On 25-26 November, the OECD hosted the second meeting of its Global Strategy Group (GSG), which brings together Ministers, G7/G20 Sherpas and Senior Officials to discuss global megatrends and how the Organisation can support countries in dealing with future challenges and opportunities. The meeting was Chaired by Ambassador Ulrik Vestergaard Knudsen, Permanent Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, and was attended by OECD Members and Key Partner countries. Participants engaged in a lively exchange of ideas which will also help inform the preparations for the 2015 OECD Ministerial Council Meeting, to be held in Paris on 3-4 June 2015. The GSG discussions benefited from the presentation earlier on 25 November of the OECD Economic Outlook.
“Against a very difficult economic background, we analysed the long-term ‘tectonic shifts’ that are affecting people, the planet, global productivity, and institutions” —said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría.— “because the interplay of these shifts can have profound consequences on the success of future policy reforms”.
In keeping with the themes, the GSG used an innovative format which allowed participants to explore, in an interactive manner, the key megatrends that will have the greatest impact over the coming decade.
"Understanding the often dramatic shifts in our economic, social and environmental systems is becoming increasingly important for our possibilities of dealing with these challenges” –said Ambassador Vestergaard Knudsen “the GSG welcomed the discussion and the work on megatrends has now moved up higher on the OECD's agenda."
Drawing on their discussions, participants agreed on the usefulness of the OECD upgrading its strategic foresight capabilities and continue to foster horizontality across its work. Delegates welcomed valuable initiatives that the Organisation has undertaken in recent years in this direction, particularly the New Approaches to Economic Challenges (NAEC) initiative, the horizontal projects on and Ageing Unequally, and the joint OECD work with ITF, NEA and IEA to facilitate countries transition to a low carbon economy.
The GSG explored the important contribution that the OECD is making to improve global governance and facilitate standard setting, particularly through its engagement with the G20 and G7, and how the Organisation can contribute further to rethinking global economic and development co-operation, in areas such as trade, investment, development and climate change.
Participants agreed to meet again late in 2015 and highlighted that the GSG should continue to provide a useful annual forum to discuss issues of economic, social and political importance for Members and Key Partners, as well as to offer guidance for the future work of the Organisation.
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