Our presentation of the 2021 Owen Harries Lecture by @OECD Secretary-General @MathiasCormann is about to commence. We'll be sharing highlights from the event in this thread. Join the audience by registering at this link: lowyinstitute-org.zoom.us/webinar/regist…
@OECD @MathiasCormann The @OECD S-G @MathiasCormann is delivering his remarks from Paris.
@OECD @MathiasCormann Cormann: The OECD has been a 'force for good' in the world, and in Australia which celebrates 50 years of membership this year.
@OECD @MathiasCormann Cormann says OECD standards and shared values provide the founding pillars of the rules-based international system, and help level the global playing field.
@OECD @MathiasCormann Cormann: crucially, OECD has developed mechanisms to hold countries to account and ensure they follow through with implementation of their commitments.
@OECD @MathiasCormann Cormann: OECD data shows policies that work and those that don't, and countries leading by example and those that can do better.
@OECD @MathiasCormann Cormann: OECD measures government support in agriculture, fossil fuels and industrial sectors. Says worldwide govt support for agriculture reached $720bn annually between 2018-2020
@OECD @MathiasCormann Cormann: we need to protect and advance our work as countries deal with scars of the Covid-19 pandemic - will focus efforts across five priority areas.
@OECD @MathiasCormann Cormann: first is to optimise strength and quality of recovery from Covid-19; policy support should remain flexible, but better targetted to those in genuine need and towards future-focused investment
@OECD @MathiasCormann Cormann: second is to drive ambitious and effective action on climate change - which needs to be globally coherent and better coordinated - not just shifting emissions between countries.
@OECD @MathiasCormann Cormann: Regular transparent reporting of effort, cost and impact using different policy approaches - from explicit to implicit carbon pricing - will inform better decisions
@OECD @MathiasCormann Cormann: The transition to net-zero is not a job for climate policies alone - needs to be along with coordinated fiscal, financial and structure reform + whole spectrum of public policy 'kicking in the same direction'
@OECD @MathiasCormann Cormann: Third priority is digital transformation. Pandemic has accelerated this, must ensure equal access to technology and policy support, deal with tax implications and ensure values-based standards eg human-centred AI
@OECD @MathiasCormann Cormann: fourth, and related - international tax system reform - minimum global corporate tax and associated pause and rollback of digital services taxes. Now need to realise goal to implement by 2023.
@OECD @MathiasCormann Cormann: fifth - promoting OECD values, particularly in Asia-Pacific and Africa. Building engagement with non-members and emerging economies.
@OECD @MathiasCormann Cormann: on OECD enlargement .. joining is positively transformative - currently considering membership for six new countries, hoping to facilitate technical assessments for applicant countries
@OECD @MathiasCormann (those countries: Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Croatia, Peru and Romania)
@OECD @MathiasCormann .@MathiasCormann closes his formal lecture with reference to late Lowy Institute Nonresident Fellow Owen Harries: "The future is still something to be made..."
@OECD @MathiasCormann Now to Q&A hosted by @mfullilove. He asks how @MathiasCormann's Australian political experience supports his work at OECD
@OECD @MathiasCormann @mfullilove Cormann: Work in domestic politics is very useful - I understand the challenges national governments are facing, but I have the luxury of being able to think more freely without having to be directly concerned with political execution
@OECD @MathiasCormann @mfullilove From @mfullilove - the election as S-G was contested, tell us about the experience of running for that kind of election?
@OECD @MathiasCormann @mfullilove Cormann: My combined background - experience of someone born in Europe, but pursued a professional/political career in Australia and the Asia-Pacific - I best matched what the members were looking for - and I'm very grateful for that.
@OECD @MathiasCormann @mfullilove From @mfullilove: What do you want to change at the OECD? What have you seen that could change and help it better meet its mission?
@OECD @MathiasCormann @mfullilove Cormann: OECD's fundamentals - data, policy analysis, platform for cooperation, principles - have to be preserved. To the extent that we need to adjust, it is evolutionary, not fundamental reshaping.
@OECD @MathiasCormann @mfullilove From @mfullilove: on global minimum tax - how confident are you of implementing that policy?
@OECD @MathiasCormann @mfullilove Cormann: "I'm quite confident." He says the difficult part was to get 137 countries to agree... it's not about eliminating tax competition. But it puts a limitation on it, and we believe it will make the global tax system fairer, and work better.
@OECD @MathiasCormann @mfullilove Cormann: If a particular country doesn't implement this deal .. they're harming themselves - leaving money on the table.
@OECD @MathiasCormann @mfullilove From @mfullilove: On meeting the challenge of a rising China - while OECD does not have direct role, in your talks with leaders do you detect a 'focusing of the mind' on China beyond a market opportunity, to strategic actor and potentially a threat?
@OECD @MathiasCormann @mfullilove Cormann: China is a significant market. Biggest trading partner with a growing number of countries. There are issues (climate, tax) that can only be addressed with all the players at the table. But there will be pressure points from time to time.
@OECD @MathiasCormann @mfullilove From @mfullilove: On climate, Australia has now committed to net-zero by 2050, but still not a particularly ambitious 2030 target. Would you have liked to see countries like Australia take more ambitious targets to Glasgow?
@OECD @MathiasCormann @mfullilove Cormann: It's significant that Aus has committed to net-zero, it has a track record of meeting and exceeding emissions cuts. Need to support decisions that reduce the global problem. eg, don't want Australia to reduce emissions by just shifting emissions to neighbours.
@OECD @MathiasCormann @mfullilove From @mfullilove: On #Covid19 vaccinations - shouldn't OECD members be doing a lot more to vaccinate the developing world?
@OECD @MathiasCormann @mfullilove Cormann: OECD countries are doing a lot - but the short answer is yes. Developed economies have a responsibility to do more. Not just charity, but self-interest.
@OECD @MathiasCormann @mfullilove From @mfullilove: Australia's approach to pandemic - effectively 'Fortress Australia', hit Australian diaspora and immigrants hard. How do you feel about Australia's pandemic response?
@OECD @MathiasCormann @mfullilove Cormann: Given my history I shouldn't be a commentator on Australian politics. But in the broad, Australia's population is supporting government's response. And governments that have gone to elections have been re-elected.
@OECD @MathiasCormann @mfullilove From @mfullilove: On immigration, a question from @LowyInstitute chairman Sir Frank Lowy: Should Australia boost its immigration intake to make up for the immigration pause we've just experienced?
@OECD @MathiasCormann @mfullilove Cormann: specific decisions on migration are judgements for the government, but as a principle I'm very supportive of strong levels of migration.
@OECD @MathiasCormann @mfullilove From @mfullilove: Why aren't there many Australians running for, and winning top international jobs?
@OECD @MathiasCormann @mfullilove Cormann: I don't know - for this job, I was asked to nominate, and it was a Team Australia effort to secure the position. Australia and Australians have a lot to offer.
@OECD @MathiasCormann @mfullilove From @mfullilove: Having moved from Europe to Perth, and now back to Europe, do you look at Europe through Australian eyes?
@OECD @MathiasCormann @mfullilove Cormann: Having come back to Europe after leaving in the early 90s, and see how former countries behind the Iron Curtain are developing is heartwarming.
@OECD @MathiasCormann @mfullilove Cormann: It's a case study that shows market economic principles work. Democratic governance matters. Political choices matter.
@OECD @MathiasCormann @mfullilove .@mfullilove thanks @MathiasCormann for giving the 2021 Owen Harries Lecture, bringing this event to a close. Audio and video of the event will be available soon.

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