Ministerial Meeting 2018: Status and outlook for multilateralism


Item 2: Status and outlook for multilateralism (leaders' panel)

Wednesday 30 May 2018 - 14:00

Multilateralism has primarily been pursued in order to maintain peace and progress in the world, to increase dialogue and cooperation between countries and to contribute to the development of the emerging and least developed economies.

At the OECD, multilateral co-operation has helped to establish ground rules, standards, benchmarks and peer learning to level the playing field and to help policy makers design and implement better policies for better lives.

While economic openness is a key engine for growth and job creation, the scale of policy challenges that are common to all countries and of global issues that cannot simply be managed at national level is substantially larger in an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world. These global challenges therefore call for a collective response in many areas. 

Nevertheless, as established at the 2017 MCM, the current backlash against globalisation and the questioning of multilateralism in some advanced economies are driven—at least in part—by the fact that they have not yet fully delivered strong, sustainable and inclusive growth. Negative outcomes such as the financial crisis of 2008, the growth of inequalities of income and opportunities in many countries, unfair competition, the natural resource depletion that has accompanied growth, and the dark side of globalisation (such as illicit flows of finance, goods, services and data and cybersecurity threats) are influencing people’s negative perceptions.

To strengthen people’s trust that the gains from interconnectedness, globalisation and digitalisation are fully harnessed for the best benefit of all and that global challenges are being addressed, we need to ensure in particular that all actors play on a level playing field, and that opportunities are more accessible for everybody. 

This MCM must therefore go beyond restoring multilateralism in its previous form, in order to reflect in depth on the changes that are required to allow multilateralism to address in many areas the complex, systemic issues arising from globalisation and digitalisation, and ensure that it leads to fair and sustainable outcomes.






Related Documents