The WCO Career Development Programme for 2014/2015 ended successfully with a ceremony at which the eight Professional Associates were awarded certificates on their successful completion of the Programme. This ceremony was preceded by a reporting session during which the Professional Associates presented their research findings to the Secretary General and the management team of the WCO, as one of their achievements during their service at the WCO Secretariat in Brussels.
The Career Development Programme was launched in 2009 by the WCO, in cooperation with Japan Customs. It provides an opportunity for selected candidates to undertake work at the WCO Secretariat and has the following aims: to enable the persons selected to obtain knowledge, skills and international work experience; to develop and enhance networks among WCO Members and the Secretariat; to enhance the research activities of the WCO in order to support and assist the Secretariat in its mission and tasks; and to develop a pool of highly competent officials with expertise in WCO Member administrations.
Under the 2014/2015 Programme which commenced in September 2014, eight Customs officials — from Egypt, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Mozambique, Peru, Thailand, Togo and Turkey — worked at the WCO Secretariat on a number of WCO projects and activities. The participation of these Professional Associates enabled Members of the Organization to enhance their communication with the Secretariat and also served to add to the diversity of the Secretariat’s staff.
At the end of the Programme, WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya congratulated the officials on their completed research tasks and expressed appreciation for the contribution they had made to the WCO over the past 10 months. He also emphasized that each Professional Associate is expected to keep «connected» with the WCO Secretariat and to be a contact point after returning to his/her home administration, as this would contribute positively to knowledge sharing. Furthermore, he hoped that the Professional Associates would continue to make efforts to liaise with other WCO Members and regions in order to strengthen the global Customs network.