Today, 1st April 2019, a two-day regional conference started on "Strengthening the Capacities of the Integrated Border Management Coordinating Centers". The Conference is organized by the OSCE and the National Coordination Center for Border Management of the Republic of North Macedonia. Prime Minister  Zoran Zaev and the Ambassador of the OSCE Mission to Skopje, Clemens Koja opened the Conference and Customs Director General, Mr. Gjoko Tanasoski welcomed the conference participants.

The conference is attended by representatives of the border and Customs Administrations of North Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Greece, Kosovo, Romania and Turkey, who will share the best international practices in prevention of organized crime and corruption.

In his address, Director General Tanasoski noted that the Customs Administration supports the concept of Integrated Border Management, since this concept is based on achieving the correct balance between facilitating legal movement of trade and passengers across borders on one hand and border control for identification and prevention of cross-border crime on the other. The ultimate goal of Integrated Border Management needs to be easier and smooth movement of passengers through the borders, and for this purpose the Customs Administration is investing and is making great efforts to enhance the cooperation with all institutions involved in border management.

Prime Minister Zaev, pointed out that the presence of representatives of the highest operational structures from the participating countries at the conference whose duty is to prevent, detect and prove organized crime, corruption and illegal migration, trade in weapons, drug and human trafficking is of particular importance. He also stated that the outcomes of the conference will be grounds for the governments of the countries of the region and best guidelines and recommendations from the exchange of experiences between the present operational structures, which in the future would contribute to safer borders.

OSCE Ambassador to Skopje noted that these events are of great importance because they are excellent opportunity for exchange of experiences and best practices for integrated border management and maintenance of border security, as well as improvement of border services. 

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