WCO conducts Programme Global Shield Awareness-Raising Seminar for the MENA region

01 March 2017

From 20th to 22nd February 2017 a Programme Global Shield Awareness-Raising Seminar for the MENA Region was held in Doha, Qatar.

Improvised explosive devices are the most prevalent form of explosives used by terrorists and violent extremist organizations to inflict harm on populations, infrastructures and economies. Between 2011 and 2015 more than 100’000 persons have been killed or injured by these deadly devices and billions of euros resulted in damage to economies around the world.

Programme Global Shield (PGS) is a WCO led, international effort to counter the illicit diversion and trafficking of dual-use chemicals, detonators and transmitting devices that are being used to manufacture Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).

This Awareness-Raising Seminar was the first of a series of three events to expand PGS activities to the MENA region. The Seminar was hosted and funded by the Qatar Customs Authority and attended by 40 participants from 12 member administrations. 

During the 3-day seminar participants were provided with information on the context of Customs Administrations role in Border Security/Counter Terrorism, the global threat emanating from improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and how Customs Administrations, together with other law enforcement agencies and international partners can contribute to mitigate it. Participants made use of the opportunity to discuss national and regional challenges and best practices regarding the IED threat and, during a workshop, contributed to the planning of the upcoming PGS activities in the region. Guest speakers from the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), the Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Organization (JIDO) and the private sector shared their insight and how they cooperate with the customs community while Pakistan Customs shared its experience as one of the first countries having implemented Programme Global Shield.

The seminar was closed by his highness Ahmad Abdullah Al-Jamal, Chairman of Qatar Customs Authority.

For further details please contact Roman Brühwiler (roman.bruhwiler@wcoomd.org).