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WCO attends the 17th Session of the Inter American Committee against Terrorism of the OAS

24 abril 2017

At the invitation of Ambassador Juan Anibal Barria, Permanent Representative of Chile to the Organization of American States (OAS) and Chair of the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE), WCO Deputy Secretary General Sergio Mujica attended the 17th Regular Session of Inter-American Committee against Terrorism, held in Washington DC on 6 and 7 April 2017. The main purpose of the CICTE is to promote and develop cooperation among OAS Member States to prevent, combat and eliminate terrorism. The meeting was attended by high-level representatives of Member States, including Ambassadors, Ministers, Vice-Ministers and technical experts, as well as international organizations with competence in security matters. The theme of the Session was “Strengthening National Financial Systems through International Cooperation and Information Sharing as a Means to Prevent Terrorism and the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction”.

In his opening address, Ambassador Barria highlighted that violence and terrorism are a real threat to the most fundamental human rights. To face this challenge, international cooperation and the use of instruments and tools provided by the rule of law at national and international level are indispensable. He reaffirmed the importance of putting in place effective mechanisms for the exchange of information both nationally and internationally among enforcement agencies, financial investigation units and the judiciary. The OAS Secretary for Multidimensional Security, Doctor Claudia Paz y Paz, emphasized that, in order to fight terrorism, a multidisciplinary and integral approach is required, to ensure coordination and cooperation among all relevant stakeholders.

After the opening session, the WCO Deputy Secretary General participated in a high-level panel, which also included Mr. Ahmet Üzümcü, Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and a senior representative of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 1540. Mr. Mujica presented the WCO Security Programme, with emphasis on the Strategic Trade Control Enforcement Programme, highlighting the key role played by Customs in combating terrorism.

During his visit to Washington, Mr. Mujica also held working meetings with Mr. Kevin McAleenan, Acting Commissioner of US Customs and Border Protection, and his management team. The main topics discussed were the latest developments in respect of the WCO Strategic Plan which will be presented to the next Council Sessions and the key role of Customs to support the implementation of the TFA. Mr. Mujica also thanked Mr. McAleenan for CBP’s support and leadership in the development and implementation of key WCO programmes and tools.