Sports Unite: Central Asian Customs Officers Team Up in a Football Tournament under the Global Container Control Programme
“Central Asian Port Control Units Team Up” was the slogan of a friendly football tournament conducted on the margins of the Regional Workshop on Intellectual Property Rights “Combatting Counterfeiting and Piracy” under the UNODC-World Customs Organization (WCO) Global Container Control Programme (CCP) in Cholpon-Ata on 27-29 August 2019.
The tournament was organized by the State Customs Service under the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic as part of team building exercise and aimed to strengthen regional cooperation among Customs and border control officers of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
“Sport has always been a good mean to unite people, build teams and promote practical cooperation in achieving common objectives. We believe this tournament is not an exception for an enhanced regional cooperation among Customs Authorities of Central Asia”, emphasized Mr. Almaz Saliev, Deputy Head of Customs Control Department of Kyrgyz Customs Service.
UNODC Regional Programme Coordinator Mr. Batyr Geldiyev thanked the State Customs Service of Kyrgyzstan for the initiative and stressed that this tournament is another platform for promoting the network of border control agencies in the region. He referred to the Memorandum of Understanding on Inter-Regional Network of Customs Authorities and Port Control Units signed on 22 May 2019 in Tashkent.
During award ceremony when Uzbekistan’s team won the first place, the participants expressed their interest in conducting “Central Asian Customs Cup” on a regular basis as part of the regional team building.
The CCP Regional Segment for Central Asia is funded by the Government of Japan and the U.S. Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), and the Export Control and Related Border Security (EXBS) Programme.
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