WCO signs an arrangement on cooperation with UNOCT to strengthen cooperation and advance joint initiatives to counter terrorism

22 September 2022

The United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) and the World Customs Organization (WCO) signed an Arrangement on Cooperation (AoC) today to further strengthen cooperation and advance their joint initiatives to counter terrorism. The signing of the AoC took place during an in-person ceremony between Under-Secretary-General of UNOCT Mr. Vladimir Voronkov, and Secretary General of WCO Dr.Kunio Mikuriya.

UNOCT and WCO will start a new partnership journey through the United Nations Countering Terrorist Travel (‘CT Travel’) Programme, which also includes the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the United Nations Office of Information and Communication Technology (UNOICT), the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), and the International Organization for Migration (IOM). UNOCT and WCO reiterated their full commitment to the initiative’s global efforts to support Member States in enhancing their capacity to detect and prevent the movement of terrorists and criminals using both Advance Passenger Information (API) and Passenger Name Record (PNR) data, in compliance with the requirements of the United Nations Security Council resolutions 2178 (2014), 2396 (2017), and 2482 (2019), ICAO standards and recommended practices, and other international law obligations, relevant privacy laws, and human rights principles.

Within the framework of the arrangement, UNOCT and WCO agreed to cooperate, and combine their effort in providing joint capacity-building activities aimed at strengthening the Member States’ border management and counter-terrorism capacities to further enhance travel and trade facilitation, better and fairer revenue collection and better protection of society. They also agreed to provide joint support to the implementation of initiatives developed within the framework of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Coordination Compact Working Groups and the WCO working bodies of the Compliance and Facilitation Directorate.

The World Customs Organization will be bringing a wealth of added-value to the CT Travel Programme. In particular, on how to bring Customs agencies together to ensure a safer and more prosperous world. The consolidation of the all-of-UN approach will be of benefit to Programme partners, to donors, and most importantly to Member States” Mr. Voronkov said.

This Arrangement is another significant step towards closer cooperation with the UNOCT in the implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. Customs has long demonstrated its potential by providing concrete input to support economic development and reinforce security, and this new partnership is expected to further highlight this potential’’, Dr. Mikuriya stated.

The CT Travel Programme follows an ‘’All-of-UN’’ approach, and seeks close cooperation with WCO to provide comprehensive, yet tailored assistance to beneficiary Member States in enhancing their capabilities to secure global travel against terrorist threats.

The WCO’s mission is to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of Customs administrations, representing today 184 Customs administrations across the globe that collectively process approximately 98% of world trade. WCO is the only international organization with competence in Customs matters and can rightly call itself the voice of the international Customs community.

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