17-21 September 2018, Sydney, Australia
The WCO, in cooperation with the ROCB A/P and the Australian Border Force (ABF), organized the WCO A/P Regional Workshop on Frontline Border Capability against Terrorist Threats on 17-21 September 2018 in Sydney, Australia, under the financial sponsorship of the Japan Customs Cooperation Fund (CCF/Japan). 33 participants from 24 WCO A/P regional Member administrations and 3 resources from the WCO, the RILO A/P and the ROCB A/P, as well as several colleagues from the host administrations, namely Australia, took part in this important regional event. Mr. Kazunari Igarashi, Head of the ROCB A/P participated in this Workshop as one of the resource persons.
The Workshop was initiated by an opening address by Mrs. Clare Reeds, Regional Commander ACT/HQ of the ABF, in which she stressed that the threat of terrorism is of global implication and the A/P region is not immune from it and the called for joint work to contend with all kinds of cross-border terrorist threats. In this context, she also described a set of counter measures taken by the ABF and wished a fruitful discussion and exchange among the participants and with the resource persons. Workshop participants heard a series of presentations on the regional threat environment, the WCO’s initiatives on counter-terrorism, including its Security Program, the illicit financial flow, gist of the ABF’s Operation SILVES, and Customs cooperation with the Police authorities and the financial intelligence units, which served a good foundation for the discussion of the regional border security cooperation framework document. Among these scene-setting presentation sessions, Mr. Igarashi made a presentation on the ROCB A/P’s capacity building assistance approaches and underlined that there is no one-size-fits-all training on counter-terrorism and encouraged the participants to make best use of the varied lessons learned from the past and future regional and national workshops. In this regard, he briefly touched upon the regional workshop follow-up survey and some of the tangible results accomplished by the regional Member administrations. Participants also had an opportunity of site visit to the Sydney Airport and had an on-site briefing on the ABF Counter Terrorism Units and their activities. The latter part of the Workshop was dedicated to an intensive discussion on the draft Cooperation Framework and its Work Plan under the excellent facilitation of Commander Rees. The outcomes of this Workshop will be further discussed among the regional working group members and then presented to the subsequent regional conferences, namely the Regional Contact Points Conference and the Regional Heads of Customs Administration Conference for adoption.
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