OECD Secretary-General

The Global Role of the OECD: The Case for Collective Action and Multilateralism in the post-COVID World, 15 December 2020


Remarks by Angel Gurría, Secretary-General, OECD

Paris, France, 15 December 2020

Dear friends,

Welcome to the Stakeholder’s Panel event to commemorate our 60th anniversary. The panel will focus on multilateralism and collective action in the post-COVID World, which is an issue of particular importance today, as the only way for us to defeat the virus, and to recover from this crisis, is to join forces, and to help each other.

We are meeting at a critical time. Even if in many countries there are signs of the COVID-19 curve flattening, containment measures remain strong in places, and the pandemic is far from over. Nevertheless, the latest news on vaccine development is very encouraging, and we are finally seeing a glimmer of hope, the possible light at the end of the tunnel.

For the time being, we still have to focus on recovery, because we are living side-by-side with the virus. Governments must continue to strengthen their support for businesses, workers and health systems. And international collaboration will be essential to ensure the mass production and widespread distribution of an affordable vaccine.

This pandemic has reminded us that no country alone can face such a threat. Global challenges demand global solutions. Throughout the past 60 years, the OECD has been working to help countries design a fairer, more inclusive, and therefore more effective, multilateralism. Since I came to the OECD, almost 15 years ago, we accelerated and amplified our efforts to build a more global, more open, more plural OECD.

We integrated more emerging economies into our membership, we launched an enhanced engagement strategy with six key partners, we strengthened and consolidated our expertise in developing countries, we engaged in an increasing number of tailor-made projects and joint initiatives in these countries. We diversified our work, our knowledge and our sensitivity. We became more agile, more useful, more relevant.

And now you can feel this plurality in the majority of our work streams and our daily efforts.

For example, we are strengthening international co-operation and levelling the playing field through our work on taxes with BEPS and AEOI; on responsible business with the OECD MNE Guidelines; on corruption with the Anti-Bribery Convention; and on education and skills with PISA, PIAAC and TALIS.

We are working closer than ever with global fora like the UN, G20, G7 and APEC to promote a multilateralism that delivers results in many areas: from investment, taxes and steel, to innovation, gender, oceans and plastics.

We are also working closer with Parliamentarians through our Global Parliamentary Network (GPN); and with subnational governments to promote more inclusive and resilient cities and regions through our global coalition of Champion Mayors for Inclusive Growth, chaired by the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo.

And we are actively working with non-OECD countries, notably through our Development Centre and our regional programmes, as well as in partnerships with other international and regional organisations.

Last but not least, we continue to engage with stakeholders beyond governments to exploit the power of collective action. Just yesterday, I signed Memoranda of Understanding with the EBRD and with the Council of Europe, as well as a Letter of Intent with the Secretary-General of Interpol, to further deepen our strategic co-operation with these major international organisations.

We are also working closely with our traditional partners, Business at OECD and TUAC, and engaging directly with business, trade unions and civil society leaders through the annual OECD Forum, our new Observatory of Civic Space, and through initiatives such as Business for Inclusive Growth (B4IG).

Dear friends,

Let’s make the most of the OECD’s 60th Anniversary. We stand with you all to build a stronger, greener, more inclusive and more resilient recovery.

Thank you.

I now give the floor to Minister González Laya who has kindly joined us to introduce this conversation.


Related Documents