Regional conference on the application of effective customs control and securing the trade of toxic chemicals in Africa
Work opens in Brazzaville under the auspices of Minister Ludovic Ngatsé
23 May, 2023
Tuesday May 23, 2023 in Brazzaville, Ludovic Ngatsé, Congolese Minister of Budget, Public Accounts and Public Portfolio, acting as Jean-Baptiste Ondaye, Minister of Economy and Finance, opened the work of the Regional Conference on the application of effective customs control and securing the trade of toxic chemicals in Africa. In the presence of Guénolé Mbongo Koumou, Director General of Customs and Indirect Duties of the Republic of Congo, Vice-President of the World Customs Organization for West and Central Africa (WCO-AOC).
“Since its entry into force on April 29, 1997, the Convention for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (CWC) has aimed to prohibit the establishment, manufacture, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons in with a view to preserving and guaranteeing international peace and security. It therefore aims to strengthen the international order, through the establishment of a global norm to combat the use of chemical weapons, while strengthening international cooperation, to prevent and exclude the reappearance of chemical weapons in the world,” recalled Ludovic Ngatsé.
“In fact, as of December 31, 2022, 99.4% of chemical stocks declared in the world had been destroyed. States which have not yet taken this path have made a commitment to comply with it by September 30, 2023,” he continued.
“…The institutional evolution of Africa towards the entry into force of the African Continental Free Trade Area (ZLECAF) constitutes a definite challenge to the regional policy of combating the use and proliferation of chemical weapons. As much as the ZLECAF is an economic opportunity for all countries on the continent, because it aims to bring profound changes to our modes of production and exchange, it can constitute a real security challenge at all levels..." declared the Budget minister.
From Tuesday May 23 to Thursday May 25, 2023, participants, coming from several African countries and other continents of the world, will debate around various themes. Among others, the presentation of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW); the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and the overview of the transfer regime of this Convention; the Chemical Weapons Convention: how to deal with threats from non-state actors; the verification regime of the Chemical Weapons Convention; Congo’s experience in controlling the illicit trade of toxic chemicals; the current challenges faced by the Customs Administration in controlling trade in chemicals, in general, and illicit transfers of chemicals; the WCO Strategic Program to combat trade in chemicals and the implementation of the CWC for Customs; etc.
The Communication Unit of the Ministry of Economy and Finance