Eighth Green Customs Initiative Partners Meeting

10 Jan 2012 to 11 Jan 2012
The Hague, Netherlands

The eighth meeting of the Green Customs Initiative (GCI) Partners was held at the headquarters of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in the Hague, Netherlands on the 10th - 11th January 2012. Representatives of the Secretariat of Basel Convention (also representing the Secretariats of the Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions), CITES, INTERPOL, UNEP DTIE OzonAction, the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime and the World Customs Organization participated in the meeting. The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) – Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety joined the discussions during the afternoon session of the 10th January via video conference.

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and a representative of the Netherlands Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment/ International Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement (INECE) Seaport Environment Security participated in the first day of the meeting as observers.

The meeting was opened by Mr Mark Albon, Head, Implementation Support OPCW. Mr. Jim Curlin, Interim Head of Branch, OzonAction UNEP, made the introductory remarks (via teleconference).

The annual meeting provided an opportunity for GCI Partners and the Green Customs Secretariat to provide an update on activities from 2011 and to discuss progress and plans for the coming year.

This was a successful and positive meeting and the Partners demonstrated their continued commitment and support for the Initiative. It was recognised that resource availability was going to be a major challenge in the latter part of 2012; nevertheless an ambitious plan of activities for the coming year was proposed.

Various other relevant issues were discussed, including the pressing need for funds, both for convening workshops and to support a GCI coordinator position, potential side events and outreach opportunities, improving and updating the materials used in workshops, including an update of the Green Customs Guide to Multilateral Environmental Agreements, and identifying ways to effectively cooperate with other organisations. Participation of the observer organisations, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and a the Netherlands Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment/ International Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement (INECE) Seaport Environment Security was greatly appreciated by the partners.