Activities and Programmes

Activities of the WCO Secretariat on Integrity development

Following the first Global Integrity Forum held in the United States in 1999, the WCO created in 2001 the Integrity Sub-Committee, gathering each year in Brussels, testimony of customs’ dedication to the topic and their will to enhance cooperation with international organizations and to take concrete actions to address integrity issues. Discussions evolve around the role of internal affairs units, what the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement can bring in regard to integrity, how can integrity leverage opportunities for more security, or more recently - how measuring integrity in Customs can improve anti-corruption strategies.

The importance of the subject has been underlined by Member administrations and, as a result, the new WCO Strategic plan has incorporated Integrity as one of the key priorities for the years 2019-2022.

In October 2018, the WCO organized in Brussels its first Global Meeting of Integrity Experts where integrity experts of Member administrations enhanced their practical knowledge on the WCO integrity activities and familiarized themselves with the latest integrity instruments and tools. This annual meeting also aims to consolidate ideas for further review and update of the WCO’s main Integrity tools and instruments, taking into consideration emerging issues and new best practices.  Such initiative will support the growing need expressed by WCO Members in this area and is particularly relevant as the WCO launched in January 2019 its first programme dedicated to integrity.

The Anti-Corruption and Integrity Promotion (A-CIP) Programme for Customs, financed by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), is designed to improve the business environment for cross-border trade for a number of selected WCO members. Articulated around the Revised Arusha Declaration and other WCO integrity tools, it complements other initiatives such as the WCO Mercator Programme.

The WCO Secretariat held, in July 2019, a session of the Virtual Working Group for Gender Equality and Diversity dedicated to Integrity, underlining the importance of the Gender Equality Organizational Assessment Tool (GEOAT) and the Revised Arusha Declaration when it comes to gender and integrity. Participants from the WCO membership were invited to answer a questionnaire on their administrations’ efforts to include gender in their integrity strategy, and vice-versa; and later on to share their initiatives and good practices on the topic.

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