WCO Secretary General discusses Customs priorities with scholars in Japan

08 septiembre 2021

On 8 September 2021, the WCO Secretary General, Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, gave a special online lecture to Customs officers who benefited from a scholarship under the Japan-WCO Scholarship Programme. These scholars are either following a Master’s Degree Programme in Public Finance at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS) or in Strategic Management and Intellectual Property Rights at the Aoyama Gakuin University (AGU).

Secretary General Mikuriya introduced the most recent topics addressed and activities undertaken by the WCO Secretariat since the WCO Council Session in June 2021. He described the WCO’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, detailing the actions taken to facilitate global vaccine supply, bolster the international supply chain and combat fake, substandard and counterfeit vaccines, as well as the support provided to Member Customs administrations from small island economies and those affected by fragile borders. He also touched upon the importance of Customs exploring and adopting new technologies and ideas, and the need for the WCO to enhance its strategic partnerships with other international organizations in order to position Customs as a reliable and trusted government advisor on trade matters.

During the interactive session following the lecture, Dr. Mikuriya answered questions and listened to scholars’ comments. He made frequent references to the situation in the scholars’ own countries, while outlining the WCO Secretariat’s contribution to supporting Members and raising the profile of Customs. He also shared some insights into areas of future work for the Secretariat. The lecture offered a good opportunity to update scholars on the WCO’s activities and to acknowledge the role they can play in supporting Customs modernization efforts in their respective administrations.