Successful regional Donor Meeting in the WCO Americas and Caribbean Region

27 abril 2011

Washington DC, April 14 & 15, 2011

The World Customs Organization (WCO) and the Inter American Development Bank (IADB) hosted an Americas and Caribbean Regional Donor Meeting at the headquarters of the IADB in Washington DC on the 14th and 15th of April, 2011. The meeting included representatives of the WCO Regional Entities such as the Vice Chair, Regional Office for Capacity Building, the two Regional Training Centers, the Caribbean Customs Law Enforcement Council (CCLEC) and COMALEP. The meeting counted with the presence of US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), and from the donor banks USAID, IMF, World Bank and our hosts IADB.

The purpose of the meeting was “simple, to coordinate, collaborate and communicate” as Deputy Secretary General Mr. Sergio Mujica explained in his opening remarks. All participants were asked to bring information on the projects underway or soon to be implemented in the region so that participants could avoid duplication or collaborate on the projects.

Prior to the donor meeting the regional representatives had met to tabulate the results of the Capacity Building needs assessments and based on those needs identify the regional plan of action for the coming WCO calendar year. This was the first time, all involved took on this responsibility, and with guidance and support of two colleagues of the WCO Secretariat, Ms. Eleanor Thornton and Mr. Selvin Lemus, they were able to compile a list of events and identify four regional projects. IADB personnel were instrumental in helping the regional representatives to understand how to identify, elaborate, and finalize a draft project. These drafts of events and projects were then presented to the donors during the donor meeting.

The four big projects selected to be presented to the donors were Risk Management, AEO, Single Window and Human Resource Development. These projects were well received by the donors who all indicated they would either financially and/or technically support the projects.

Donors and Regional Representatives were equally pleased with the event and asked that this event be held again next year and that more donors be included so that more effective assistance can be provided to the region. One specific and immediate outcome will be the development of virtual room through the Click program which will allow all those who participated to maintain the contacts established and share any further information or ask training- and project-related questions.

It is expected that next year this regional meeting will provide both the donors and regional representatives with a continued and consistent mechanism of communication, collaboration and coordination.