Dubai: Vann H. Van Diepen, United States Acting Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation, yesterday urged export hubs such as the UAE to deal with the challenges of transshipment security in order to stem the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their means of delivery.

"We all share a responsibility for preventing the misuse of transshipment by those who would harm global security and econ-omic prosperity. This is a challenge that no one nation can solve on its own," Van Diepen said.

Because of the UAE's strategic location and international status on the import and export market, it faces a challenge in controlling export, import and re-export operations and in improving techniques and tools to prevent illegal transshipments.

Dr Anwar Mohammad Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, yesterday opened the seminar titled "the Crossing of Global Cargo" at Park Hyatt Dubai hotel.

Speaking at the workshop, Dr. Gargash said: "The UAE, under the leadership of President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, is witnessing a comprehensive development and is working towards boosting its position by capitalising on its policy that is focussing on stability and international communication and cooperation."

In a recent speech, Ahmad Butti Ahmad, executive chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation and director general of Dubai Customs, asserted the UAE's commitment to controlling materials of dual-use through the implementation of IT solutions such as Mirsal 2 — the electronic customs declaration system introduced last year.


Speaking at the seminar yesterday, Van Diepen said one of the main challenges is being ahead of the increasingly adaptive and creative method proliferators are adopting.

New methods include seeking alternative suppliers such as overseas distributors; using front companies to facilitate and conceal diversion and using circuitous shipping routes and multiple transshipment points to obscure the actual destination of their shipments.


"This challenge of identifying and dealing with those relatively few listed and unlisted dual-use items intended for proliferation programmes hiding in a sea of such items for legitimate uses requires catch-all authorities, information-sharing [both domestically and internationally], and industry out-reach — all issues that we will be addressing over the next few days," he said.