The WCO kicks off regional consultations on the next Strategic Plan

16 September 2021

On 13 and 14 September, the WCO launched its cycle of consultations with Members on the next Strategic Plan, starting with the West and Central Africa (WCA) Region. This new round of consultations is a direct follow-up to the work initiated in 2020 on the Environmental Scan, which was endorsed by the Policy Commission and Council in June 2021.

The WCA Regional Consultation was jointly chaired by the Vice-Chair of the WCA Region from the Republic of Congo, and the WCO Deputy Secretary General. Around 35 participants attended the meeting, which was held virtually.

In his introductory remarks, Mr. Guénolé M'Bongo Koumou, Vice-Chair of the WCA Region, welcomed the outcomes of the Environmental Scan. He pointed out that the task of the WCO was now to reflect on what measures should be taken in order to reach its desirable futures, bearing in mind the risks surrounding the Organization and requiring the establishment of an appropriate risk culture if they were to be properly addressed. Mr. Ricardo Treviño Chapa, WCO Deputy Secretary General, explained that the analysis provided by the Environmental Scan was comprehensive and included many aspects, which now needed to be operationalized and turned into a set of limited and concrete priorities and targets.

On the basis of the lessons learnt from the implementation of the Strategic Plan 2019-2022, the participants held discussions and exchanged views on the features that the next Strategic Plan should include. They particularly highlighted the fact that the Strategic Plan was the policy compass of the Organization and should be fully used to provide clear strategic orientations at multiple levels for the WCO, not only regarding its technical core business, but also its governance and future-proofing.

A dedicated session was also conducted on setting clear and concrete WCA priorities for the years to come. These selected priorities were taken on board by the Secretariat, which will compile the inputs from all the Regions once consultations have taken place and present an overview of the outcomes to the Policy Commission, for further guidance and decision.

The establishment of the new WCO Strategic Plan will result from these consultations, using the same approach as for the previous strategy and the Environmental Scan. Full involvement of Members has proven to be an invaluable asset in drafting these documents and in making sure that the entire WCO is working towards the same objectives and sharing the same vision.