Ministerial Meeting 2018: Multilateralism that leaves no-one behind


Item 7: Multilateralism that leaves no-one behind: working together to build inclusive societies and enhance well-being

Thursday 31 May 2018 - 10:00


Against the backdrop of the long-term rise in inequality in a large number of countries, and the human, social and economic consequences of this trend, discussions will focus on how governments and citizens can work together to foster strong economic growth, build more inclusive societies, and develop policies that enhance well-being.


Breakout group 1. Well-being: sharing best practice to deliver an economy of opportunity

Governments are increasingly interested to move beyond pure economic measures to assess performance and progress towards other measures that relate to the non-material well-being of their citizens. Policy makers are considering how their work will impact not only on GDP, but also on natural, social, and human capital, and its fair distribution. 

Over the last decade, many OECD countries have developed well-being frameworks and indicators. The session will discuss how these are being used to inform policy decisions – and in which parts of government, what difference do these frameworks and indicators make in how policy options are appraised and later evaluated, and what tools governments can develop to help embed these frameworks more fully in their decision-making processes.

The breakout group discussed the following:

  • In your experience, what characterises prosperity in an economy, apart from a strong GDP growth?

  • How can we assess the impacts of policy choices, so as to maximise their contribution to multi-dimensional well-being? Where are there links between policies in different fields and how do we benefit from them?

  • How can multi-lateral cooperation support a process of mutual learning from country-experiences in this field? How can the OECD support the national implementation strategies that member countries are putting in place to meet their SDG commitments and achieve well-being?

Breakout group 2.  Multilateralism that leaves no-one behind

Analysis and research by the OECD shows that while there are significant and demonstrable benefits from the global exchange of goods, capital, people, and ideas, those benefits do not accrue universally, and so enhancing well-being for all is not an automatic result of economic growth.

Specific policies are needed to meet the challenges and leverage the opportunities of globalisation and the digitalisation of the economy, as well as to reach a better share out of the gains of globalisation and to help ensure that they create opportunities for all. Tackling persistent gaps related to gender, ethnicity, age, migration, and all forms of disadvantage, as well as differences among regions – some of which have arisen as jobs and tasks shift among regions and economies - will require proactive, creative, and persistent intervention to make a difference. 


The breakout group discussed the following:

  • What domestic policies are most effective in creating equality of opportunity and outcomes for different groups and regions, including the most deprived?

  • Where is there a role for international cooperation and/or policy-making? What issues should we prioritise for multilateral action? How to promote greater coherence between domestic and international policies?

  • What fundamental themes, whether they relate to national policies or to international policies, should be discussed in greater depth in multilateral discussions to promote inclusive growth?

Breakout group 3. – Multilateralism for inclusive growth: Ensuring a whole of government perspective on multilateralism that promotes inclusive growth

The discussions in this session will take a step back and consider how to build a multilateral agenda that promotes both productivity growth and inclusiveness in a world of interconnected economies.

The session will try to address how multilateral actions can better support domestic policies, or improve international standards in order to promote inclusive growth in a more coherent manner.

The session will discuss the international barriers that may undermine this approach, either at the national level or at the international level.

This breakout group will also assess the current and future importance of tax and social protection, future of work, displaced workers, SMEs, health, regional development, quality infrastructure, housing, children’s welfare, and the influence of the financial sector on growth and equity.

The breakout group discussed the following:

  • How can we overcome institutional barriers towards the promotion of a multilateral action to better tackle social issues? Are governments well-equipped at the domestic level for such an approach?

  • What fundamental themes, whether they relate to national policies or to international cooperation, should be considered in greater depth in multilateral discussions to promote inclusive growth and sustainable development? Is there a need to reprioritise multilateral discussions in order to favour both strong productivity growth and inclusiveness?

  • In what ways can the OECD better assist Members in tackling domestic issues related to equality of opportunities and inclusive growth?



  • Framework on Policy Action for Inclusive Growth
    For reference: C/MIN(2018)5

  • Going Digital in a Multilateral World - An interim report to Ministers
    For reference: C/MIN(2018)6

  • Good Jobs for All in a Changing World of Work: the OECD Jobs Strategy
    For reference: C/MIN(2018)7




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