WCO Participates in the United Nations' Virtual Counter Terrorism Week

13 julio 2020

Director of WCO Compliance and Facilitation Directorate Speaks at the United Nations Virtual Counter Terrorism Week.

Last year the United Nations organized the first UN Counter-Terrorism Week which took place at the UN’s Headquarters in New York. The second UN Counter-Terrorism Week was scheduled to take place from June 29th to July 3rd 2020. However, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic the UN General Assembly decided to host a Virtual Counter-Terrorism Week instead which took place from 6-10 July 2020. As one of the forty three signatory entities of the UN’s Global Counter-Terrorism Coordination Compact, the WCO actively participates in the UN’s counter-terrorism efforts. For example, the WCO continues to provide experts for UN led counter-terrorism country assessment visits and serves as the co-chair of the UN Global Compact’s Border Management and Law Enforcement relating to counter-terrorism Working Group (BMLE WG). 

During the opening session of the virtual meeting presenters including UN Secretary General António Guterres, Under Secretary General for Counter-Terrorism, Vladimir Voronkov and Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Ghada Fathy Ismail Waly, discussed the impact of COVID-19 on international counter-terrorism efforts and the need for increased international cooperation during this time. This session was followed by a closed session for UN Members and international organizations which addressed the increased threat of bio and cyber terrorism as a result of the events surrounding the COVID-19 Pandemic.

During this Session the Director of Compliance and Facilitation Directorate of the WCO, Mr. Pranab Kumar Das made an intervention highlighting the work that the WCO has done in this area as well as highlighting the important role that Customs administrations play in securing society from these threats as outlined in the WCO’s Punta Cana Resolution.

Mr. Das went on to inform participants of the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on international cross border trade and discussed how the WCO was assisting its Members during these challenging times. Some examples, of the WCO’s efforts to tackle these threats include the launch of “Operation STOP” which tackles the illicit trade in counterfeit medicines and medical equipment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the adoption of the WCO’s Safe Framework of Standards following the events of 9/11.

Mr. Das concluded his intervention by highlighting the WCO’s continued commitment to cooperating with international partners including the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism as well as other stakeholders in addressing the rising bio and cyber terrorism related security threats.