The 23rd Session of the WCO Integrity Sub-Committee provides new perspectives for Members fighting corruption

28 February 2024

The 23rd session of the WCO Integrity Sub-Committee (ISC) was held in hybrid format from 26 to 27 February 2024. The session was chaired by Mr. Marcelin Djeuwo from Cameroon Customs.  It attracted the participation of over 300 delegates representing 111 WCO Members worldwide. WCO development partners, academia and other stakeholders also attended the meeting.

In his opening address, Mr. Taeil Kang, WCO Director of Capacity Building, extended a warm welcome to the delegates, emphasizing the Sub-Committee's pivotal role as an essential forum for the exchange of knowledge and best practices and pioneering strategies aimed at fostering a resilient and corruption-resistant Customs community.

The Director highlighted the importance of collaboration within Customs and between Customs and other entities in addressing the escalating challenges posed by increasingly complex and widespread threats from transnational organized crime groups that undermine global systems. He underscored the significance of adopting new and innovative tools in combating corruption, including using the WCO’s Performance Measurement Mechanism and implementing Artificial Intelligence technologies.

Dr. Daniel Eriksson, Chief Executive Officer of Transparency International, delivered the keynote address. Dr. Eriksson referred to the WCO theme for 2024, “Customs engaging traditional and new partners with purpose,” highlighting the critical role NGOs and civil society can play in supporting Customs’ fight against corruption.

In addition to covering the topics highlighted by Director Kang, this 23rd session of the ISC also allowed Members to review the ISC Work Programme and flag the importance of ensuring that sufficient resources remain available to support the WCO’s work on integrity.

The session also delved into the how integrity strategies can link action and impact across various levels, encompassing internal dynamics within Customs organizations and their broader organizational, national, and international strategic frameworks.

The Sub-Committee session also took note of recent collaborative initiatives between Customs and the private sector aimed at combating corruption. These initiatives included engagements with the WCO Private Sector Consultative Group and Members’ sharing of specific national experiences, offering a diverse perspective on the global effort to address corruption within the Customs environment.

At the end of the session, Mr. Alvaro Fernandes, from the Customs Administration of Spain, and Mr. Michel Lafleur, from the Canada Border Services Agency, were elected as the Chairperson and the Vice-Chairperson, respectively, for the next ISC session, scheduled for 2025.

The Secretariat will provide information on the date and place for the Committee’s next session later.

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