Meeting with the members of the Council with H.E. Ms. María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, President of the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly


Introductory remarks by Angel Guuría

OECD Secretary-General

9 November 2018, paris, France


President Espinosa, Excellencies,

I am delighted to welcome you to the OECD and to the Council in your capacity as President of the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly.


We are proud of our tradition of welcoming Presidents of the UN General Assembly to the OECD to address the members of the Council, starting in 2015 with Mr. Mogens Lykketoft of Denmark, marking the launch of the 2030 Agenda; and since with Mr. Peter Thomson of Fiji (2016) and Mr. Miroslav Lajčák of the Slovak Republic (2017).


When we met in New York in September this year at the start of your Presidency of the General Assembly, we discussed the challenging headwinds facing multilateralism. On the occasion of the Paris Peace Forum and the 100 year anniversary of the armistice, we are reminded now more than ever of the importance of cooperation in tackling our common challenges.


Sustainable economic and social development are central to peace, and to the prosperity of current and future generations. The landmark UN agreements on the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals, and the Paris Climate Agreement provide us with aspirational frameworks to work towards these goals, but we still have a long way to go to deliver on the promise of leaving no one behind.


Climate change, the digital revolution and migration are just a few of the inherently cross-border global challenges that require collective and co-ordinated responses.


In this context, the partnership between our institutions is more crucial than ever. But we have to ensure that we are constantly adapting and improving our tools.


At the OECD we have acknowledged that it is high time to rethink and reform globalisation and multilateralism. Last year our 2017 Ministerial Council Meeting (MCM) focused on making globalisation work for all. This year, in May, our 2018 MCM chaired by France and opened by President Macron focused on making multilateralism more responsible, effective and inclusive.


It is inspiring to see your leadership in reforming and strengthening the United Nations system, the foundation of the global multilateral order, as well as in championing gender equality, as only the fourth female president of the UN General Assembly in its 73-year history.


President Espinosa,

The OECD is committed to supporting your agenda and reinforcing our collaboration with the United Nations. Our new office in New York, set up in response to a call by former UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon for strengthened partnership between our organisations, is one example of how we are stepping up our efforts.


Please count on the OECD to support you in this endeavour. We stand ready to work with the United Nations and for the United Nations in our shared mission to design, develop and deliver better policies for better lives.  Thank you.


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