The World Scout Committee (WSC) met in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 29 September to 1 October for its second regular business meeting of the year.

The business part of the WSC meeting began with a biannual report from WOSM’s Secretary General covering the period from April to September 2023. The Secretary General’s report featured updates on the following topics:

  • Progress on the delivery of the World Triennial Plan 2021-2024 through the coordination of 30 projects that are completed or on track within the Operational Framework involving 210 volunteers to support National Scout Organizations (NSOs). A detailed update about the Plan’s progress half-way through the triennium can be found in the published Midterm Review Report.
     
  • An increase in membership from the 2022 Census compared to 2021, with a forecasted membership growth of 5.4% globally in 2023 based on early census submissions, indicating a full membership recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Scoutisme Congolais also joined the Movement in the past period becoming our 174th Member Organization. 
     
  • Delivery of recent World and Regional events, including joining Kandersteg International Scout Centre (KISC) for the Kander 100 celebrations, 1st Africa Scout Moot, International Leadership Training (ILT) in the Arab Region, and the 25th World Scout Jamboree. Over the past weeks, the WSC has reviewed the events associated with the Jamboree. The WSC has moved swiftly to establish a Panel of Experts that has now been appointed to conduct a thorough independent internal review of the planning and delivery of the Jamboree, and to provide a report to the WSC in the first quarter of 2024. The WSC and World Scout Bureau will extend the necessary support to ensure that all learnings and lessons from the Jamboree are integrated to strengthen the event for the future.
     
  • An update on WOSM Services, including the ongoing delivery of 127 new services over the past period, and training of 135 new WOSM Consultants in consultancy and technical skills. A new WOSM Services area on Treehouse is also available to improve the experience of NSOs to request services and support, and access resources through the online Learning Zone library.
     
  • Celebrating the success of the Scouts for SDGs initiatives and the outcomes of the external evaluation, which highlighted that 164 NSOs have integrated programming related to sustainable development into their Youth Programme, and that Scouts have contributed nearly 3 billion community service hours towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A new Scouts for SDGs hub is now live to support young people to mobilise around the Global Goals, and a recently published evaluation report highlights the impact over the past five years of Scouts for SDGs, including our partnership with Alwaleed Philanthropies. 
     
  • Our focus on supporting NSOs to strengthen their child and youth safeguarding policies, structures and procedures, and meet the Safe from Harm requirements for WOSM membership. It is mandatory for all Member Organizations to conduct and submit a Safe from Harm Self-Assessment as part of the annual reporting process. The Safe from Harm Guidelines and a digital tool is available to support NSO leadership to assess their organisations against international standards for child and youth safety, and submit their reports online. 
     
  • An upgraded version of the Global Support Assessment Tool (GSAT) and accompanying Guidelines is also accessible to enable NSOs to meet global standards for quality Scouting and accountability. A total of 38 assessors in GSAT and Safe from Harm have now been trained to deliver more services and support to NSOs. 
     
  • Launch of the new Scout Donation Platform together with the World Scout Foundation (WSF) as our go-to platform for Scouts to raise funds community-based projects, and for NSOs to solicit donations for large-scale humanitarian response efforts. A new and improved model for managing and overseeing grant management called World Scouting Grants is also now being implemented to continue to support NSOs with funding opportunities. 
     
  • The increased work supporting humanitarian action, including the convening of the WeAct Forum together with UNICEF in Krakow, Poland, brought together Scouts and representatives from humanitarian organisations to strengthen Scouting’s preparedness and humanitarian action across our Movement. During the past period we supported NSOs in Türkiye, Syria, Madagascar, Morocco, and Libya with their humanitarian relief efforts in response to the devastation caused by natural disasters impacting these countries. 
     
  • Welcoming the development of a new business development and resource mobilisation strategy designed to create a more sustainable, diverse and predictable income model for WOSM. A second phase of the Global Youth Mobilization, powered by a new partnership between the Big Six Youth Organizations and European Commission, will soon announce a EUR 10 million investment to unlock micro-financing for young people to drive youth-led change in communities around the world.
     
  • An update on our partnerships and advocacy work which took centre stage during the recent events, including the United Nations General Assembly where Scouting’s leadership and Youth Representatives were present to call for urgent action and accountability from decision-makers to make meaningful progress towards achieving the SDGs.
     
  • The creation of a new WOSM Service focused on social impact with WOSM Consultants available to support NSOs to conduct social impact studies, and new resources that will soon be developed to enable better data collection, and monitoring and evaluation of Scouting’s impact. 

Following a comprehensive research phase for the development of the new Strategy for Scouting beyond 2023, and an engaging workshop in Germany with representatives from NSOs and WOSM structures, the World Scout Committee released the first draft of the next Strategy for Scouting, inviting feedback from Member Organizations by 1 November through a variety of mechanisms to gather input. Work continues for the development of the new Strategy over the coming period by incorporating the feedback received from NSOs. A holistic review of key policies related to the Youth Programme, Youth Involvement and Adults in Scouting will take place in the next triennium to align with the work of the next Strategy. 

In addition, the WSC received an update on the outcomes of the Eurasia Contact Group work, and the collaboration between the Eurasia, Asia-Pacific and European Support Centres to phase out the Eurasia Scout Region by wrapping up the many legal, financial, operational, and governance elements of work in the Region.

 

Eurasia Region

 

The transition, which took effect on 1 October 2023, marks a unique moment for our Movement, and expands the current geographic boundaries of the Asia-Pacific Scout Region to now include the countries of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan; and for the Europe Scout Region to now include the countries of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. The Committee extended its thanks to the Eurasia Regional Scout Committee and staff of the Eurasia Support Centre for their efforts to facilitate the transition. 

The WSC also received briefings from the Regions and World Scout Foundation, and took decisions on a range of other topics, including:

  • A review of WOSM’s financial situation, approval of the 2023-2024 budget, and update on the WOSM registration fee model as a follow-up to Resolution 2021-02, including exploring the option of a fee adjustment proposal.
     
  • A review of WOSM’s risk register covering a number of considerations related to the areas of finance, operations, world events, and Safe from Harm.
     
  • An update on the open tendering process and early research work to modernise the World Scout brand strategy, narrative and visual identity in line with the priorities for the next Strategy for Scouting. The WSC also received an overview of the international tendering process with NSOs and external vendors to license the World Scout brand and manage the World Scout Shop.
     
  • Following up on the resolution from the 42nd World Scout Conference, the WSC approved the content of a Climate Impact Strategy for guiding WOSM operations to achieve climate neutrality at latest by 2033.
     
  • An update on growth and membership trends looking at the early submissions for the 2022 WOSM census, and a progress update on the potential membership applications of Mali, Central African Republic and Albania.
     
  • Key measures to continue promoting youth engagement in decision-making across the Movement and strengthening youth leadership within the WSC beyond the current Youth Advisor system. The final report related to this work will be published soon responding to the World Scout Conference Resolution 2021-07. 
     
  • A review of the process for draft resolutions and any potential constitutional amendments for the 43rd World Scout Conference, and proposed changes to strengthen the Conference Rules of Procedure which will soon be communicated to NSOs.
     
  • The WSC approved to grant the World Scout Parliamentary Union (WSPU) as an organisation with consultative status with the WSC.
     
  • Updates on the ongoing preparations for upcoming World Scout events, including the programmes for the 66th JOTA-JOTI and 4th World Scout Education Congress (France), as well as the programme concept, participant experience and theme “A New Adventure” for the 43rd World Scout Conference (Egypt). The WSC also received status updates from the Hosts of the Conference, 17th World Scout Moot (Portugal), and 26th World Scout Jamboree (Poland).

Regarding future World Scout events, the WSC has approved the bids from the Rwanda Scouts Association (Rwanda) and The Scout Association (United Kingdom) to host the 44th World Scout Conference in 2027. These bids will be forwarded for consideration by the 43rd World Scout Conference in 2024 in Egypt.

 

PPM & WSC

 

The bids for the World Scout Jamboree and World Scout Moot, as educational events, will be considered at the WSC's meeting in March 2024 after reflecting the learnings and outcomes of the Panel of Experts reviewing the 25th World Scout Jamboree. 

Therefore, the WSC has noted two potential bids, but postponed the final decision until March 2024 for the 17th World Scout Moot in 2029. The bids noted by the WSC are from Azerbaycan Skautlar Assosiasiyasi (Azerbaijan) and The General Association of the Scouts of China (Scouts of China). 

Similarly, the WSC has noted two potential bids, but postponed the final decision until March 2024 for the 27th World Scout Jamboree in 2031. The first bid noted by the WSC is by The Danish Scout Council (Denmark). The second bid is presented by an alliance consisting of the Bangladesh Scouts (Bangladesh), Asociación de Scouts del Ecuador (Ecuador), Egyptian Scout Federation (Egypt), The Kenya Scouts Association (Kenya), National Organization of Scouts of Ukraine (Ukraine) and the Boy Scouts of America (United States of America). This bid proposes the Jamboree to be held in the United States of America.

All approved bids and the potential bids noted by the WSC are fully governed under the Code of Conduct for bidding for World Events, effective immediately. 

The WSC agreed to convene its next business meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 22 - 24 March 2024.

On behalf of the entire WSC, together, we are pleased to share this comprehensive update from our recent meeting, and look forward to sharing more updates with NSO leadership at the upcoming NSO Town Hall on 8 October, as well as through ScoutPak and our Treehouse members community. 

Yours in Scouting,

 

Andy Chapman
Chairperson 
World Scout Committee