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Cooperation with Basel Convention to manage illicit trade in wastes and environmentally-sensitive commodities

25 febrero 2020

The WCO Secretary General, Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, welcomed the Executive Secretary of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, Dr. Rolph Payet, as the keynote speaker at the opening session of the 40th Enforcement Committee meeting held on 24 February 2020 at WCO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. 

In line with the Committee’s theme of “Customs Enforcement fostering Sustainability for People, Prosperity and the Planet,” Dr. Payet outlined the importance of Customs in combating environmental crime and other illicit trade.  Such crime and illicit trade generate illegal profits for organized criminal networks, thus hampering sustainable development. 

Secretary General Mikuriya told the Committee that Customs activities were contributing substantially to the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, including through building safe and secure societies, improving the business climate and securing necessary resources, and protecting the planet for future generations.  He affirmed that the WCO could provide tools, platforms for exchanging information and best practices, and partnerships to further strengthen the role of Customs in achieving sustainability.

Dr. Mikuriya and Dr. Payet subsequently had a bilateral meeting to explore areas for future cooperation between the WCO and the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions.  These include developing training material for Customs, utilizing online training, and enhancing networks between Customs and experts on multilateral environmental agreements in areas including wastes, hazardous chemicals and persistent organic pollutants. 

They both agreed to enhance dialogue and collaboration enabling Customs and relevant environmental authorities to work together effectively on the ground, and notably to join forces during future operations.