Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)

May 2, 2024
Prime Minister Kishida delivering a keynote speech (Photo: Cabinet Public Affairs Office)

On May 2, the Opening Ceremony of the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting (MCM) 2024 was held starting from 11:30 a.m. local time (6:30 p.m. Japan Time), in the presence of Mr. KISHIDA Fumio, Prime Minister, Ms. KAMIKAWA Yoko, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. SHINDO Yoshitaka, Minister of State for Economic and Fiscal Policy and Mr. MORIYA Hiroshi, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary. Following the opening remarks made by the Secretary-General Cormann, Prime Minister Kishida delivered a keynote speech under the theme "Co-creating the Flow of Change" for approximately 10 minutes, starting from 11:40 a.m. local time (6:40 p.m. Japan Time). The summary of the speech is as follows (speech transcript attached (PDF) Open a New Window).

- Many conflicts are occurring, including the ongoing Russian aggression against Ukraine and new horrors in the Middle East. We are also confronted with the aggravated crises of climate change and a series of natural disasters. These shifts in the international society are having an impact on the global economy. We are facing inflation, disruptions in energy and food supplies, and risks of supply chain fragmentation. At the same time, the changes of era and hardships we are experiencing are also opportunities to realize a more prosperous life. It is important that we unite under the spirit of "Co-creating the Flow of Change" to overcome the crises facing the international community.

- A strength of the OECD lies in its human resource of over 2,000 economists, and its extensive data and analytical capabilities which contribute to policymaking across nations. In Japan, we are leveraging this expertise and knowledges, including the “OECD Economic Survey of Japan”. Japan will continue to collaborate effectively with the OECD to shape better policies.

- The Ministerial Council Meeting (MCM) is an opportunity for countries with shared values to come together and discuss global and progressive issues. As chair of this MCM, Japan aims to contribute towards shaping a rules-based free and open international order, by deepening discussions across various fields such as free trade and investment, economic resilience and economic security, climate change, biodiversity and environmental pollution, sustainable development and digital, in order to build common understandings, drawing on its experiences and outcomes from last year's Japanese G7 presidency.

- Digital technology is one of the areas where the OECD can leverage its strengths the most. The OECD has been at the forefront of international discussions on AI, including the development of AI principles. Building on the outcomes of the Hiroshima AI Process, Japan will advance discussions towards achieving safe, secure, and trustworthy AI.

- After 60 years since Japan's accession to the OECD, the international community has undergone significant changes, facing multipolarity, division and conflict, the OECD needs to change too. It is important for the OECD, united under shared values, to reinforce its engagement with non-member countries around the world, including those of Southeast Asia.

- Rather than imposing values, it is essential for the OECD to act as a companion in growth and development. This should be done by embracing the concept of 'co-creation' and closely aligning with the needs of others.

- As one of the few Asian members, Japan will continue to act as a bridge between the OECD and the Asian region, contributing to the OECD's continued leadership in the global economy.

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