The World Customs Organization (WCO) and the UN migration agency International Organization for Migration (IOM) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to boost cooperation on effective, efficient, and responsible border management.
The MoU, signed May 8, offers the framework for intensified cooperation between the two organizations, said WCO in a statement. It opens increased opportunities in coordinated/integrated border management and trade.
“The MoU brings together two agencies with different but complementary mandates: While WCO’s work is concerned with the management of the crossing of borders by goods and passengers, IOM focuses in its work on the well-being of migrants and the management of border crossings by persons,” said WCO.
The memorandum was signed by Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, WCO secretary general, and Ambassador William Lacy Swing, IOM director general.
Mikuriya stressed that “WCO encourages Customs administrations to adopt a coordinated approach with the various border agencies for greater efficiency over managing trade and travel flows, while maintaining a balance with compliance requirements.”
The intensified cooperation between WCO and IOM strengthens the support the two organizations can give to member states to further improve and modernize their border management, facilitate regular border crossings and exchange of goods and services across borders, support development, and better protect migrants.
The agreement will enhance collaboration between the two agencies through coordinated activities and elimination of unnecessary duplication, increased consultations, exchanges of information and documents for an effective cooperation, and liaison between both organizations’ secretariats or regional offices and country missions.
The MoU encourages both organizations to support their member states in their efforts to strengthen international and intra-state cooperation between their national border agencies.
It also promotes the exchange of information in areas such as border management; sharing of best practices in coordinated border management policies, regulatory frameworks and administrative and institutional structures; capacity building efforts; responsible data collection and information exchange with a focus on risk analysis and risk management; and joint research.
The WCO, established in 1952, is an independent intergovernmental body with a mission to enhance the effectiveness of Customs administrations. It represents 182 Customs administrations across the globe that collectively process about 98% of world trade.
Established in 1951, IOM is the leading inter-governmental organization in the field of migration. It has 169 member states, with a further eight states holding observer status and offices in over 100 countries.