WCO speaks at high-level inaugural panel of OECD Integrity Forum

22 April 2016

At the invitation of Mr. Angel Gurria, Secretary General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), WCO Deputy Secretary General Sergio Mujica attended the 2016 OECD Integrity Forum entitled “Fighting the Hidden Tariff : Global Trade without Corruption”, held in Paris on 19 and 20 April.

The Forum was officially opened by OECD Secretary General, Angel Gurria, who stated that integrity was not simply a moral question but essentially one of development and that huge amounts of money were lost through various forms of corruption related, inter alia, to procurement fraud and tax evasion.

The Deputy Secretary General Mujica - alongside, Pascal Lamy, former WTO Director-General; Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Trade; David Shark, Deputy Director-General of the WTO; and other high level panelists - highlighted how Customs can set an example to promote “clean” trade and also set out the steps envisaged for the future. 

He shared the WCO approach to integrity enhancement in Customs and drew attention to the WCO’s integrity tools, in particular the Revised Arusha Declaration, also emphasizing the importance of capacity building to achieve greater integrity.

Referring to the integrity measures advocated by the WCO, Mr. Mujica highlighted that placing the focus on human resource management and people was essential to achieve genuine and lasting results.  He also emphasized that, for anti-corruption policies to be successful, it was necessary to adopt a whole-of-government approach. He shared examples of WCO Members which had successfully implemented anti-corruption measures, including through the use of performance measurement and partnership with the private sector.

Later in the Forum, the WCO Integrity Sub-Committee (ISC) Chair, Mrs. Sigfridur Gunnlaugsdottir participated in a panel entitled “Clearing Customs of Corruption” and shared some of the recent outcomes of the 15th Session of the ISC. She spoke as the voice of Customs to demonstrate that the Customs community and the WCO were active in concretely promoting integrity in Customs.

The WCO also had the opportunity to present the brochure entitled “The Why and How of Performance Measurement Contracts” in the context of its approach to combating corruption.