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Successful WCO Policy Commission session held in Bahrain

07 décembre 2022

At the kind invitation of the Government of Bahrain, the WCO Policy Commission held its 87th Session in Manama, from 5 to 7 December 2022, under the chairmanship of Mr. Ahmed Al Khalifa, President of Bahrain Customs.

The meeting was opened by His Excellency Shaikh Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, Minister of Interior of the Kingdom of Bahrain, who warmly welcomed the delegates.  The Minister emphasized the value of the work of the WCO, acknowledging the important contribution of Customs in ensuring the sustainable recovery of global supply chains, particularly after the COVID-19 pandemic. He praised the Organization’s ongoing efforts towards strengthening security and combating cross-border crime, and recognized the WCO’s role in promoting international cooperation.

WCO Secretary General Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, and the Council Chairperson, Mr. Ahmed Al Khalifa, also addressed the delegates and expressed their satisfaction regarding the important work accomplished by the Policy Commission at its preceding session by focusing on core Customs technical matters.  They also recognized the valuable support provided by the six regional Vice-Chairs, as well as the Chairs of the Audit and Finance Committees. 

During the three-day meeting, the Policy Commission discussed a wide range of topics, including Green Customs, the evolution towards hybrid Customs administrations, the WCO Data Strategy, Fragile Borders, illicit trade and the work of other international organizations, and Gender Equality and Diversity.

Additionally, the delegates discussed the Strategic Plan and the activities to be captured in the Implementation Plan for 2023/2024, as well as the financial perspectives of the Organization in the years to come.

The Policy Commission also deliberated on important governance topics, with emphasis on the development of a WCO Modernization Plan which would pave the way for further innovations within the Organization to continue advancing its important mission and to better respond to Members’ diverse needs.  With this future-oriented agenda in mind, the WCO theme for 2023 was highlighted - Nurturing the next generation: promoting a culture of knowledge-sharing and professional pride in Customs.

In the margins of the Session, Policy Commission representatives including the Secretary General, the Deputy Secretary General and the six Regional Vice-Chairs joined the Chairperson of the Council in a visit to His Royal Highness Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Bahrain.  His Royal Highness welcomed delegates and recognized the heightened significance of Customs role in securing and facilitating trade.

At the end of the Session, Policy Commission delegates expressed their sincere gratitude to Bahrain Customs officials for their warm hospitality and for the outstanding organization of this very successful meeting.