IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu welcomed his counterparts, Raymond Benjamin, Secretary-General, ICAO, and Kunio Mikuriya, Secretary-General, WCO, to IMO Headquarters on Monday, July 8, where the three considered the further enhancement of collaboration between the Organizations in the fields of aviation, border and maritime security and facilitation. ICAO and the IMO perform their roles as specialized agencies of the United Nations, while the WCO is an independent intergovernmental body.
“A sustainable maritime transportation system is reliant on a smooth and efficient supply chain and it is essential that we work together to mitigate any potential threats,” IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu said. A key element of this is building partnerships to support technical assistance and cooperation, particularly in the developing countries and in any high-risk areas, to address vulnerabilities in global supply chain security and create opportunities to enhance trade facilitation.”
“ICAO recognizes and fully supports that effective cooperation is the basis for realizing the objectives of our Organizations,” said ICAO Secretary-General Benjamin. “The constantly evolving threats posed by global terrorism must be met with highly coordinated transportation security and border control measures in order to minimize adverse impacts on international passenger and trade flows.”
Secretary-General Mukuriya of the WCO highlighted that: “Meaningful, dynamic and effective partnerships at the international level are critical to how all our Organizations meet the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities presented by the 21st century border and trade environment. Today’s globalized trade and travel requires new thinking, coordinated approaches and connectivity between all stakeholders to efficiently secure and facilitate legitimate trade, support economic competiveness and provide protection to societies.”
The Secretaries General exchanged information on progress in further developing and harmonizing the international frameworks for aviation, border and maritime supply chain security and facilitation under their respective instruments.
They acknowledged the potential impact of major disruption at critical transport nodes on global supply chains and expressed the need to manage risks in a holistic and system-oriented manner. The importance of innovation and creative thinking to optimize security and facilitation of international transport and trade was stressed during the meeting.
The Secretaries General underlined the need for joint technical assistance and cooperation efforts to address vulnerabilities in global supply chain security and grasp opportunities to enhance trade facilitation. They undertook to promote dialogue at State level between transport security and Customs authorities to enhance information sharing, align national legal frameworks and requirements, and maximize synergies.
The Secretaries General agreed to meet again in a trilateral setting to review progress in this area.
IMO and WCO cooperate in the fields of maritime and supply chain security, facilitation of international maritime transport, and maritime law enforcement as well as on countering maritime terrorism.
IMO and ICAO cooperate on a number of matters, including search and rescue, supply chain security, and facilitation. The ICAO/IMO Joint Working Group on Harmonization of Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue holds regular meetings.