Posted on Tuesday, June 1, 2021 at 9:05 am
Through Sudinfo with Belga
Mathias Cormann, former Australian finance minister, born in Belgium, will begin his term as secretary general of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on Tuesday.
The 50-year-old, who grew up in Raeren in the German-speaking community in the 1970s, succeeds the Mexican Angel Gurria, who led the OECD for fifteen years and did not wish to take up another five-year term.
With his candidacy from Australia, Mr. Cormann thus becomes the first Secretary General from the Asia-Pacific region to sit at the head of the organization which brings together 38 member countries.
In his vision for the OECD, the Australian stressed the importance of cooperation both in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic and in the face of the climate challenge. He said he wanted to focus his work on “sustainable and inclusive growth”, standards for the digital economy and more efficient tax systems.
During the nomination process, the former minister was criticized by environmental NGOs for his poor climate record.
Her rival to become head of the OECD was Cecilia Malmström, Sweden’s former trade commissioner.
Born in the Eupen region in 1970, Mathias Cormann migrated to Australia in 1994 and opted for Australian nationality in 2000. He has since climbed the political ranks of his host country to become senator in 2007 and minister of Finances in 2013. He remained in charge of this ministerial portfolio under the Conservative governments of Tony Abott, Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison.