US Chairs OECD’s 50th Anniversary Ministerial
The US chairmanship of the OECD’s 50th Anniversary Ministerial was a great success. The all-star cast featured Secretary Clinton, French PM Fillon, Japanese PM Kan, and EC President Barosso, and we used the opportunity to accomplish something all too rare – transitioning a post-war international organization into what the new Vision Statement calls a “global policy network” – much more focused on development and engaging in partnerships with new economic powers to spread high standards.
Secretary Clinton focused Ministers on New Paradigms for Development, creating momentum leading into the high-level forum on aid effectiveness in Busan, Korea in November which will now shift the international development architecture to more closely parallel the Administration’s development strategy.
A major moment: Russian Minister for Economic Development Elvira Nabiullina, representing the Russian Federation, accepted the OECD’s invitation to join the Working Group on Bribery in recognition of Russia’s new anti-bribery law – enacted to further Russia’s bid to join the OECD. Russia subjected itself to peer review by other countries in developing the anti-bribery legislation and will now subject itself to additional analysis and peer reviews on topics from corporate governance to environmental law to gain OECD entrance.
Austan Goolsbee chaired the opening session on Growth, Jobs, Innovation and Skills and Ron Kirk chaired the last session on Trade and Jobs. Bob Hormats unveiled a “competitive neutrality” agenda, and Rich Trumpka who serves as OECD Trade Union Advisory Committee President joined Charlie Heeter of the Business Industry Advisory Committee for the adoption of the update to the Multinational Enterprises Guidelines. These guidelines include a new human rights chapter, the incorporation of guidance on due diligence in supply chain relationships, and a new recommendation on Internet freedom.
We pushed the envelope a little more by marking the first milestone in the new US-initiated Women’s Economic Opportunity Initiative, and gaining commitments from the UN, World Bank, ILO and OECD for a joint plan to develop cross-country indicators of gender equity for Busan. The Koreans responded by pledging to elevate gender at the development summit. Further, we’re piloting the gender initiative with a Women’s Business Forum for the MENA region, an initiative I co-chair with the Jordanian Ambassador to France. Cherie Blair presented a gender award to the MENA project, and we kicked-off a public-private collaborative on private equity in the region.
Next Up: the big OECD meeting on the Internet Economy, also initiated by the US, at the end of the month.