 75 Member administrations and international organizations, was made possible with the generous support of the Government of Japan.

The Conference was held as part of the WCO Security Programme to mark the three-year anniversary of the adoption of the Punta Cana Resolution, highlighting Custom’s role and contribution to border security and counter-terrorism efforts and reviewing progress made by Customs administrations in enhancing global security. 

In his keynote address, Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, WCO Secretary General, highlighted the various security-related activities initiated by the WCO and stressed the need for interagency cooperation in border security management.  He also reflected on how Customs administrations’ unique role as facilitators of global trade at borders places them in an ideal position to disrupt terrorist activities targeting international supply chains and travel.

The Conference agenda focused on the WCO Security Programme and Member Administrations’ activities in key areas and initiatives, including Strategic Trade Control Enforcement (STCE), Programme Global Shield (PGS), Passenger Controls and Use of Advanced Passenger Information/Passenger Name Record (API/PNR) Systems, Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW), and Financing of Terrorism.  The need for Customs-Police cooperation was one of the key outcomes of the many discussions held.

In closing the Conference, the need for Customs administrations to incorporate security strategies in their respective annual strategic plans was underscored.  Customs administrations were also encouraged to involve other partners in their security activities.  In addition, emphasis was placed on the need to include security issues on Customs’ priority agenda as a matter of course, on the same basis as traditional revenue collection activities.