On 7 and 8 February 2023, the WCO conducted its sixth and final regional consultation on WCO modernization with the Asia/Pacific (A/P) region. In his opening remarks, the regional Vice-Chair referred to many changes in the international operating environment, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic, requiring proper adaptation by the WCO in order to make the Organization a key influencer at global level. He welcomed the holding of regional consultations on these matters, highlighting the importance of taking stock of the WCO’s current position prior to developing a detailed strategy for its modernization. The participants from the A/P region focused in particular on the importance of ensuring a good balance between ambition and reality, especially taking into account the Organization’s limited resources. They reiterated the principles of a balanced approach when it came to implementing standardized or corporate mechanisms in many areas of the WCO’s operations. The approach should safeguard the agility and flexibility of the Organization’s overall structure while taking full account of regional realities and priorities. They also unanimously supported the idea that WCO modernization should drive the entire Organization towards better governance and stronger accountability, supported by enhanced transparency in its operations and procedures.
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