The Fellowship Programme celebrates its 25th Anniversary

20 October 2010
25th Anniversary of the Fellowship Programme

During the 1st Session of the Capacity Building Committee, Lars Karlsson, CB Director, took this opportunity to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Fellowship Programme. This Programme, which forms part of the WCO long-known initiatives, has contributed since 1985 to create leverages for change toward a more efficient and better networked Customs management.

This programme has already held 52 sessions to date and belongs to the overall efforts shaped up under the Columbus Programme and its wide initiatives to develop Member administrations’ leadership and management skills.

This Programme aims to sustain the Customs administrations’ organizational development owed to the professional standards’ practical implementation within their management staff. It endows selected managers, having a high development potential, with the technical knowledge and management capacities related to their administration’s reform and modernization activities.

Owed to their skills, analytical abilities and management capacities, almost 600 candidates from 125 developing countries have benefited from this programme. Some of them have reached the highest positions in their administrations and government (e.g. DGs and ministers); all of them have achieved great careers.

The objective is clear: to keep on providing the latest information and tools to enable each participant to study and propose how to effectively incorporate WCO standards within his/her administration, in support of change at management level and to become tomorrow’s Customs leaders.

Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of a successful adventure, the Secretariat keeps on setting the expected outcomes and impact higher for this well-established and proactiveinstrument to wide-spread Customs professionalization and excellence.

The programme has shown both the personal engagement and conviction of young male and female Customs managers to be Capacity Building drivers in their administration and region. It has also demonstrated the Customs community’s united commitment to the global raise of performance owed to some unfailing donors among Members and partners throughout the years. Mr. Lars Karlsson has then offered an award plate to the 11 sponsors who have enabled this programme throughout the last years: Belgium, Canada, the Commonwealth Secretariat, European Union, France, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden, United Kingdom. They made this Capacity Building programme one of the most thriving experience between the WCO and the Customs community.

Willing to make the whole Customs community benefit from the same Management Development standards without any language consideration, the Secretariat launched the first-ever Spanish-speaking Fellowship Programme. The pilot will be held from 8 November to 17 December 2010 and will welcome 11 selected promising young managers, from 9 countries, who will stay 4 weeks within the WCO premises and 2 weeks within the Spanish Customs Administration for their study trip.