Seoul, Korea, 19 October 2017
(As prepared for delivery)
Mayor Park, Mayors, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to be here today to launch yet another important initiative that strengthens our partnership and brings us closer to creating the inclusive cities that we strive for.
Since we launched the OECD Champion Mayors for Inclusive Growth initiative last year, more than 50 mayors from around the world have joined our global coalition to tackle rising inequalities in cities.
By signing on to the “New York Proposal”, Champion Mayors pledged to work together towards more inclusive cities through four policy domains: education; labour markets and skills; housing and the urban environment; and, infrastructure and public services.
We moved forward with the “Paris Action Plan”, by agreeing to a series of concrete actions. In particular, Mayors recognised that inequalities and climate change must be addressed simultaneously to ensure that growth is both inclusive and sustainable.
And given the role of small business towards a more inclusive economy, the Paris Action Plan also acknowledged the role cities must play to promote policies to support SMEs and expand opportunities for entrepreneurship.
Today, I am pleased to join Mayor Park and all Champion Mayors, along with leaders from our Supporting Institutions, to launch the “Seoul Implementation Agenda”.
This Agenda focuses on the implementation of the two dimensions of the Paris Action Plan: bridging efforts around climate change and inclusive growth; and supporting small businesses in view of a more inclusive local economy.
Crucially, the Seoul Implementation Agenda focuses on people-centred policies. It recognises that climate policies must not only help us transition towards a low-carbon future – they must also ensure that this transition is “just”. This means protecting the most vulnerable among us, who suffer disproportionately from a changing climate.
It is also about levelling the playing field. Cities can help to ensure that firms of all sizes and people from all backgrounds contribute to and benefit from economic growth.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Looking ahead, the challenges are many. But together with you, Champion Mayors, we will continue to share ideas and track progress towards more Inclusive Growth. You can count on the OECD’s support!
Thank you for your continued commitment to our inclusive cities and our inclusive future.