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Customs commitment highlighted at the World Humanitarian Summit

25 mayo 2016

At the invitation of UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya participated in the first World Humanitarian Summit held in Istanbul, Turkey, on 23 and 24 May 2016.

Secretary General Mikuriya spoke at the High-Level Leaders’ Roundtable on Natural Disasters and Climate Change under the chairmanship of Mr. Ban Ki-Moon. He highlighted the contribution of Customs in facilitating the clearance of disaster relief consignments, as well as that of the WCO in providing training to raise its Members’ awareness of WCO standards on relief consignments and to enhance preparedness.

Secretary General Mikuriya referred to three essential lessons learned by Customs through past activities, namely the need of (i) communication with humanitarian aid partners; (ii) coordination with other government agencies; and (iii) protection of officers at borders.

He informed the Roundtable that the WCO would collect Members’ experiences and develop best practices, working with its partners to take these lessons on board for capacity building purposes.  He also announced a new initiative, with funding from the Dutch Government, to provide equipment and training to Customs in West Africa, a region severely affected by the Ebola virus disease outbreak.

Secretary General Mikuriya called on other political leaders and international governmental and non-governmental organizations to work together and provide resources to implementation agencies in the humanitarian area. He also took the opportunity to meet ministers and make contributions during other related side events to raise the profile of Customs.

More Information

Roundtable on Natural Disasters and Climate Change (see WCO Secretary General's speech with the cursor on 1:30)