The COVID-19 pandemic has unleashed the worst health, economic and social crisis in the 60-year history of the OECD. Governments around the world have put in place unprecedented measures to save lives and preserve livelihoods, trying to cushion the impact of the crisis on the economy, firms and workers, with a special focus on the most vulnerable. Alongside direct economic effects, and in a context of high uncertainty, the pandemic has highlighted and, in some cases exacerbated, other global challenges including inequalities and digital divides. Meanwhile, the world’s environmental challenges, including climate change, remain as pressing as ever. National governments have been at the forefront of response and recovery efforts, but the crisis has also underscored the need for stronger international co-operation to collaborate in the development and widespread distribution of treatments and vaccines, co-ordinate economic responses or promote greater resilience in global value chains, just to cite a few examples. While containing the virus remains a top priority for policy-makers, the recovery is also an opportunity not just to jumpstart growth and job creation but also to undertake transformative action to “build back better.”
Our 2020 Ministerial Council Meeting, chaired by Spain with Chile, Japan and New Zealand as vice-chairs, will gather Leaders and Ministers on 28-29 October in virtual format. It follows a series of preparatory ministerial roundtables and other events. Leaders and Ministers will discuss their priorities for domestic recovery plans and their expectations for international co-operation in support of a strong, resilient, green and inclusive recovery. They will also discuss the role that the OECD can play in supporting member and partner countries in these challenging times in policy areas ranging from macroeconomic policies, to employment and social protection, trade and investment or the actions needed for a green recovery.