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OECD Postpones 2020 Ministerial Council Meeting And Forum Due To Coronavirus Precautions

In keeping with measures being taken around the world to slow the spread of the coronavirus, the OECD has taken the decision to postpone OECD Week 2020 – made up of its annual Ministerial Council Meeting (MCM) and public OECD Forum – from late May to a date to be agreed in due course.

Member countries in the Council of the OECD agreed to the postponement proposed by this year’s Chair of the MCM, Spain, as the appropriate course of action to safeguard the health and safety of participants and staff at a time when the OECD, its Members, partners and stakeholders are focussing all their efforts on tackling the Coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis.

“OECD´s contribution is critical as our governments respond to the new reality caused by this pandemic,” said Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón, Chair of the 2020 OECD Ministerial Council Meeting. “We count on the Organisation in the design and implementation of our short, medium and long-term recovery efforts, ensuring that they respond to the immediate challenges that we confront while charting a path towards a more inclusive and sustainable economic model. As Chair of this year´s Ministerial Council Meeting, Spain wishes to tap on the OECD´s expertise so it contributes its full potential to the new reality we are facing and its multiple implications. We are already working actively with the Secretariat and fellow member countries to reorient the 2020 Ministerial in this direction. We need to get our recovery right, and we are certain that this year´s Ministerial will help us do so.”

“Our priority is to support global efforts to rein in the coronavirus health emergency, help shore up our economies and ensure the health and safety of participants and staff,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría. “OECD Week is the highlight of our annual calendar, convening internal and external stakeholders to brainstorm, share insight and generate new ideas to guide our work. Holding such a gathering is for now incompatible with efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Moving it to a later date, when we hope the pandemic will be under control, will provide us with the opportunity to focus all our efforts on contributing to the massive global recovery effort required in its aftermath.”

The MCM, chaired this year by Spain, is the OECD’s highest-level meeting, attended by Ministers of Finance, Economics, Foreign Affairs, Trade and other government departments from the Organisation’s Member countries, as well as Key Partner and Accession countries.

Alongside the MCM, the OECD Forum has become the Organisation’s centrepiece annual event for public stakeholder engagement. It brings together 5,000 participants from all over the world representing business, civil society, academia, media and youth organisations to debate the pressing issues on the international agenda. The Forum community engages in an ongoing virtual dialogue on these issues, including the current crisis, through its Forum Network.

The decision to delay the MCM and Forum follows the implementation of strict social distancing measures in France, the OECD’s host country, to slow the spread of coronavirus. The OECD moved to full teleworking as of 16 March, closed its premises to visitors and postponed or reconfigured most meetings for remote participation.

In order to contribute to the global effort to tackle the coronavirus crisis, the OECD has established a digital content hub bringing together all relevant data, analysis, policy actions, recommendations and solutions: www.oecd.org/coronavirus

New dates for the 2020 OECD Week events will be announced in due course.

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