The World Scout Committee (WSC) met for its 5th and penultimate regular meeting from 23 to 25 September 2016 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It was a historic meeting as it is the first time a regular WSC Meeting was being held in Africa.
On the occasion, a joint Africa Scout Committee (ASC) and WSC meeting was held on the morning of the first day. With nearly 50 people in that joint session, there was a lot of positive energy in discussions on how to further strengthen Scouting in Sub-Saharan Africa. Discussions revolved around achieving the full potential of this fast growing Region and concrete steps were agreed upon for the future.
After the joint meeting, the WSC continued with its regular Meeting which was attended by 19 WSC Members, 5 Youth Advisors and World Scout Bureau (WSB) staff members. The Committee welcomed the newly elected Regional Chairperson from Europe, Kevin Camilleri.
Triennial Plan and outputs from operational structures
After the Mid-term Review done at the previous WSC Meeting in Kuala Lumpur (March 2016), the WSC and its sub-structures have progressed further and the various Work Streams and other teams presented their progress updates.
Here are some specific outcomes where key decisions were taken at this Meeting:
- Vision 2023 Meta-indicators: The Strategy Monitoring Group has developed 16 Meta-indicators to help WOSM track progress towards achieving Vision 2023 under the following four Meta-indicator groups: Influence, Growth, Social Impact and Unity. For each Meta-indicator, the ownership under current operational structures of the WSC and a “measurement method” have been defined. These Meta-indicators will be measured at the middle and end of each Triennium going forward.
- Triennial Plan 2017-2020 – Planning process: Following the successful process followed in the previous Triennium, Conference Resolution 2014-07 recommended that a similar approach be followed with the incorporation of lessons learnt during the previous process. A detailed planning process with timelines has been developed, defining the methods, resources, and stakeholders to be involved.
- List of Constitutional amendments: Although there is still time to finalise the proposed Constitutional amendments, in order to ensure a proper consultative process, an overview of proposed changes to the WOSM Constitution (from those that are already clear) were discussed. These agreed items will be further developed by the Constitutions Committee and the finalised amendments will be considered by the WSC at its next Meeting for recommendation to the World Scout Conference in Azerbaijan (August 2017).
- WSC decisions’ impact on budget: The Finance Committee’s proposal that recommendations for decisions by the WSC should include a section on “budget implication” was endorsed. A short check-list has been developed to be included as a template while presenting any proposal for decision by the WSC. This move is expected to help make decisions which are financially sound and well thought through in terms of resource implications.
The WSC received with interest a detailed report on the current status of the new WOSM Strategy for Communications & External Relations which is now being consulted upon with the NSOs.
The Standing Committees and the Task Forces (Duty to God, Vision 2023 and Fees and Voting) presented key updates on tasks being developed by their teams. The WSC decided to endorse the suggestion from the Fees and Voting Task Force to retain the existing Voting System as the findings showed that a vast majority of NSOs are happy with the current one. The three Task Forces will present final proposals from their work and findings at the next WSC Meeting.
The WSC received an update on the financial situation for the year 2015-2016. A balanced budget for WSB’s operations for 2016-2017 was approved by the WSC. The highly proclaimed WOSM Financial Best Practices approved at the WSC Meeting in Baku (October 2015) was amended to further improve on certain aspects. Following the decision of the current WOSM treasurer, Olivier Dunant (Switzerland), to step down from the position, the WSC approved the appointment of Joseph Lau (Hong Kong) to fill that vacancy.
41st World Scout Conference and 13th World Scout Youth Forum, Azerbaijan (August 2017)
Apart from receiving a general overview of the progress and preparations, the Theme (Together for Positive Change) and draft Programme for the 41st World Scout Conference were endorsed by the WSC. Another important decision taken by the WSC was on innovating and improving WOSM’s institutional decision making processes. The significant impact of this decision will be around the submission of Resolutions, which will need to be made in advance of the World Scout Conference. This decision was taken following a study on the governance process of several large international NGOs (similar to WOSM).
Based on the above decision on changing WOSM’s institutional decision making processes, the amended Rules of Procedure was endorsed by the WSC, for further approval by NSOs through postal ballot, as foreseen by the WOSM Constitution. The NSOs will be closely supported through the change process, especially by the Regions. Communications regarding these changes with clear timelines and explanations will be sent to all NSOs well in advance.
The Youth Forum planning committee presented an update on the progress achieved so far.
The budget for the 2nd World Scout Education Congress (May 2017, Kandersteg, Switzerland) was discussed and endorsed. Potential candidates for the 2020 World Scout Conference were discussed and potential candidates for the 2023 World Scout Jamboree, Korea and Poland, were endorsed. The Fee levels and structure for the 2019 World Scout Jamboree were approved. A progress update on JOTA-JOTI was received. For the 15th World Scout Moot, the WSC noted with joy the high level of interest for the event. With more than 5000 participants expected, it will make this Moot the biggest ever organised by WOSM.
Membership and Regions
Membership remained a key focus area for the WSC. The dashboard for potential member NSOs for WOSM, status updates on ongoing membership applications and census updates were also discussed. The WSC noted with joy that a few more organisations are getting ready to become members of WOSM between now and the end of the Triennium. Updates were presented on the work being done on WOSM’s membership criteria by the Constitutions Committee. The upcoming Regional Conferences will provide a key opportunity to discuss the proposed new membership criteria.
To continue on the work being done to strengthen WSC’s support to Regions, three Regional Chairpersons were invited to present updates on developments in the Regions. Each presentation was followed by a detailed interaction with the WSC.
Other key items discussed
Progress on the work being done to implement the Resolutions from the World Scout Conference in 2014 were reviewed as a joint exercise by the WSC. It was observed that a vast majority of the tasks assigned were on track to be completed before the World Conference next year.
As a follow up on the discussion at the ASC-WSC meeting, a joint contact group from the two Committees including relevant staff support has been created, to follow up on the next steps. The group will present a report for the consideration of the next WSC Meeting.
Seminar style discussions were conducted and inputs obtained on Youth Participation, Scout Method and Safe From Harm. Trainings were conducted for the WSC Members on managing communications especially in using the social media and understanding crisis communications and on PESTLE Analysis, particularly to be used during the development of the Triennial Plan 2017-2020.
The WSC also discussed and reviewed its own Charter (and its implementation) and made observations on items that could be further improved upon. To help everyone in the WSC to participate effectively, ensuring more discussions in buzz-groups were suggested as a better way than addressing most items in the plenary.
Updates were provided on progress with Secretary General’s (SG) succession process.
A special word of thanks is due, to Wayne Davis, chairperson of the Africa Regional Committee and, to Ethiopia Scouts Association, for making this meeting possible. We also had an opportunity to celebrate the Cub Scouts Centenary Year (2016) with local Cub Scouts who came to visit the participants during a coffee beak.
It was the last meeting for the Secretary General (SG) of WOSM, Scott Teare, who will retire soon. The SG received a well-deserved standing ovation from the Committee for his dedicated efforts over the last four years in the service of WOSM. The Treasurer of WOSM, Olivier Dunant, was thanked for his service in the WSC. Three outgoing Regional Chairpersons, Irina Pruitze (Eurasia), Leonardo Morales (Interamerica) and Youssef Khaddage (Arab) were also thanked for their active participation in the WSC.
With less than a year to go to the World Scout Conference in Azerbaijan (August 2017), it is going to be a busy period ahead for the WSC and its substructures, in order to bring closures to all the initiatives and activities under the Triennial Plan 2014-2017. In case you have not had the opportunity to read this before, you can download “The Chairperson’s Letter, Two Years After (August 2016)”.
The outcomes and decisions from this WSC Meeting in Addis will no doubt provide direction and impetus for things to be done in the next six months. The next and final regular WSC Meeting for this Triennium (global level) will take place in Kuala Lumpur from 23 to 26 March 2017.
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Yours in Scouting,