05th December 2017 - Tunis, Tunisia
To further strengthen the ongoing cooperation, UNODC and the Government of Tunisia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding and inaugurated a Port Control Unit for the Port of Radès under the Container Control Programme (CCP).
The ceremony celebrating these two developments took place onboard a ferry, thanks to the generous contribution from the Tunisian Navigation Company, in the presence of heads of agencies from the Ministries of Finance, Foreign Affairs, Interior, Transport, the National Anti-Corruption Agency, UN agencies, embassies, the private sector and national and international media.
Last year, Tunisia had joined CCP to strengthen coordination and cooperation among all the relevant authorities and agencies involved in border security and trade facilitation. The Port Control Unit inaugurated has been established to undertake specialized profiling, targeting and examining of high-risk containers used to transport illicit goods. The Unit is made up by the Customs, the Border Police, the Tunisian Stevedoring and Handling Company (STAM) and the Merchant Marine and Ports Authority.
Several key persons spoke at the ceremony. The Director-General of the Customs, Adel Ben Hassan, stressed that CCP is of utmost importance to the ongoing reorganization of the Customs in Tunisia and would allow for the country's strengthened port security and protection from organized crime and terrorism. The Head of the National Anti-Corruption Agency, Chawki Tabib, highlighted CCP's importance to combat corruption and strengthen integrity within the trade sector and at ports in Tunisia.
On her part, UNODC Regional Representative for the Middle East and North Africa, Cristina Albertin, thanked the Government of Japan for the financial support that had made CCP a reality in Tunisia.
The Ambassador of Japan to Tunisia, Mikio Shiokawa, highlighted that trade facilitation is key to assist Tunisia in strengthening its economy; a prerequisite for democracy in the country.
At the ceremony, UNODC also highlighted CCP Women's Network, which aims to strengthen women's participation in the law enforcement sector, and the fact that one woman has joined PCU at the Port of Radès.
CCP, a joint UNODC-World Customs Organization (WCO) programme, aims to secure containerized cargo and freight trade supply chain to prevent illicit trafficking, as the prevailing insecurity in region makes it vulnerable to drug trafficking and other illicit cross-border activity.