60th Anniversary of the OECD - Leaders’ Conversations concluding remarks, 14 December 2020

 

Concluding remarks by Angel Gurría,

Secretary-General, OECD

Paris, France, 14 December 2020

President Macron, President Sánchez, Distinguished guests:

To quote the Convention that was signed 60 years ago this day, the OECD was created in order “to achieve the highest sustainable economic growth and employment and a rising standard of living in Member countries”. We have come a long way since then and it is an aim we have pursued, tirelessly. Allow me briefly to show how.

Ten years ago, we were active supporting our Members with the Global Financial Crisis. Today, as we confront the worst health, economic and social crisis of our lifetimes, the OECD is once again on the frontlines of the global response, delivering facts, evidence, analysis and recommendations to support countries’ COVID-19 response efforts. As an example, we have produced around 170 policy briefs through our COVID-19 Digital Hub to provide tailored advice to policymakers on the crisis and the recovery.

The OECD has grown and evolved, to become more dynamic, more agile, more relevant, providing support to design, develop and deliver policy reforms and global standards, to address global challenges. We became more open, welcoming 8 new Members and generating requests for membership from six other countries to join the OECD since four years ago.

We became more human, putting people at the centre of economics and policymaking, and focusing on measuring well-being beyond GDP. Only last month, we launched the OECD Centre on Well-being, Inclusion, Sustainability and Equal Opportunity (WISE).

We also forged stronger links with the international community, and broadened our engagement with a wide range of stakeholders. Rather than a budget cost, we have become an enormous source of net revenue for our Members, with, for instance, making transparent 84 million bank accounts worth 10 trillion euros.

As we come to the end of this challenging year, the OECD’s New Year’s resolution will be to redouble its efforts to help countries build back better, delivering a strong, sustainable, resilient and inclusive recovery. As we enter the decade of action on the SDGs, we look forward to playing our part in buttressing multilateralism, the only instrument that can effectively address global challenges like climate change, digitalisation, ageing societies, migration and future pandemics.

Looking ahead, the OECD will remain a pathfinder, guided by three priorities:

First, spearheading economic progress based on efficiency, inclusiveness, resilience and sustainability.

Second, helping governments build a strong social contract between generations.

Third, addressing climate change by delivering on the Paris Agreement, tackling biodiversity loss, and halting environmental degradation. Our single, most important intergenerational responsibility, is to protect the planet.

We also need to need to respond to countries knocking on our door. For four years, we have been one sentence away from launching the next round of enlargement for six countries – Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Croatia, Peru and Romania. It’s time to agree on that one sentence we have missed. Let’s do it in early 2021!

Chers amis,

L'avenir de cette grande Organisation est entre vos mains. Elle vous appartient. Donnons à l’OCDE une chance de mieux représenter le monde d’aujourd’hui, et de continuer à concevoir, élaborer et mettre en œuvre de meilleures politiques pour une vie meilleure au cours des 60 prochaines années.

Merci.

 

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