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Presentation on the Small Island Economies initiative to UN Ambassadors

01 julio 2021

At the invitation of Fiji’s Ambassador to the United Nations (UN), H.E. Mr. Satyendra Prasad, leading the UN Pacific Group, the WCO Secretary General, Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, briefed 16 Ambassadors and Representatives to the UN of Small Island States from the Pacific region on the WCO Small Island Economies (SIEs) initiative during a meeting held on 28 June 2021.  The meeting was coordinated by the UN Office of the High Representative for Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS), under the leadership of the UN Under-Secretary General, Ms. Fekita K. ‘Utoikamanu.

Dr. Mikuriya highlighted the WCO’s major instruments and tools for facilitating and securing trade supply chains, including the Revised Kyoto Convention which was also key to implementation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement and to regional integration.  In addition, he described various WCO capacity building programmes to help Members implement the Organization’s standards and address human resource issues, such as integrity and inclusiveness. 

Ambassadors of WCO Members showed an interest in maximizing the advantages of being part of the WCO network, while Ambassadors of non-WCO Members expressed their interest in WCO membership, with the benefits far exceeding the annual membership costs.  They were also attracted by the WCO’s Master Trainer Programme (MTP), funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which could be extended to the Pacific region based on its success in Africa.  Being a train-the-trainer programme, it had created a pool of experts in African Customs administrations who would in turn train their fellow Customs officers.

Dr. Mikuriya later visited the Office of UN Under-Secretary General ‘Utoikamanu and thanked her for previously cooperating with the WCO in assisting landlocked developing countries and SIEs.  They agreed that these economies would gain the most from WCO programmes, given their need for enhanced connectivity.