From 17 to 19 February, Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, the Secretary General of the World Customs Organization (WCO), attended the 59th Munich Security Conference (MSC). This prominent global forum, founded back in 1963, gathered over 850 delegates, including more than 40 Heads of State and Government, over 60 ministers, as well as representatives from academia, think tanks, civil society and businesses.
Secretary General Mikuriya participated in a number of sessions, including a roundtable on the human dimension of critical resources in Africa. This topic is of interest to many WCO Members facing the impact of mining operations that are out of the government control. This affects not only border security and state revenue, notably through the provision of the source of funding for non-state armed groups, but also leads to other negative effects, such as environmental degradation.
Dr. Mikuriya also raised the issue of Customs contribution to resolving the challenges arising from climate change at another roundtable that included the representatives of the COP28 Presidency, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), several think-tanks, and representatives of governments both from the African continent and European countries. He further discussed the challenges surrounding Customs cooperation, and the sharing of intelligence with military communities in fragile and conflict-affected situations.
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