In a recent speech to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, or OECD, Secretary of State Blinken outlined four significant challenges that member nations must work together to solve.
The first, not surprisingly, said Secretary Blinken is the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The OECD has provided us with critical data forecasting the economic impact of this crisis. The OECD was among the first organizations to push for groups of countries to make advance purchases of vaccines, which allowed companies to double down on production. This is the approach that will help the U.S. meet the commitment made by President Biden to fully vaccinate at least 70 percent of the population in 2022.”
The second challenge is the climate crisis, said Secretary Blinken:
“Our member states must model the behavior that we expect from others. That means adopting ambitious, nationally determined contributions to reduce emissions and invest in climate adaptation, moving swiftly to stop unabated coal emissions, ending investments in coal at home and abroad, and phasing out fossil fuel subsidies.”
The third challenge deals with inequity. Minority communities have suffered a much higher proportion of deaths from COVID-19, as well as greater harm from the accelerating impacts of climate change.
One means of advancing equity is through a global corporate minimum tax rate. “This will allow us to avoid a self-defeating race to the bottom in which all of our countries have lowered our corporate tax rates, only to see others lower theirs in response,” said Secretary Blinken.
Finally, OECD countries need to establish a new set of rules for emerging technologies, said Secretary Blinken:
“We must ensure that advances in technology are used to lift people up and advance human freedom – not suppress dissent, further entrench inequities, or target minority communities. Together, we can help ensure our values and interests help shape the new digital rules of the road.”
The work of the OECD has never been so important, declared Secretary Blinken. “We’ve got to prove that our approach can make life better for people – in our countries and in all countries. And in a way that’s more equitable than it’s been in the past.”
“If we continue to work together to find the best policies – while staying rooted in the shared values that have guided us for the last 60 years,” said Secretary Blinken, “there is no limit to what we can achieve.”