Prime Minister Scott Morrison is nominating outgoing Finance Minister Mathias Cormann for the position of Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, as he prepares to retire at the end of the month.
“We believe the OECD needs the sort of leadership that we think Australia and an Australian can provide,” the Prime Minister said.
“Mathias’s seven-year experience as our longest-serving Finance Minister, Belgium-born, French-German and Flemish to boot, I think ideally equips him for the challenging role of the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
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“The OECD brings together most of the European economies, but it also brings together the economies of North America and the Asia-Pacific as a truly global organisation, and a voice from the Asia-Pacific which will increasingly be the centre of the global economy, a voice that understands this region as well through our traditional relationships with both Europe and North America, we think, is just what the OECD needs.
“Australians have an ability to work with everyone, to get on with everyone, to find the way through, to be practical, to bring people together and to support the many global organisations which the OECD would work, particularly the G20.
“I can think of no finer candidate that Australia can put forward.”
Minister Cormann will formally retire from the Senate and from his position as Finance Minister on October 30. He will then be formally nominated for the role.
Senator Simon Birmingham, who also holds the trade and tourism portfolios, will replace Mr Cormann as both finance minister and Leader of the Government in the Senate.
Senator Michaelia Cash will become the new Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate.
“I’ll be making further announcements about any further changes to the ministry line-up at that time after Parliament has risen at the end of this year,” Mr Morrison said.
Mr Cormann said he was honoured to receive the nomination.
“I thank the Prime Minister for showing such faith in me,” he said.
“The OECD is without any doubt one of the most consequential international economic policy and governance bodies in the world today.
“The important of practical cooperation has never been greater whether when dealing with a pandemic, the challenge of climate change, education and skills’ needs, the promising challenges of the digital economy and narrowing differences on taxation policy.
“These are big challenges and I have accepted this nomination because I believe I can make a real difference.”