WCO Strategic Plan 2019/2022: Consultation with the Americas and Caribbean region

The WCO held a workshop for the Americas and Caribbean region in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, on 9 and 10 October 2018 to gather Members’ views for the development of the WCO Strategic Plan 2019-2022.  This is the second in a series of workshops being organized by the WCO Secretariat, as part of a consultation process approved by the WCO Council at its June 2018 Session.

The objective of the workshops is to collect Members’ suggestions from the six WCO regions regarding the priorities that need to be reflected in the new WCO Strategic Plan (2019-2022) and to ponder on the Strategic Goals and activities that should guide the Secretariat’s work for the coming years. 

The workshop in Santo Domingo saw participation by 23 countries from the region, coming together to share views on the shape of the new Strategic Goals for the next few years and the tactical activities geared to achieving the Organization’s objectives.  The workshop was chaired by Mr. Ricardo Treviño Chapa, WCO Deputy Secretary General, and Mr. Enrique Ramirez, Director General of Dominican Republic Customs and Vice-Chair of the WCO Council for the region. 

In his opening remarks, the Deputy Secretary General underscored the importance of the WCO Strategic Plan, reminding participants that it is a high-level policy document guiding the Organization’s activities while, at the same time, enabling Members to follow-up on the progress of the Secretariat’s work.  He presented the results of the survey carried out by the Secretariat to determine which activities Members considered as priorities, shared an analysis based on cost allocation per Strategic Goal and also discussed the “Environmental Scan” for the Customs community, as prepared by the Secretariat.  Deputy Secretary General Treviño Chapa then submitted an initial proposal for a new Strategic Map, including priorities tailored to different levels of operational, managerial and strategic needs.  The Vice-Chair also presented the Regional Strategic Map.

Members’ representatives participated very actively in the discussions.  Their suggestions were noted and will be taken on board when drafting the new Strategic Plan, along with input to be collected during the upcoming four regional workshops as well as that already collected during the first regional workshop held a few weeks ago. 

Some of the concerns raised by Members related to the importance of capacity building, the use of technology, and the cross-cutting nature of these issues which form the core of many WCO activities and recommended practices.  Moreover, the significance of updating the Mission and Vision Statements was discussed and new wording will be proposed as part of the draft Strategic Plan to be presented at the December 2018 Policy Commission Session in Mumbai, India. 

By organizing these regional workshops, the WCO Secretariat is fulfilling its obligations in terms of transparency and also with regard to its mandate as a Member-driven organization, ensuring that its Members’ views are incorporated in the WCO Strategic Plan 2019-2022.