WCO Secretary General to sign Cotonou Declaration

18 June 2010

WCO Secretary General to sign Cotonou Declaration

Brussels, 18 June 2010

Press Release

Secretary General of the WCO, Kunio Mikuriya, is to sign the Cotonou Declaration on Thursday, 24 June as a symbolic gesture of the Organization’s commitment to combating the increasing trade in fake medicines which have harmful and sometimes lethal consequences for vulnerable communities around the world.

Mr. Mikuriya joins numerous Heads of State, the United Nations Secretary-General and other international organizations such as INTERPOL that have committed to the ideals of the Cotonou Declaration.

The Cotonou Declaration is part of the Chirac Foundation’s programme to counter the trade in fake medicine as part of its commitment to safeguard public health and protect consumers by facilitating access to safe medicine. The Foundation is also committed to actively fighting deforestation and desertification, as well as promoting cultural diversity and preventing conflict among other issues.

“Africa in particular has become a huge dumping ground for criminals who peddle in this illicit trade and take advantage of the vulnerable and poverty stricken who often buy these medicines in good faith only to suffer adverse affects,” said Secretary General Mikuriya in reference to the fact that fake medicines often contain no active ingredients, very little active ingredients, or even lethal ingredients at times!

Given Customs’ long-standing commitment to protecting the health and safety of consumers by ensuring that illicit and dangerous goods are intercepted at borders, the WCO Secretary General is pleased to be able to underscore international efforts aimed at securing the global trade supply chain.