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WCO Secretary General and UN Secretary-General agree to reinforce cooperation

29 junio 2021

On 28 June 2021, the WCO Secretary General, Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, met with the Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), Mr. António Guterres, at UN Headquarters in New York City. The UN Secretary-General acknowledged the important role played by Customs, and the two leaders agreed to strengthen collaboration between both organizations in support of global recovery.

Secretary-General Guterres appreciated the WCO's contribution to facilitating the cross-border movement of vaccines, enhancing security to combat terrorism, supporting economic development through technology-based trade facilitation and working closely with many UN agencies.  He also acknowledged the progress made by the global Customs community in relation to gender equality and diversity.  He emphasized the fact that the visibility of Customs had been further heightened as a result of the global pandemic and expressed his willingness to continue working with the WCO, offering further support in this respect.  

Secretary General Mikuriya explained that the WCO’s priority was to assist its Members in facilitating and securing the global distribution of vaccines by ensuring the integrity of the supply chain, while protecting the health and safety of citizens through the organization of global operations, in collaboration with the relevant UN agencies to detect counterfeit, fake, substandard or falsified medicines, vaccines and medical supplies.  He also stressed the importance of digitalizing paper-based procedures and supporting the development of E-Commerce in a sound manner while avoiding its exploitation by organized criminals and terrorist organizations.  Dr. Mikuriya shared his support for the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and reiterated the WCO's commitment to contributing to the post-COVID-19 recovery by supporting legitimate trade.

At the end of the meeting, both leaders agreed on further cooperation to achieve common goals.