2023 Ministerial Council Meeting: Press Conference, June 2023


Remarks by Mathias Cormann, Secretary-General, OECD

8 June 2023


This 2023 Ministerial Council Meeting on “Securing a resilient future: Shared values and global partnerships” has been a great success.

Over these past few days we benefited from the active participation of 840 delegates, representing 55 countries and the European Union, as well as Delegates representing a total of 8 Intergovernmental Organisations (ASEAN, the African Union Commission, the World Trade Organization, the European Free Trade Association, the World Bank, UNESCO, the International Labour Organization and the International Energy Agency) and representatives of BIAC and TUAC.

Delegations at this MCM included two Prime Ministers, two Deputy Prime Ministers and 50 Ministers.

A special thank you to our Chair, UK Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, [James] Cleverly.

As well as to our Vice-Chairs:

Costa Rica’s Minister of Foreign Trade [Manuel] Tovar.

And New Zealand’s Minister for Trade and Export Growth [Damien] O’Connor.

This is an uncertain time for our economies, our societies, and the global rules-based order.

The global economic outlook has begun to improve, albeit to a low growth recovery. Risks remain tilted to the downside, in particular due to Russia’s illegal war of aggression against Ukraine.

Geopolitical tensions and trade restrictions threaten to hold back growth and exacerbate economic vulnerabilities.

In this environment, policymakers must continue to make progress on long-term structural reform priorities, with respect to the digital and green transformations, and population aging.

Over the past two days we have advanced important priorities.

We were honoured to hear from Prime Minister [Denys] Shmyhal, and to sign the Ukraine Country Programme with him, which was developed in close cooperation with the government of Ukraine and reflects its reconstruction, recovery and reform priorities.

We discussed a new strategic framework for engagement with the Indo-Pacific, building on our strong cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and recognising the region’s strategic importance for global growth.

We advanced on the OECD-Africa Partnership, which aims to strengthen our collaboration with the African Union Commission and other African partners on an equal footing, with new objectives and a programme of work for 2023-2026.

And we discussed the progress being made by Brazil, Bulgaria, Croatia, Peru and Romania on the positive transformative journey to membership in the OECD - with Accession Reviews for each of these countries entering the technical phase.

In line with our role as a global standard-setter, we adopted twelve new or updated OECD legal instruments at this meeting, covering:

  • Environmental Compliance,
  • Fighting Bid Rigging in Public Procurement,
  • Gender Balance in the Nuclear Sector,
  • Intellectual Property Rights,
  • Corporate Governance of State-Owned Enterprises,
  • Regional Development Policy,
  • SME Financing,
  • Digital Identity,
  • Automatic Exchange of Information in Tax Matters,
  • Chemical Accident Prevention, and
  • Responsible Business Conduct.

We also made significant progress on several key initiatives related to the green and digital transformations and strengthening supply chain resilience.

On Tuesday, we held the inaugural Global Forum on Technology, which builds on the OECD’s decades of experience in shaping digital policy agendas.

This Forum fills a gap in global cross-stakeholder dialogue, helping policymakers anticipate and shape our technological future to ensure everyone can participate in and benefit from the digital transition.

And we reviewed the progress of the Inclusive Forum on Carbon Mitigation Approaches (IFCMA) – our flagship initiative to help improve the global impact of emissions reduction efforts around the world through better data and information sharing, evidence-based mutual learning and inclusive multilateral dialogue.

Around 70 countries are now members of – or are in the process of joining – the Inclusive Forum, including key countries outside the OECD’s membership, like Argentina, Nigeria, and the Philippines.

The Meeting was also an opportunity to advance the OECD’s organisation-wide initiatives:

  • to promote open markets and a rules-based international trading system in good working order, and
  • to drive our contribution to promoting gender equality as a core value and strategic priority.

With the strong mandate we received from Members today, the OECD will continue to help inform better public policy choices.

Providing a platform for evidence based mutual learning and international dialogue and cooperation.

Providing standards as instruments and tools to help level the global playing field by encouraging a common approach to shared challenges.

And providing evidence-based policy recommendations to help governments tackle both immediate challenges, and long-term priorities, always with our core vision in mind, of ensuring better policies for better lives.

Thank you very much.



Related Documents


Annual report
2024 Ministerial Council Meeting documents
2024 Ministerial Council Statement