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Thursday, September 22, 2005

Belka makes his move

Reuters:

Polish Prime Minister Marek Belka, running to become the next head of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), said on Thursday the organisation needed to raise its profile.

Belka, whose minority government is set to be replaced by a centre-right cabinet in Sunday's elections, is a favourite among six candidates to succeed current ECD chief, Canadian Donald Johnston, according to some media reports.

"The OECD's biggest problem is its unfulfilled potential," Belka told journalists. "In the crowd of other international organisations, the OECD is highly respected but not very visible, one has to sell it better."

The Paris-based organisation, which has 30 mainly industrialised member countries, is widely respected for its economic research, and is also a forum for negotiations on trade issues and for informal talks on the state of global economy.

In July, Financial Times Deutschland said Belka was the front-runner, citing OECD and German government sources.

Other candidates for the post include Australia's Allan Fels, Mexico's Angel Gurria, South Korea's Seung-Soo Han, France's Alain Madelin and Japan's Sawako Takeuchi.

Belka said his background as an economics professor and his experience in government and public administration made him well qualified for the post, but he would not discuss his chances. If elected, Belka would be the first Pole to lead a major international organisation.

It remains to be seen whether the OECD's member states will want the next secretary general to follow Johnston's example and focus on cutting costs, or put more emphasis on promoting its work on the world stage.

1 Comments:



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