The WCO celebrates the International Anti-Corruption Day 2020

09 December 2020

The WCO joins the international community to celebrate the International Anti-Corruption Day 2020, led by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), with the theme “RECOVER with INTEGRITY”.

This theme underpins the role of effective measures to combat corruption and instill inclusive Integrity practices during the recovery process following the COVID-19 pandemic. This celebration is an opportunity for Customs to highlight the inadvertent effects of the urgent COVID-19 mitigation responses taken by governments with regard to trade compliance.

“Accountability and transparency are key elements in the way trustful public institutions, including Customs, operate,” said WCO Secretary General, Dr. Kunio Mikuriya. “I am therefore calling upon collective actions in which Customs officials, the private sector and citizens unite in the fight against corruption,” he added.

Integrity and the fight against corruption are high on WCO agenda and, on this special day, the WCO would like to recall its key instruments to overcome these scourges. The WCO Arusha Declaration, first adopted in 1993, is the main WCO Instrument on Integrity in Customs. In 2003, WCO Members unanimously endorsed the Revised Arusha Declaration, which provides Customs administrations with a practical approach to anti-corruption policies and practices and aligns with many articles of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption also adopted in 2003.

The new WCO integrity e-learning module, recently launched on the CLiKC! Platform, is available for Customs officials to explore Customs’ institutional, managerial, and individual responses to corruption through the lens of the WCO Revised Arusha Declaration, and other WCO integrity-related tools and instruments. This module was developed under the WCO Anti-Corruption & Integrity Promotion (A-CIP) Programme, with the financial support of the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), which has been expanded to welcome six additional partner administrations.

Under this Programme, the Customs Integrity Perception Survey’s (CIPS) methodological guidelines have also been developed to provide guidance to WCO Members willing to conduct an integrity perception survey, which aims at gathering perceptions of Customs officials and private sector respondents’ on integrity in Customs.

In order to further support its Members, the WCO also hosts a new Integrity Webseries in which guest speakers from the WCO Secretariat and Members are invited to discuss issues related to the fight against corruption in Customs. Topics such as the measure of corruption and how to build a culture of integrity have been addressed. This complements the WCO Integrity Newsletter, informing on Members’ achievements and good practices in the area of anti-corruption.

Lastly, the WCO has also launched the Revised Arusha Declaration Implementation Resources centre, where Members can access all tools and instruments supporting the implementation of its ten key factors. The WCO will also keep engaging its Members on the topic of Integrity through its Gender Equality & Diversity (GED) Virtual Working Group (VWG), to share ideas on how Customs can integrate a gender perspective in their fight against corruption.

More Information on WCO Integrity-related initiatives: