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WCO remembers September 11

12 septiembre 2011

WCO remembers September 11

Brussels, 12 September 2011

Press Release

On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center’s twin towers in New York City and other shocking events that took place on September 11, the World Customs Organization and its 177 Member Customs administrations join the international community in paying tribute to all those who tragically lost their lives on this fateful day.

“The disruptive events of 9/11 changed the world for ever and its ramifications were equally felt by the Customs and trade world,” said WCO Secretary General, Kunio Mikuriya. “Security, in particular global trade security, became a priority policy objective and was included in Customs’ existing border protection portfolio to prevent such attacks from re-occurring,” Mikuriya added.

In response to 9/11, over the last 10 years the WCO has developed many international standards including the renowned SAFE Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade, and further supported national Customs administrations to implement the Framework through a vigorous and highly successful capacity building programme.

This Framework promotes supply chain security through the submission of advance cargo information, the application of risk management, the use of non-intrusive cargo scanning equipment, the development of Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) programmes, and partnerships between Customs administrations and between Customs and their trade stakeholders.

In addition, the WCO has strongly encouraged collective action against global threats through the recent introduction of Programme Global Shield, which aims to monitor diversions of chemicals that can be used for the illegal manufacture of improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

Supported by INTERPOL and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) as well as 60 Customs administrations worldwide, the operational phase of Programme Global Shield proved to be a stunning success, resulting in the seizure of 28 tonnes of chemicals and the arrest of 13 suspects.

To further assist its Members and others who play a role in global trade security, the WCO published a Research Paper – The Customs Supply Chain Security Paradigm and 9/11: Ten Years On and Beyond – that may be downloaded from the Research Section of the WCO public website.

“Customs administrations across the globe have made considerable efforts to counter security threats,” stressed the Secretary General. “It is therefore fitting that as we commemorate the anniversary of 9/11, we renew our firm commitment to continue to take speedy action against terrorism and other forms of organized crime,” he concluded.

Secretary General Mikuriya attended an Interfaith Celebration for Peace on 11 September organized by the United States Embassy at the Brussels Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula in the presence of Belgium’s Crown Prince and the country’s Prime Minister.