At this year’s Paris Peace Forum Gabriela Ramos and the OECD Secretary-General, Angel Gurría launched the Financing Forum for Inclusive Growth in the presence of President Emanuel Macron. Find the Secretary-General’s remarks below:
Monsieur le Président Macron, Mesdames, Messieurs,
Dans un contexte de fractures profondes et de
pressions sur les économies et les démocraties, l’OCDE a bâti de nombreuses
coalitions pour combattre les inégalités. Nous avons commencé avec les
gouvernements, nous avons continué avec les maires, puis avec les organisations
internationales. La France a été un fer de lance tout au long de ces efforts.
Monsieur le Président,
à la veille du Sommet de Biarritz, vous avez accueilli la création d’une
coalition d’entreprises propulsée par l’OCDE, « Business for Inclusive
Growth » (B4IG), et salué la création d’un Forum de financement de la
croissance inclusive qui permettra l’alignement des investissements et des efforts du
secteur privé autour des politiques publiques pour la croissance inclusive :
nous vous le livrons aujourd’hui !
Le conseil d’experts qui guide les travaux du
Forum s’est réuni hier à l’OCDE pour définir une feuille de route pour les
prochains mois. Il a demandé à l’OCDE d’appuyer la définition des principes
d’investissement et d’impact qui permettront de transformer le Forum de
Financement en un Fonds de Croissance Inclusive. Ce Fonds sera le premier à
financer la lutte contre les inégalités dans les pays du G7 et de l’OCDE.
L’investissement à impact est devenu une
industrie massive, avec des actifs sous gestion estimés à 500 milliards de
dollars. Notre défi commun difficulté consiste désormais à de transformer cet
appétit grandissant des investisseurs pour des rendements sociaux et
environnementaux en des investissements réels contribuant à la croissance
inclusive, ce que ce Fonds devrait nous permettre de faire.
Remarks by Gabriela Ramos on the second day of the OECD Forum on Green Finance and Investment hosted at the OECD Headquarters in Paris, France on 30 October 2019.
Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen,
Welcome to the second day of the 6th OECD Forum on
Green Finance and Investment.
Yesterday, Secretary-General Gurría opened this Forum with a
call to action that highlighted not just the scale of the climate emergency,
but also the importance of tackling it with policies that also promote
inclusion and well-being.
We have seen here in France, but also more recently in Chile,
that we have to put people at the centre of all of our policy efforts,
including those that are linked to reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and
incentivising green growth.
The OECD has made this a priority in the last few years with
groundbreaking studies like Investing in
Climate, Investing in Growth, and most recently
Accelerating Climate Action: Refocusing Policies Through a
There is a clear empirical case: policies that work for climate and people,
also work for growth.
OECD research undertaken at the request of the German
Presidency of the G20 showed that climate-compatible policy packages could increase
long-run output by up to 2.8% on average across the G20 by 2050.
Financing is an important part of getting this policy mix
right, and not just how we mobilize more climate finance but also how we
mobilize it more effectively. We have the power to do more with our investments.
Let me begin with engaging emerging economies, which is a key
area for discussion today, and in particular India and ASEAN countries.
India has set ambitious targets of installing 175 GW of
renewables capacity by 2022 and 500GW by 2030. Achieving India’s clean energy
goals will require around USD 500-700 billion in investment in the coming
Similarly, ASEAN has set a target of sourcing 23% of its
energy from renewable sources by 2025. As a region, ASEAN’s clean energy goal
requires USD 290 billion in investment through 2025.
While progress has been made in financing renewables and
energy efficiency infrastructure in India and the ASEAN, an investment gap
remains. Governments cannot shoulder this burden alone. Catalysing private
investment requires an enabling investment environment and a pipeline of
Thus, the OECD’s new Clean Energy Finance and Investment
Mobilisation Programme, which you will discuss today, aims to support selected
emerging economies in Latin America, South and Southeast Asia strengthen their
clean energy policies to attract private investment for through clean energy
finance reviews, policy development, investor dialogues and regional peer
As these economies continue to grow, we must ensure that any
increase in consumption is matched with a
supply from renewable or other low carbon sources, rather than adding to
the global demand for fossil fuels. This goal, alongside efforts to promote
energy efficiency and energy conservation can significantly advance our
progress toward a low-carbon global economy.
We are looking
forward to hearing your insights, experiences and ideas on taking this forward.
Linked to this
agenda is another key challenge you will be addressing today: biodiversity
the request of the French G7 Presidency, we recently
published a new report Biodiversity:
Finance and the Economic and Business Case for Action. The picture is
worrying, and a lack of sufficient financing and ambitious action is at the heart
of the problem.
The OECD estimates that finance
flows with the potential to harm biodiversity stand at 500 billion US Dollars per
year, ten times larger than global finance flows for biodiversity conservation
and sustainable use.[i]
Over the last half century, such
toxic finance flows, and the interests that drive them, have helped destroy one tenth of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity and
one third of freshwater biodiversity. We are on course to lose another 10% of
terrestrial species by 2050.[ii]
And yet protecting biodiversity is not just about surviving,
it also about thriving. Ecosystem services delivered by
biodiversity, such as crop pollination, water purification, flood protection
and carbon sequestration are worth an estimated USD 125-140 trillion per year,
more than one and a half times the size of global GDP.
The OECD has identified key priorities to help scale up and align finance
for biodiversity from all sources, public and private. For example, we need a
global framework to coordinate action; remove harmful subsidies; consistent and
comparable finance tracking and reporting frameworks across countries and companies.
Last but not least, we need multi-stakeholder engagement to ensure a common
approach for measuring and integrating biodiversity in business and investment
Key to addressing
biodiversity is managing rapid urbanisation, which is also on our agenda today.
By 2050, almost 70% of the world’s
population is expected to be living in urban areas.[iii]
This is already bringing important environmental impacts, when you consider
that cities are responsible for two thirds of energy consumption and for 70
percent of global emissions.[iv]
Cities are core for climate action, and many are actually
taking the lead. Recent OECD evidence has
shown that cities and regions are responsible for 64% of public investment and
half of public spending in selected sectors that have a direct implication for
However, action to date has been
far short of the mark. Subnational climate-related spending represented just
1.3% of GDP on average over 2000-2016, while subnational climate-related
investment represented around 0.4% of GDP. Public funding will not be
sufficient to finance sustainable cities. We must mobilize the private sector
to help finance this investment deficit. Today, you will get a chance to discuss
the innovative financial instruments available for cities such as green bonds,
equity funds, and land-value-capture instruments to outline concrete actions
and recommendations to unlock private investment.
As you can see, the question at
hand at this forum is not just how we mobilize more finance to fill key
investments gaps to climate mitigation and adaptation efforts. We must go a
step further, thinking critically about where and how we direct these finance
flows towards strategic synergies that accelerate progress towards a low carbon
future, and benefit people and planet.
Thank you and enjoy day two of the
on fossil-fuel subsidies and government support to agriculture that is
potentially environmentally harmful
[v] The average of 30 OECD
countries over the period 2000-2016. Financing
Climate Futures. Rethinking Infrastructure. Case study on Financing climate objectives in cities and
regions to deliver sustainable and inclusive growth
Remarks as delivered at the OECD Forum on Green Finance and Investment at the OECD Headquarters in Paris, France on 29 October 2019.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
come together for this annual Green Finance and Investment Forum, energy
related carbon dioxide emissions are rising again, reaching unprecedented
levels in 2018.
do not need me to tell you the consequences of inaction. We need deep and
ambitious policy action to mitigate and adapt to climate change, and innovation
is a key part of this.
there be no doubt: the rate and direction of innovation will help determine our
success in transitioning to a low-carbon economy. However, we have a long way
to go in getting the innovation policy mix right.
OECD’s International Energy Agency is tracking the progress of 38 critical
energy technologies necessary for a global clean energy transition, including
renewable power, onshore wind, solar power, transport biofuels, smart grids,
and energy storage. Currently, only 4 out of these 38 technologies are on track
for development and deployment.
urgently need to scale up these efforts, and key to achieving this is to make
innovation mission-oriented, and not
just motivated by financial gain.
Who better to tell us about how to achieve this than Professor Mariana Mazzucato, who has led the way in putting mission-oriented innovation on the policy agenda.
2013 book, The Entrepreneurial
State: Debunking Public vs Private Sector Myths looks at the ‘investor of
first resort’ role that the State has played in the history of technological
change — from the Internet to biotech— and the lessons for a Green New Deal.
2016 she co-edited the book Rethinking
Capitalism: Economics and Policy for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth focused
on new economic thinking. I have had the pleasure of engaging with her very
closely around these issues through the New Approaches to Economic Challenges initiative,
which I oversee, and for which she serves on the Secretary-General’s Advisory
Group for a New Growth Narrative.
recently, her 2018 book, The Value
of Everything: making and taking in the global economy brings the debate
about value back to the heart of economics, with analysis on how to ensure we
are rewarding value creation over value extraction and destruction.
currently holds the Chair in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value at
University College London (UCL). She is also the Director of the UCL Institute
for Innovation & Public Purpose.
is the recipient of a long and prestigious list of prizes, including the
Leontief prize and most recently the inaugural Not the Nobel prize, for fresh thinking in economics.
and Gentlemen, please join me in giving a very warm welcome to Mariana Mazzucato.
It was my pleasure to inaugurate the expanded OECD Jakarta Office on 4 November 2019.
The OECD’s relationship with Indonesia has blossomed
in recent years. This reflects first the country’s economic dynamism and its
growing role on the world stage. President Widodo has helped deliver annual GDP
growth of around 5% a year and per capita income growth of around 4% a year,
with living standards continuing to rise.
This deepening engagement between Indonesia and the
OECD also points to the efforts of Secretary-General Gurria to build a more
inclusive and relevant Organisation.
Back in 2007, we launched the first phase of this
relationship (Enhanced Engagement),
which we formalised when Indonesia became an OECD Key Partner in 2012, together
with Brazil, China, India and South Africa.
That same year, Indonesia and the OECD signed a Framework
of Co-operation Agreement – the first such agreement for a Key Partner.
The opening of our OECD representative office in Jakarta in 2015 is a testament to our deepening
engagement and friendship.
I am delighted that the office is expanding. This will help us to bring our bilateral co-operation with Indonesia to an even higher level and, we hope, act as a launchpad for our work across the whole Southeast Asian region, particularly through the Southeast Asia Regional Programme (SEARP).
Warm thanks to all those Friends of the OECD who attended the inauguration, and thanks in particular to the New Zealand Embassy for hosting.
Heads of States and Governments, Ministers,
Excellencies and distinguished guests,
I am delighted to
join you for the 2019 ASEAN Business and Investment Summit. Amid growing global
trade tensions and uncertainties, that are directly impacting this region, the
time is right for this discussion.
Global value chains (GVCs) and digital technologies are an essential feature of our globalised, interconnected world, and they remain a key lever to improve it.
has in many instances been beneficial for ASEAN economies.The OECD
2020 Economic Outlook for Southeast Asia, China and India, released today,
estimates that ASEAN countries will grow at a rate of 4.9% over the next five
[Let me take this opportunity to thank those among you that made this Outlook possible, the governments of Korea, Japan, Switzerland and more recently the European Commission.]
We are increasingly referring not only
to “Factory Asia” but also “Market Asia”, as consumption is booming from a
growing middle class.
is a part of this success story. Jobs linked to GVC participation have
grown over three times faster than total employment, and firms integrated into
GVCs are more productive than other domestic counterparts.
However, global integration through
GVCs has also brought downsides, and these must be addressed. Growth cannot
come at the expense of people or the planet. We have to ensure that companies
and state actors play by the rules and uphold the highest standards.
These include the various OECD due
diligence guidance tools and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises,
which are critical to ensure GVC-related operations deliver safe conditions and
quality jobs with adequate wages, social protections and job certainty.
In the digital age, we also have to be
more mindful about the level playing field. Trade that works for all means
ensuring that firms participating in GVCs are not only the highly innovative
“born global” firms, but also local firms and SMEs.
However, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is also bringing challenges. Automation has the capacity to transform global value chains; removing many of the midstream activities, such as parts assembly, that have provided jobs, skills and growing incomes to low- and mid-skilled workers.
The OECD estimates that around 14% of
jobs in OECD countries are at high risk of automation and a further third will
change significantly in how they are carried out.
It is likely that southeast Asia will
be particularly affected. The ILO estimates that almost half of existing jobs
in Southeast Asia are at risk from automation.
To benefit from GVC
participation in an age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, policymakers must
be forward-thinking and proactive, and they must put people first.
I would like to present three priorities for action.
development is key, and this is why
the Economic Outlook for Southeast Asia,
China and India focuses on human capital development.
Currently in the OECD, 15% of adults
lack basic digital skills, and 13% lack basic digital, numeracy and
Digital skills, as well as creativity,
adaptability, judgment and communication skills, will have to be embedded from
primary education onwards, along with measures to boost STEM, especially for
The OECD is developing new tools like
the PISA Global Competence Framework, but as we build these new approaches and curricula,
dialogue between policymakers and the private sector on shifting skills demand
will become increasingly important.
co-operation around the design of lifelong learning and workplace training. OECD countries
are exploring incentive schemes that can help shoulder training costs for
employers, as well as initiatives to boost workforce skills in recipient FDI
One example is the Sino-German
Automotive Vocational Education (SGAVE), which is a partnership between GIZ,
German car companies, and pilot schools
based in China to foster a local talent pipeline, particularly in engineering
The second priority
I want to emphasis for harnessing GVCs in the digital age is make them work for
SMEs. SMEs account
for 95%–99% of businesses and more than half of the total employment in all
ASEAN Member States.[i]
And yet they only accunt for 10% to 30% of exports. This gap indicates huge
potential, but harnessing digital technologies will be key.
Yet, a recent study found that only 10% of micro, small and medium sized enterprsises (MSMEs), used advanced digital tools.[ii]
We need to do
better at diffusing technology across the economy. This requires measures to address
limited competition, rigid labour markets, barriers to entry and growth for
successful firms, as well as restrictions on trade and investment, and a
burdensome regulatory environment, all of which may hinder technology diffusion
for SMEs, and favour larger firms.
The OECD has a wide range of tools to
support SMEs, from fostering productivity to accessing finance and promoting
inclusive entrepreneurship. Working closely with Business at OECD (BIAC), we
have also just launched the OECD Digital
for SMEs Global Initiative, to promote knowledge sharing for all stakeholders supporting
OECD countries have interesting
examples to share, such as the national campaign “Made Smarter” in the UK, the “Small
Business Digital Champions” in Australia, or the “SME: Digital” strategy in
Denmark, all of which have worked in parternship with the private sector.
And last but not
least, my third priority, a well functioning digital eco-system. ASEAN countries are making good progress. We
have seen a rapid rise in mobile broadband coverage. The mobile broadband
penetration rates (per 100 people) in Singapore and Brunei Darussalam were at
over 100% in 2016 and 2018 respectively, and those of Malaysia and Thailand
were close to 100%. Meanwhile, Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Viet Nam,
Myanmar, and Lao PDR are fast approaching 50%.[iii]
But more efforts are needed to deliver
comprehensive, reliable, safe and affordable high bandwidth telecommunications
This requires regulations and policies that are based on consistent,
clear and transparent principles, and that therefore foster competition in telecom
Our recent report, Southeast Asia Going Digital: Connecting SMEs, suggests that more
could be done to strengthen market competition in a number of Southeast Asian
Of course it’s not just about
facilitating data flows at all costs. Big data solutions and AI bring vast
economic and social potential, but we are the creators of these technologies
and we have to shape them for good uses. We need robust rules and structures to
safeguard data privacy and security and
protect citizens from the risk of data theft and misuse.
The message is clear: the
opportunities brought by global trade and digital technologies are vast.
However, trade integration, like
economic growth and like technological progress, are not ends in themselves,
but a means to improving people’s lives and opportunities.
This is the lens through which all countries, including ASEAN countries, must focus their policy efforts to harness GVS in the digital age. Count on the OECD.
On 16 October 2019 Gabriela Ramos, OECD Chief of Staff and Sherpa and Martin Verwey, Director General of the European Commission’s Structural Reform Support Service (SRSS), signed a document solidifying the collaboration between the OECD and SRSS at the OECD Headquarters in Paris, France.
Ambassador Didier Lenoir, Director General
Maarten Verwey, Ambassadors, Directors, Colleagues,
delighted to welcome you at this ceremony to seal in and celebrate our collaboration
with the European Commission’s Structural Reform Support Service
me in particular thank Maarten Verwey, the Director General of the SRSS and his
team, Daniele Dotto, Sébastien Renaud and Ana Lope-Garcia for being with us
today. We have certainly come a long way together since we met in Brussels at
the end of last year to structure this cooperation. Today, we are very happy to
officially join forces with the SRSS and support the European efforts to help
advance a strong agenda on structural reforms.
This is a timely gathering as we witness the
launch of the new Presidency of the European Commission. On that note let me
mention that we are particularly proud to see the EU lead the way be electing a
woman for President for the very first time, and a woman to govern the European
Central Bank. The EU is walking the talk on gender equality!
The goals of the new European Commission
resonate well with OECD objectives; that is to ensure that our growth models
deliver for people, and for the planet. Combating climate change, achieving
social justice, and dealing with the digital transformation, are objectives
that bring us together.
It is my pleasure to recall that the OECD has
been collaborating closely with the European Union since 1960. Our co-operation
with the SRSS is in fact an extension of this collaboration and the extension
of this work could not come at a better time. Joining our efforts in this way
makes us stronger in a particularly complex moment. As highlighted in the
OECD’s Interim Economic Outlook released in September, we must start investing more
in structural reforms if we are to prevent a deeper slowdown of global growth. It is clear that, beyond macroeconomic
objectives, the plan for further growth requires a strong component of
structural reforms. This is also the main lesson from the financial crisis that
led to the European Semester, and the OECD has been an active partner since the
very beginning of the crisis, notably by working closely to support Greece. It
is by working on structural reforms, which are the DNA of the OECD, that we can
lay the foundations for more productive, innovative, inclusive and dynamic
We are grateful for the excellent
opportunity, provided by the SRSS, to have greater policy impact and to ensure
more effectiveness in advancing structural reforms directly with governments on
the ground. I am convinced that this co-operation is a win-win for both the EU
and the OECD. It takes advantage of the support the EU has provided the OECD
with for so many years, in advancing important policy agendas, most notably
through its generous provision of Voluntary Contributions. This partnership
leverages the investment made by the EU in the OECD until now, which should
ensure a high rate of return for our European Members!
It is with great pleasure that I announce
that the grant agreement we are sealing in today comprises 34 projects in 18 EU
countries! These projects will lead to improved labour markets, education
systems, innovation, governance, environmental protection and you name it. To
mention only a few of these ambitious projects, we will for example be
supporting the Czech authorities with the preparation of a new national
circular economy strategic framework, developing a new National Basic Skill
Strategy in the Netherlands and improving the provision of labour market
services in Estonia and Slovenia.
I am delighted to tell you that we have
received much positive feedback on this co-operation, both from our partners in
national administrations and from our counterparts at the SRSS. This feedback
confirms the quality and relevance of OECD support to delivering on government reform
Let me take this opportunity to thank our
Ambassadors for their positive reception of this co-operation. Each project
contributes to advancing national reform programmes by capitalizing on the
cutting-edge skills and human capital developed in this house. The OECD is
contributing with the best of our talent, as represented also by our experts
present here today. Therefore, I extend my gratitude to Directors, counsellors,
project managers, experts and corporate services staff for contributing to the
success of this initiative.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In a geopolitical environment where we are
witnessing an ever-weakening commitment to multilateralism, collective efforts such
as those fostered by the OECD-SRSS partnership are our best response. I believe
that by delivering on this co-operation, we can prove that even the most
important national priority can benefit immensely from international
cooperation. Together we must aim to ensure multilateralism’s survival and
success and I can assure you that the OECD, as a results oriented do-tank,
remains committed to these goals!
Finally, we support and encourage the ambitions of the new European Commission to
further reinforce its reform support programme and we will do our best to
continue delivering as a constructive, trustful and engaging partner.
Dear Maarten, SRSS colleagues and Ambassadors
please count on us, count on the OECD!
I would like
to begin by thanking you for joining us for the OECD State-Owned Enterprises
Anti-Corruption day. The Recommendation of the Council on Guidelines on
Anti-Corruption and Integrity in State-Owned Enterprises (or ‘ACI Guidelines’
as we call them) was adopted by Ministers in May. We are here to advance the
all-important process of ensuring successful implementation.
Now is when
the work really begins, because as our Secretary-General likes to say,
agreements make the headlines, but implementation is what changes people’s lives.
SOEs are critical for our
economies and societies – they are the main channel for states to exercise
their roles as economic actors, and in many instances they help deliver
essential services to the public.
They are often concentrated in sectors of strategic
importance for government and society, like energy, water and transport.
account for over a fifth of the world’s largest companies and many are increasingly being operated like private
firms. Their role as global competitors is growing as the boundaries of markets
extend beyond geographic borders.
the presence of SOEs in the global marketplace has also been marked by certain
high-profile scandals and some instances of corruption. As we heard earlier today,
the majority of bribes promised or given to foreign public officials between
1999 and 2014 were destined for SOE officials.
But it’s not
only an issue of cross-border activity. The challenge is also at the regional,
national and local levels.
report by Transparency International shows that almost a fifth of citizens in
18 Latin American counties had to pay a bribe to utility services in the last
year (second only to the police force).
And we know that SOEs are big players in
mismanagement, abuse or corruption occurs in SOEs, the costs to society and to trust
in both the private and public sectors can be great. We have seen how some SOE-related scandals can
lead to democratic unrest and slides in the corruption perceptions’ index.
the latest stock-take in years of exploration on what makes SOEs susceptible to
corruption and how policy makers can act to raise their integrity.
will help address this challenge. For example, to help insulate SOEs from undue
influence in their operations, the Guidelines recommend safeguards for the autonomy
of boards and merit-based appointment of SOE decision-makers (including CEOs).
To avoid impunity of SOEs and bring accountability, the Guidelines expect SOEs
to have annual external audits and that auditors report on any irregularities.
an ethical imperative and a key driver of trust, but it is also an economic case,
since integrity is vital to ensure high performing productivity and returns on
which complement the OECD Guidelines on Corporate Governance of State-Owned
Enterprises, are rooted in the idea that no state owner or company can fully
succeed in improving SOE integrity by ‘going it alone’. A broad range of actors
need to be on board, and their incentives aligned.
This is why
the ACI Guidelines were developed by three Working Parties: the Working Party
on State Ownership and Privatisation Practices in collaboration with the
Working Group on Bribery in International Business Transactions and the Working
Party of Senior Public Integrity Officials.
All three are
represented here today, in addition to a broad range of participants from
private firms, from governments, including OECD national delegations, from
academia, from civil society, and of course from TUAC and BIAC.
This meeting is
all about ‘kicking-off’ the implementation process, and you have brought very
good insights and examples to nourish the discussion and chart the path forward:
We have heard this morning directly from various branches
of government on how owners can and should lead by example on integrity;
We have shared our challenges, our best practices
and reforms on getting ownership and governance arrangements right;
We have learnt from both private firms and SOEs which
company-internal structures and mechanisms best promote integrity and prevent
We have explored how accountability is maintained
and what to do if things go wrong;
We have taken a deep dive into the particular
challenges of high-risk areas like the extractives sector; and;
Last but not least, we have gathered new partners to help put into
practice all of what we have shared, with exciting new initiatives like the
piloting of an expert secondment programme: Compliance Without Borders [the
idea was born in the B20].
important thing is that we continue to advance together in the collaborative
and multilateral spirit in which the Guidelines were conceived.
As the OECD’s
Sherpa to the G20, I am proud that the ACI Guidelines were elaborated from a
G20 consensus. Under last year’s Argentinian Presidency, the G20
Anti-Corruption Working Group adopted a set of High-Level Principles on
Preventing Corruption and Ensuring Integrity in State-Owned Enterprises, to
which the OECD was a key contributor.
We are there
to work together with states to identify quick wins but also to accompany you for
the long road ahead. We invite you to
tap into our regional networks where governments identify common challenges and
good practices in promoting corporate governance and integrity in the companies
Today was an
important gathering to take stock and strengthen implementation capacity, but we
will continue providing opportunities to exchange on these important topics.
I ask you to
pencil in the next key data – the OECD’s Global Anti-Corruption and Integrity
Forum on 25-26 March. The subject is “Public, private and beyond”, which is the
perfect platform to take this work forward.
Your presence here
demonstrates that we have the commitments necessary to drive progress. And
thanks to today’s meeting, we have a host of good practices and consultation
partners that can help feed into an accompanying ‘Implementation Guide’ planned
So let’s keep
up the momentum and the commitment as together we embark on the implementation
phase of this critical tool for integrity and for the public good.
Keynote delivered at the OECD Global Parliamentary Network meeting on 10 October 2019 in Paris, France, convening over 100 MPs and parliamentary officials from 34 countries. Keynote opened the session on “Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development: Making progress towards achieving the SDGs.”
Parliamentarians, Ladies and Gentlemen,
The SDGs are the most ambitious,
challenging and complex policy agenda that the global community has ever
undertaken. We have made some pregress, but felivering on the central promise
of the 2030 Agenda “to leave no one behind” means that at least 730 million
people, or 10% of the global population, still need to be lifted out of extreme
poverty by 2030.
Today, not only do we face a daunting
task, but we are running out of time to finish the job. With little over 10
years to go, progress is uneven across both targets and countries.
Globally, we are not on track. The number
of hungry people in the world is back up to where it was nearly a decade ago,
and in fact world hunger has risen for the third year in a row.[i] Millions of children are
missing out on education, especially girls. It is estimated that 16% of
students of lower secondary school age do not attend school, and for girls it’s
20% – 1 in 5![ii]
environment, the outcomes are alarming. After a three-year plateau from 2014 to 2016,
energy-related carbon dioxide emissions are rising again, reaching
unprecedented levels in 2018. In
just fifty years, we have destroyed one tenth of the world’s terrestrial
biodiversity and one third of freshwater biodiversity. We are on course to lose
another 10% of terrestrial species by 2050.[iii]
The most recent
edition of the OECD’s report ‘Measuring
the Distance to SDG Targets’, shows that OECD member countries need to ramp
up their efforts. More than half of our members have made
little or no progress towards targets relating to Eradicating Poverty, Ensuring
Food, Education, Reducing Inequalities and on strengthening Institutions. And
when it comes to Goal 8 on ‘Promoting Sustained, Inclusive and Sustainable
Economic Growth, Full and Productive Employment and Decent Work for All’, a
third of OECD countries is actually moving away from the SDG targets.[iv]
Inequalities in many OECD countries are actually rising. The richest 10%
in the OECD used to earn seven times more on average than the poorest 10%
thirty years ago – this number is now 9 and a half times. The figures for
wealth are even more striking, with the top 10% accounting for about one half
of the total wealth in OECD countries.
As the OECD’s work on inclusive growth shows, this is not only about
income and wealth, but also about opportunities and outcomes. People at the
bottom accumulate disadvantages all throughout their lifetime, leading to
shorter, less healthy, less fulfilling lives which they are not empowered to
The OECD’s Broken
Social Elevator report shows that it would take a child born into a
low-income family around 5 generations – or up to 150 years – to reach the
average level of income. This is not social mobility, the machine is totally
broken, and it happened on our watch.
With the emergence of new technologies and automation, the lowest paid
and the least educated will be hit the hardest, both in terms of the
displacement and the outdated social protections. So this situation is only
going to get worse, and the inclusive growth agenda becomes even more urgent.
We are already seeing the anger from people, which is manifesting itself
in terms of dangerous political outcomes, and you do not need me to tell you
because you as parliamentarians are on the frontline.
We need to change our approaches, and put people at the centre. To
support countries the OECD has developed a wide range of tools, including the
Framework for Policy Action on Inclusive Growth, which provides a dashboard of indicators and tailored
recommendations to invest in people, regions and businesses that are lagging
We are also putting inclusion at
the core of our work to tackle climate change, as there are so many synergies,
from public health to quality jobs that will be essential for ensuring a just
and inclusive transition to the low-carbon economy, as we set out in the report
we launched at the United Nations General Assembly just two weeks ago.
When thinking about inequalities, including with relation to new
technologies, as well as the well-being lens, we also have to keep the gender
lens sharply in focus, in line with the OECD’s Gender Strategy. This is a
subject very close to my own heart and, despite some progress, the situation is
Women and girls are particularly exposed to poverty
and being victims of inequality: 330 million women and girls live on less than
2 dollars a day globally, which is 4.4 million more than men. We still have
hundreds of millions of girls not in school and also facing violence and
Tackling these barriers and injustices, while also
supporting women to fulfil their full potential is really one of the most
important tools to advance all the SDGs. And there are win-win policies which
are core for the OECD’s Gender Strategy, like investing in childcare and
education, particularly between the ages of 0-3, and promoting dual parental
leave, which can also help tackle harmful gender stereotypes.
The key message I want to leave you with is that we
have to take this cross-cutting and interconnected approach to every single one
of the SDGs. As policymakers, this is where your power to support the SDG
agenda really lies, and the OECD stands ready to work with all of your
The OECD’s SDG
Action Plan supports our Members, partners, and the international community on
making progress on the 2030 Agenda, both by measuring the distance to the SDGs
and by bringing the policy tools to catch up. One of the pillars of the action
plan is to upgrade the OECD’s support for integrated planning and policymaking
at the country level and provide a space to share experiences on governing for
In this way, we
have supported Slovenia and the Slovak Republic in the development of their
whole-of-government national strategies for SDG implementation. In addition, we
are currently working with Malta on their SDG-aligned National Development
It is clear that the institutions underpinning public
administrations need to be more responsive to today’s challenges, and as
parliamentarians, this is in part your responsibility.
The OECD is ready to help. Our recent report ‘Governance as an Accelerator of the SDGs’
shows a number of shortcomings in current governance practices. We see, for
example, that the SDGs are not yet integrated in core governance mechanisms,
such as budget and public procurement systems. Indeed, while the SDGs are often
integrated in national strategies, less than half of OECD countries specifically include SDG reporting in their
We know from gender budgeting and from green budgeting
how powerful this approach can be.
It is also clear that we need to strengthen the
coordination between different levels of government. Close to two-thirds of the
targets underlying the 17 SDGs – at least 100 out of 169 – will not be reached
without engaging local and regional governments. Cities and regions have a
crucial role to play, and the OECD’s Programme on promoting a Territorial Approach to the SDGs can
help align national, regional and local initiatives.
Only two weeks ago we made an important step forward
by launching in the margins of the United Nations General Assembly in New York
the Global Hub on the Governance for the SDGs. This will provide a useful
resource on planning, budget, procurement, monitoring and evaluation processes,
to better align priorities and to enhance transparency and accountability for
the SDGs. In short, improving governance for the SDGs will, we hope, rapidly
And this must, of
course, come hand in hand with efforts to improve financing for the SDGs. The
annual funding gap still stands at a staggering 2.5
trillion US dollars. ODA will account for just a small proportion of this,
which is why the OECD is leading the way with tax transparency measures like
the BEPS initiative, and targeted programmes like Tax Inspectors Without
The private sector also has its
part to play in this effort, not just by paying tax (though that’s a good
start), but also through new business models and tools like Blended Finance and
The good news is that many
companies have realised that their responsibility lies beyond their shareholder
profits alone, and that they have a role to play in improving society.
Working with the French
Presidency of the G7, the OECD has created the Business for Inclusive Growth
Platform that brings together 34 companies
with more than 3 million employees worldwide and global revenues topping
They have pledged to take concrete actions to deliver on the Sustainable
Development Goals, particularly goals 1 (no poverty), 5 (gender equality), 8
(decent work and economic growth), and 10 (reduced inequalities). The OECD is
helping the companies launch and develop projects, and we will be monitoring
their results closely and publicly every three years.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I have enjoyed sharing with you
some examples of how the OECD can support your countries to deliver on the SDGs
and on the inclusive egrowth agenda.
However, this Network is also about
you, and sharing your diverse experiences, so I very much look forward to hearing
your perspectives and learning from you. Thank you.
Session 2: Civil Society and Protest in the Digital Age
DOC Leaders Club Meeting on 11 October 2019 in Rhodes, Greece, chaired by Vladimir Yakunin, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, DOC Research Institute, featured two discussions surrounding the theme of “Role of Civil Society: Ascending or Descending?” Gabriela Ramos intervened in the second session entitled “Civil Society and Protest in the Digital Age.”
people-centered policies for sustainable development and inclusive growth is
impossible without the input of civil society.
in the last decade we have observed a global shrinking of civic space. In too many
countries, the freedom of citizens to protest, mobilise, and speak out is being
contested and restricted.
from 2018 tells us that more than 3 billion people live in countries where
civic space is repressed or closed. Last year the CIVICUS Monitor reported 109
countries having closed, repressed or obstructed civic space.
increasing government pressures and surveillance are not the only factors
changing the landscape of civil society action.
digital age has transformed how governments, citizens, and civil society
interact and how protesters voice their discontent.
Connectivity, rapid information exchange
and social media offer new ways for civil society coalitions to form beyond
national borders and for citizens to stay informed, engage more actively in the
policy-making process, and organize themselves to start protest movements – we
saw this with the #MeToo movement, and the use by the yellow vest movement of
is some evidence that this could be contributing to increased political
engagement. According to The Economist Intelligence Democracy Index 2018,
political participation is the only category in the Index to register an
improvement in comparison to previous years.
could indicate that while citizens and civil society are disillusioned with
formal political institutions, protest movements and other forms of political
participation are growing.
some of these gains are being made by populist and even extremist parties, who
exploit new digital possibilities to amplify their reach and spread propaganda.
However, these channels can also be used for good – like raising awareness
around climate change and mobilizing the kids strike.
in some cases, online platforms and the growing capabilities of AI and big data
analytics are being misused to propagate, tailor, and target misinformation.
This has diverse aims, but they range from dividing societies, influencing opinions
and election outcomes, securing economic gains, and recruiting intelligence sources.
confirmation bias combined with the algorithms curated by platforms to more
accurately tailor content and advertising to their users, form echo chambers
that can polarize political opinions and often lead to misinformation.
lack of regulation surrounding data privacy, contributes to its misuse as a
surveillance tool. According to the NGO Access Now, governments forced over 196
internet shutdowns in 2018.
the face of the digital transformation, we must mobilize digital technology to
counter the threats to civic space,
while minimizing the risk that it undermines the integrity of civil society
building on its work on Open Government and the recently adopted Recommendation
of the Council on Open Government, the OECD has established its Observatory for
Civic Space, with support from the Ford Foundation.
aims to monitor the legal, institutional and policy frameworks in which civil
society organisations operate; promote and protect civic space; and act as a platform
for dialogue between key civil society actors.
Observatory will conduct a Global Survey of Civic Space, to provide a strong
evidence base and data on the status of civic space and civic engagement. This
initiative aims to guide and inform policy-making surrounding civil society as
it continues to face increasing pressures and attempt to capitalize on the
potential of the digital transformation.