WCO initiates special counter-terrorism project for West and Central Africa

Dr. Kunio Mikuriya

The growing threat of terrorism in the West and Central Africa region to the operations of customs has gained attention of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) as the Government of Japan planned to fund implementation of the WCO’s special security project for the region.

This was disclosed by WCO during a meeting between the Secretary General of the World Customs Organization (WCO), Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, and the Japanese Ambassador to Belgium, Hajime Hayashi, at WCO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium last week.

According to WCO, global terrorism poses a variety of threats, not only to the security and safety of people, but also to economic development and political stability, making it imperative for Customs administrations to further strengthen their efforts to secure borders and protect international supply chains.

Mikuriya said, “Our new Customs counter-terrorism initiative demonstrates the collective determination of the international Customs community to effectively fight against global terrorism and its adverse impact on international trade, particularly in the West and Central Africa (WCA) region.

“This initiative enables us to actively support Customs administrations and other stakeholders in West and Central Africa in taking the necessary measures to further secure the supply chain and combat terrorism,”

The Japanese Ambassador to Belgium, Hajime Hayashi, stressed that Japan highly appreciated the WCO’s activities to address emerging issues faced by WCO member customs administrations, such as counter-terrorism activities, under the leadership of Secretary General, Mikuriya.

He further emphasized that the project being funded would bring about much deeper and stronger cooperation and mutual trust not only with the WCO but also between West and Central Africa members.  

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