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SECRETARY GENERAL CORMANN:  Secretary Blinken, a very warm welcome to the OECD. 


SECRETARY GENERAL CORMANN:  We are an organization which works together with likeminded, market-based democracies all around the world.  We are a highly effective platform for international cooperation for finding best solutions to the challenges – the growing challenges we face in combination with shared values.  And of course (inaudible) the OECD is arguably the most significant and enduring U.S. diplomatic success story of the post-Second World War era.  It all started with the Marshall Plan, which ingeniously linked U.S. aid towards reconstruction with a requirement for U.S. – for European democracies to work together.  It was such a successful model that from 1961 onwards, it was expanded to market-based democracies all around the world, and indeed, more wanted to join us in that.

So I know that we strongly agree that international cooperation and multilateralism is more important than ever, and so I really would like to congratulate you and the Biden administration for the strong, positive global leadership that you have provided on climate change and reforming of international taxation arrangements.  It has been noticed in the work we do here, the approach and the positive support for multilateralism and international cooperation that you are bringing to the task.

And so I very much look forward to working with you and the Biden administration on optimizing the strength and the quality of the post-COVID recovery, on leading an ambitious and effective global action on climate change and finalizing of international taxation reforms, and indeed, on seizing the opportunities while better managing the risks and the challenges associated with the digital transformation of our economies.  And I’m very much looking forward today to talking with you about how we can advance the concept of (inaudible), which I know you’ve been talking about.  The OECD arguably is the perfect platform to help set rules and help enshrine values-based norms to govern technology in the 21st century.

So, and of course also, finally, very much looking forward to working with you on helping to ensure that our rules-based – our very important rules-based global trading system can be in working order and on strengthening the OECD’s engagement with the Asia-Pacific.

So, Secretary Blinken, a very warm welcome and I look forward to our conversations.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Well, thank you.  I’m really so pleased to be here, so pleased to have a chance to spend some time with you and your team.  This is a special institution, a special organization heading to its 60 anniversary.  We’re very much looking forward to hosting the ministerial meeting in the fall of the OECD, but as Mathias was saying, bringing together the world’s market-based democracies.  A very powerful forum for coming together, working together on real solutions to the problems that our citizens face, as well as the opportunities.

As we’ve been discussing with so many of our partners, there is not a single challenge that’s actually having an impact on the lives of our citizens that we can really effectively address alone.  We need to be working in cooperation and coordination with other countries, and the OECD, in particular, is a foundational institution for trying to find solutions to the challenges, whether it’s COVID-19 going forward and how we can do better and build back our economies more effectively coming out of COVID, whether it’s climate change, whether it’s the disruptive impact of emerging technologies and how we engage those technologies in ways that can shape a positive future for our people.

In these areas and so many more, this is a vital institution.  I’m very, very pleased to – not only to be here, but to really look forward to the fall as well and to having a very successful gathering of ministers.  So thank you for this welcome this morning.  I look forward to getting down to work.

U.S. Department of State

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