Transport Minister Kamel El-Wazir and UNODC Executive Director Ghada Waly meeting in Cairo. Cabient.
During the meeting, Waly reviewed the UNODC’s efforts to halt organised cross-border drug trafficking through various land, sea, and maritime outlets in cooperation between the border control branch of the Vienna-based office and the UNODC Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa in Cairo.
Waly also referred to a number of UNODC major projects in this regard, at the top of them is the UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme (CCP), a joint initiative between the UNODC and the World Customs Organisation (WCO) to ban illicit trafficking of drugs and other goods, facilitate legal trading, and safeguard border revenues.
For his part, El-Wazir stressed the necessity of balancing between maintaining the flow of international trade and expanding the scope of vigilance to control smuggling operations across land and maritime ports.
He added that this can be achieved by building the technical capacities of the officials responsible for combating cross-border crimes and training them on international programmes for inspecting containers and detecting smuggling operations.
Furthermore, El-Wazir expressed the ministry’s readiness to allocate venues for training technicians and officials assigned to inspection operations from national authorities as well as other countries — especially neighbouring states — so that they could benefit from the capacity building programme.
He also affirmed that the ministry has the potential to assist neighbouring countries in setting up model harbour dredges and docks that allow the docking of special vessels, along with the establishment of quays and logistical areas to accelerate trade movement.
The two sides then agreed that the UNDOC would support Egypt’s transportation sector within the context of its mandate.
Last week, Waly held a meeting with Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry in which they tackled means to boost cooperation between Egypt and the UNODC in the coming period.
The FM asserted Egypt’s keenness to continue the fruitful cooperation between Egypt and the UNODC in combating transnational organised crime, corruption, illegal trafficking of cultural property, and supporting national capabilities in the areas of priority to the Egyptian state.
He also lauded the UNODC’s effort to support the priorities of Africa, which include combating drugs and organised crime, affirming Egypt’s support for these efforts that strengthen the pillars of security and stability in the continent.