26/10/2007 - OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría received the first ever "Globalist of the Year" award from the Canadian International Council for his contribution to innovation in global governance and international affairs.
Accepting the award at a ceremony in Toronto, Mr. Gurría stressed the need for co-operation between the world's major economies and affirmed his determination to reinforce OECD's role as a hub for global dialogue between governments, business and civil society. ( see Mr. Gurría's speech).
"I am honoured to receive this award, which acknowledges my longstanding personal commitment to multilateral co-operation," Mr. Gurría said. The award was presented by CIC's chair, Co-CEO of Research in Motion Jim Balsillie.
As a senior Mexican civil servant in the early 1980s, Mr. Gurría worked closely with leading multilateral bodies, including the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank, to seek solutions to the Mexican debt crisis. Later, he participated in Mexico's negotiations on NAFTA and on accession to OECD, of which it has been a member since 1994. As Mexico's foreign minister and then finance minister between 1994 and 2000, he played a prominent role on the world stage, chairing OECD's 1999 Ministerial Council Meeting in which developing and emerging countries participated at Mexico's initiative for the first time.
Mr. Gurría is an active participant in various international not-for-profit bodies, including the Population Council, based in New York, and the Center for Global Development, an independent think tank based in Washington, and he is chair of the World Water Council's Task Force on Financing Water for All.
At OECD, as Secretary-General since June 2006, he has reinforced the Organisation's role as a forum for global dialogue and decision on economic policy issues while pursuing internal modernization and reform. Under his leadership, OECD has agreed to open membership talks with Chile, Estonia, Israel, Russia and Slovenia and to strengthen links with other major emerging economies, including Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and South Africa.
In parallel, in response to a request from the G8, OECD has set up a platform for dialogue with Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa on innovation, freedom of investment, corporate social responsibility and development in Africa, and energy efficiency. It has also provided a base for a new international Partnership for Democratic Governance, under which donor countries will work with developing countries to assist in strengthening basic governance structures.
CIC was established earlier this year as a partnership between the Canadian Institute of International Affairs, the Centre for International Governance Innovation and the Munk Centre for International Studies at the University of Toronto with a mission to support studies tackling major foreign policy issues in such areas as energy, trade, and arms control. Its recently created Globalist of the Year Award is designed to honour and publicly acknowledge the work of an individual who has achieved an international profile and is representative of a global citizen working outside his or her national context to promote trans-nationalism, inclusiveness, and a global consciousness.