On June 1, 2006, following a distinguished career in Mexico’s public service, Angel Gurría became the new OECD Secretary-General, following Donald Johnston, who held the post for 10 years. Mr. Gurría has been tasked by the OECD Council to ensure that the OECD is a force for global economic prosperity.
He will also be leading the imminent expansion of OECD membership and increasing the Organization’s already substantial outreach efforts.
His mandate to do so evolved from the 2006 Ministerial Council Meeting where two historic decisions were endorsed. First, it was decided that there would be an ambitious overhaul of the Organization’s governance structure, streamlining decision-making and delegating authority to free the Council to take on a more strategic role. Second, the Organization will launch a process aimed at identifying both potential accession candidates for membership and countries with which the OECD will undertake enhanced engagement.
The OECD counts as its members 31 of the most advanced market economies in the world, yet there are other major emerging markets that are exerting an increasingly dramatic impact on the world economy. Whereas OECD members once accounted for more than three-fourths of world GDP, today they account for less that 60%.
To ensure that the OECD remains relevant and that its culture of peer review, shared disciplines and best practices achieves the widest possible adoption, the U.S. has worked with other members to ensure that the OECD’s governance and decision-making procedures make it possible to include new members.
During its 2007 Ministerial Council Meeting, Members agreed to open accession (membership) discussions with Chile, Estonia, Israel, the Russian Federation, and Slovenia. Members also agreed to strengthen cooperation with Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and South Africa with a view to possible membership for those countries.
These two historic decisions, which were strongly supported by the United States, will ensure that the OECD continues to expand its global reach and policy impact.
The United States believes that the OECD belongs at the center of the globalization process - sharing its lessons learned and best practices with emerging economies, and leading the world in its quest for economic prosperity.