You are in:

Spain backs a transforming, green and inclusive recovery at the end of its Presidency of Ministerial Council of OECD

Thursday 29 October 2020

This Declaration, the result of intense diplomatic activity, is a clear milestone at a particularly complicated time for multilateral affairs and one that is marked by the current pandemic (annex). By making this Declaration, the OECD commits to "renewed" multilateralism that "leads to results", according to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, Arancha González-Laya, who brought the Council to a close.

The Secretary-General of the OECD, Ángel Gurría, highlighted that "the success of this Ministerial Council means the success of multilateralism and of global responses to global challenges. Thanks to the leadership of the Spanish Presidency, the OECD and its members contribute with a single voice through this Ministerial Council to a strong, resilient, inclusive and sustainable reconstruction".

Thursday's inaugural session, which included the participation of the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, involved a series of speeches that lasted for two days. Among the Spanish ministers that took part in the debates were the Third Vice-President of the Government and Minister for Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, Nadia Calviño, the Fourth Vice-President of the Government and Minister for Ecologic Transition and Demographic Challenge, Teresa Ribera, and the Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Reyes Maroto. These two days of discussions culminated in a series of ministerial meetings over recent months, chaired by the ministers of the Government of Spain.

On Thursday, Minister González Laya moderated the plenary session of the OECD Ministerial Council, which was summarised in five main pillars known as the 5Gs, which are imposed against the current backdrop: "growth" (a new model of growth), "globalisation" (fairer and more inclusive globalisation), "green" (a sustainable economy), "generations" (not leaving any generation or group behind) and "global governance" (commitment to renewed and strengthened multilateralism). The Minister for Foreign Affairs stressed the importance of "building for the future" in the response to the COVID-19 crisis, placing "the well-being of people at the very heart" of the economic recovery.

Green reconstruction

The Fourth Vice-President of the Government and Minister for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge, Teresa Ribera, highlighted the consensus on Thursday among the participants at the OECD Ministerial Meeting on the Green Recovery, who agreed that building better means that the recovery must be green and inclusive, and stressed the need to develop the appropriate political reforms and suitable investments to tackle what the OECD identified as the two main challenges of our previous economic model - inequality and the degradation of the environment. "Our future depends, to a large extent, on how successful we are now in tackling these two challenges, both at a national and a multilateral level".

Furthermore, Fourth Vice-President of the Government Ribera underlined the urgency of addressing this green reconstruction. "We have no time to lose: the government is quickly strengthening our political framework, together with the environment for green investments through such instruments as the increased ambition of the National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan, the Draft Climate Change Act, the Circular Economy Strategy and the new National Adaptation Plan".

Coordination to move towards recovery

Furthermore, Third Vice-President of the Government Calviño chaired Wednesday's meeting focused on "The path to recovery: strong, resilient, green and inclusive". At this meeting, ministers addressed the need to develop recovery plans, working in a coordinated fashion to achieve sustainable, resilient and inclusive growth.

"Quick and decisive action from all members has been and will continue to be key. We are all aware that national efforts are insufficient; we need global coordination", claimed the Third Vice-President of the Government in her opening speech at the meeting, underlining the importance of acting together on health and economic fronts. "We have learned that health and economics go hand-in-hand. We must control the health situation to guarantee the recovery".

At the same meeting, the members shared reflections on the recovery plans that are being implemented in different countries. Third Vice-President of the Government Calviño explained that the instruments approved to maintain the liquidity of the system have been fundamental for avoiding structural damage to the economy, and stressed the need not to remove stimuli before recovering growth and to continue acting decisively against the current backdrop of uncertainty.

The OECD also proposed at this Ministerial Council the need to develop a focus on economic growth that goes beyond GDP, with more complete tools that measure such aspects as inclusion, digital development, sustainability and science.

To develop these objectives, the OECD proposes to create an "Indicator Dashboard", that serves as a guide to the path to recovery, and that takes into account a broad series of indicators that the Member States of the OECD can use to take decisions to mitigate the impact of the pandemic and focus their economic policies.

Trade and investment

Lastly, at a meeting held on Thursday on trade and investment, the Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, called for better management of the risks facing the global value chain and to continue being efficient, harnessing the benefits of globalisation in a context with increasing pressures on repositioning transnational production.

Reyes Maroto advocated an international trade system that is "open, stable and rule-based", in order to underpin a strong and sustainable recovery, and stressed that it is "essential to avoid lapsing into protectionism and to maintain a cooperative focus on trade policy if we want to move towards a firm recovery". Lastly, at the opening speech of the meeting on globalisation and economic recovery that the minister chaired, she highlighted that governments "can do a lot to enhance the resilience of global supply chains and improve risk management".

The Spanish Presidency of the Ministerial Council of the OECD has helped enhance Spain's leadership at multilateral forums at a key time in the discussion on a model to exit the crisis. During the meeting, access to new members of the organisation was discussed, which Spain supports and hopes to culminate during the 60th anniversary of the OECD.

Non official translation