At G20 Summit OECD’s Gurría says collective action vital to tackle global challenges

G20-Argentina-Family-Photo-500x292

(OECD, 2018)

This article is brought to you in association with OECD.


International cooperation and collective action are critical to tackling the world’s major challenges, OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría said following the G20 Leaders’ Summit held in Buenos Aires amid heightened trade tensions but at which important advances were made on a number of priorities of Argentina’s presidency.

In their final communiqué, the leaders agreed on the need to prepare for the way the world of work will change in the future, on building infrastructure for development, on food sustainability and on a range of issues vital to improving people’s lives such as gender equality, fighting corruption, adapting to digitalisation and creating a fairer international tax system.

The OECD and a number of other multilateral organisations made important contributions on specific policy areas. The work was recognised by the leaders in their communiqué which declared that building consensus requires the commitment of society as a whole.

Mr Gurría spoke to the Summit on issues reflecting just a part of the broad range of support to the G20 on policy design, evidence-gathering, standard setting and monitoring undertaken by the OECD.

In the debate on digitalisation, he said the transformation now underway holds many promises but also much anxiety among citizens. He referred to the OECD report to the G20, Bridging the Digital Gender Divide, which reveals the extent to which women are lagging behind in the digital revolution. Developing skills strategies that are better targeted at under-represented and disadvantaged groups was just part of the policy response, he said. “Collective action now will enable us to achieve better, faster progress and ensure the digital revolution works for all.”

On the challenges posed by digitalisation in the area of taxation, Mr Gurría said a consensus solution is within reach, “the G20 needs to show unity and commitment” to achieve it. The OECD report on the issue will serve as a basis to find an effective response by the target date of 2020.

Despite differences between countries on a number of issues, particularly on climate and trade, the progress on reaching agreement on a broad range of policy areas was welcomed by OECD Chief of Staff and G20 Sherpa Gabriela Ramos.

“Ten years ago G20 leaders met to deal with the financial crisis and proved what can be achieved collectively if there is sufficient political will. Today we are faced with new challenges and tensions. But however difficult they may be, it is vital that dialogue between governments remains open. The value of the G20 as an important forum has been proved once again at this Summit.”

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