Greece Proposes Diamantopoulou for OECD Secretary General

October 13, 2020

ATHENS — Greece will for the first time put forward a candidate for the leadership of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), nominating former European commissioner and minister Anna Diamantopoulou, who is now President of the Network for Reform in Greece and Europe, as a candidate for the office of OECD Secretary General.

Diamantopoulou was received at the Maximos Mansion on Tuesday by the Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who in a statement praised the public presence of the former minister, and stressed that "she was a cross-party choice, with a multi-aspected scientific and social career, international experience and broad recognition." He also noted Diamantopoulou's involvement in areas such as education, employment, new technologies and the environment, all of which are issues that will dominate the interest of the OECD in the 21st century.

The prime minister added that Greece was a founding member of this important organisation, and a Greek, Xenophon Zolotas, had first proposed that it take its current form. He expressed his satisfaction "that 60 years later, our country is for the first time in its history putting forward a candidate for its leadership. And its proposal for the position of OECD Secretary General is a worthy Greek woman: Anna Diamantopoulou."

As Mitsotakis said, "her personality has been linked to bold choices, great consensus and innovative proposals: As European Commissioner, she honoured her portfolio of Employment and Social Policy. As Minister of Education, she was the protagonist of educational reforms in our country. And as Minister of Development she worked for the modernisation of our economy. For eight years, she has been the head of the Network. A pioneering Institute, which focuses on the reforms required by the Industrial Revolution, having international collaborations on four continents."

Finally, he added that Diamantopoulou "marks the modern Greek woman of progress and the world. With knowledge, prestige and scope, that go beyond our national borders. She is therefore the most suitable candidate for the post of Secretary General of the OECD. I wish her good luck."

On her part, Anna Diamantopoulou stated, among other things, that "the announcement by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis' of my candidacy for the post of OECD Secretary General is a great honour for me and, at the same time, a great responsibility," adding the election of the new secretary general is a contest between states and important personalities, for noble and important goals. "The path to the goal itself is worth our organised joint effort," she said.

"Greece, through the hard and painstaking efforts of our people and political forces, has proved the timeless resilience of its democratic institutions. Its ability and will for a brave openness. This attitude is now internationally recognised, and brings it additional benefits.

"The world after the pandemic must be more open to cooperation and solidarity between countries and prevent conflicts, exclusions and discrimination.

Greece can become a co-shaper of developments in international organisations, joining national forces, taking advantage of individuals and persons and securing international alliances. And that is exactly what we will try to achieve," Diamantopoulou said.

Out of the 37 OECD member-states, 22 are also members of the European Union, while four more are European (Switzerland, United Kingdom, Norway and Iceland). The current Secretary-General, Angel Guria, comes from Mexico while his predecessor, the Canadian Donald Johnson, also came from the American continent. All these strengthen a candidacy from Europe.

According to government officials, "claiming the leadership of such an important organisation offers our country the opportunity to highlight its role, its image and its contribution. In this context, the election of Diamantopoulou would be a significant success for Greece."


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