OECD Ministerial Council 2002

Partnership for growth and development
Highlights of the communiqué issued by OECD ministers on 17 May 2002 after their two-day annual council in Paris. For the complete text, consult: www.oecd.org/
Economic outlook and recovery: Despite a promising outlook, risks and uncertainties remain. Ministers will take advantage of the recovery to strengthen fiscal positions and continue structural reforms, creating an environment where economic efficiency, higher employment, and improved living standards are more likely.Employment: Ministers asked the OECD for more monitoring of members’ implementation of the OECD Growth Study and to assess the Jobs Strategy. The OECD should continue to analyse the economic and social impact of migration. Ministers suggested a meeting of labour ministers in 2003.The fight against terrorism: Ministers will implement necessary security policies without undermining open, competitive markets and while safeguarding human rights and democratic values. The OECD will continue to monitor the economic effects of terrorism and the economic policy response. Ministers asked for OECD policy analysis and recommendations on terrorism risks for insurance and the respective roles of the insurance industry, financial markets and governments. Ministers encouraged the OECD to promote implementation of the revised OECD Guidelines for the Security of Information Systems.Governance: The assessment of the OECD Principles of Corporate Governance will be brought forward from 2005 to 2004. Ministers encouraged the OECD and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to strengthen their co-operation. They urged all countries to implement quickly the FATF Special Recommendations on Terrorist Financing. They will urge parties to the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention to enforce it rigorously. They reiterated the principle of openness of the Convention to non-signatories. Ministers agreed to promote the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.Harmful tax practices: Ministers welcomed commitments by 31 jurisdictions to transparency and effective exchange of information for tax purposes, and encouraged those on the list of Uncooperative Tax Havens to make similar commitments. Ministers encouraged international institutions to work together to help jurisdictions implement their commitments. Ministers looked forward to further improvements in exchange of information between tax authorities.Doha Development Agenda: Ministers will make significant progress on all elements of the Doha Development Agenda to create the conditions for a successful WTO ministerial meeting in Mexico in September 2003. Ministers will work together on progressive liberalisation of market access, on strengthening WTO rules and disciplines and on facilitating the negotiating process on investment, competition, trade facilitation and transparency in government procurement. Ministers want to contribute to the new ILO World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalisation. Ministers asked the OECD to work with the WTO to build its country file database as soon as possible. Steel: Structural adjustment policies in this sector must be pursued vigorously. Work on steel under the auspices of the OECD has focused on issues related to eliminating inefficient excess capacity worldwide, and strengthening disciplines on market-distorting measures and industry practices. Ministers expected further progress by the end of 2002.Shipbuilding: Ministers support recent efforts in the OECD towards broad-based international negotiations on a new shipbuilding agreement to bring about normal competitive conditions in the world shipbuilding industry.From Monterrey to Johannesburg and beyond – the OECD’s role: Poverty reduction and sustainable development are an urgent priority. Ministers will build on the Monterrey Consensus on financing for development to support a comprehensive approach to the internationally agreed goals of the Millennium Declaration. They welcomed the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and looked forward to further dialogue to determine how best to co-operate to advance it. They encouraged the vital contribution of the private sector to development, and will address the need for technical assistance and capacity building to improve the investment climate in developing and transition economies. Ministers issued a separate statement on “OECD Action for a Shared Development Agenda” outlining the OECD’s role. This includes encouraging policy coherence for development; supporting developing countries’ governance capacity; improving aid effectiveness and ensuring adequate aid volume; and strengthening partnerships and accountability.Sustainable development summit: The OECD Report to the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) illustrates OECD countries’ responsibility and capacity to contribute to sustainable development and poverty reduction by enhancing economic growth, promoting human and social development and protecting the environment. Ministers will strengthen co-operation with non-OECD countries to promote good governance and effective policies. They recognised the important role of the private sector and of civil society. They asked the OECD to monitor progress across all three dimensions of sustainable development: economic growth, human and social development and the environment.© OECD Observer No. 233, August 2002

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