Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Affairs

OECD’s Gurría welcomes G7 move to establish set of ethical principles on global business


16/02/2009 - OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría has welcomed the decision by G7 Finance Ministers to work towards setting up a set of common principles on integrity, transparency and propriety in global financial and business transactions.

“A stronger, fairer and cleaner world economy can only be achieved if all countries share a core set of policy principles,” said Mr Gurría. Speaking after meeting G7 finance ministers in Rome on 13 and 14 February 2009, Mr Gurría said the financial crisis had exposed the need for both more effective international regulation and a greater ethical dimension to global business.

The mandate from finance ministers is based on a proposal for a ‘global standard’ of principles by Italian Economy and Finance Minister Giulio Tremonti. As the initial building blocks for the core principles, Mr Tremonti pointed to instruments, signed by OECD governments and by a number of non-member countries, covering bribery, corporate governance, responsible business conduct, money laundering and taxes.

Mr Gurría said: “Over the past 15 years, together with its member countries and many other players in the global economy, the OECD has developed a dense, far-reaching and comprehensive set of policy rules. Whether legally binding, in the form of ‘soft law’ or as recommendations, they provide best practices for policy makers.”  See here for full speech.

The OECD will be looking at existing legal instruments, guidelines and conventions in the coming months to see if they need to be improved or extended.

“We have to review some of the instruments in the light of the crisis.  How can we increase their compatibility and coherence?  What needs to be improved for more stringent implementation?  How can we establish a strong unified monitoring mechanism?”  Mr Gurría added.

The G7 communique says finance ministers “have asked deputies to prepare, in consultation with other partners, a progress report in four months on developing an agreed set of common principles and standards on propriety, integrity and transparency on international economic and financial activity.”

The key OECD instruments referred to by Mr Tremonti include the following:

  • The OECD has developed international standards for transparency and co-operation on taxation to counter tax abuse, particularly in tax havens and countries with strict bank secrecy.
  • The Financial Action Task Force engages a worldwide network to adhere to its recommendations to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

For further information on OECD work, journalists are invited to contact the OECD Media Division (tel: +33 1 4524 9700; mailto:


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