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Chief Commissioner's Blog | Worldly progress

There are signs of progress being made with world Scouting, following the 40th World Scout Conference in Slovenia.

Slowly, slowly

Following the 39th World Scout Conference in Brazil in January 2011, I wrote about the challenges facing the World Organisation of the Scout Movement (WOSM) and particular elements of the ‘darker side’. I am pleased to say that good progress has been made over the past three and a half years, with much more focus on the support that WOSM can provide individual National Scout Organisations (NSOs) to help develop Scouting in much more practical ways.

Of course, some contentious issues remain, but progress, albeit sometimes slow, is being made in some of these areas, especially youth involvement and human rights. Some regional differences remain, such as voting rights and fees; these may yet be unsolvable without significant compromise.

Messengers of peace

The Messengers of Peace initiative is evolving too; we have previously expressed concern that the significant funds made available to the World Scout Foundation ($30m) were not being used to best effect to develop Scouting by building capacity within NSOs. It was good to learn then, that this too is changing with some funds at least being used to fund support for NSOs through the global support initiative and to strengthen the world bureau (infrastructure).

Grateful to those making it happen

I have noted before that WOSM can only be changed from within and it was great to see the achievements of our own John May – who has played a very central role in many of these changes in the role of Vice Chairman over the past 3 ½ years – being recognised.  Well done and many thanks, John. 

We are also delighted therefore that Craig Turpie was successfully elected to the World Scout Committee to carry the baton; we know that he too will play a key role in developing world Scouting.

The value of hosting world Scouting

It was good to be reminded too of the importance to NSOs of hosting such events, evidenced by the presence of the President of Slovenia at our opening ceremony and the excitement of Azerbaijan as they became the first Eurasia NSO to win a bid for a major world event (the next World Scout Conference). 

A special tribute also must go to the young Rover team at Scouting Ireland for winning a close race with Hungary to host the MOOT in 2021 following an amazing bid.  We very much look forward to working with them for what is an exciting opportunity for the whole of Ireland.

So while the need for some change still remains, all in all there are many encouraging signs for the future of our world organisation, thanks to the many people helping to make it happen.




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