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Chancellor meets with heads of international organisations

"Multilateral cooperation guarantees prospects of development"

At the Chancellor’s meeting in Berlin with the leaders of the International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), the World Bank and the World Trade Organization (WTO), four priorities were agreed for future action.


Chancellor Angela Merkel walks to the joint press conference between Roberto Azevedo, Director-General of the WTO and Jose Angel Gurria, OECD Secretary-General. Chancellor Angela Merkel with the heads of leading international organisations Photo: Bundesregierung/Koall

Following her meeting with the heads of the five international institutions, Chancellor Angela Merkel pointed to four key areas that the organisations are to address together in the near future. Firstly, the German government is pleased that there is to be a focus on financial and economic measures to assist African states in the years to come.

Digitalisation as an opportunity

In addition, digitalisation must be not only recognised as an opportunity for international trade and commerce, but must be actively shaped. The Chancellor sees a reform of the World Trade Organization as being closely linked to this. The fourth priority agreed by the group was that a centenary declaration should be adopted on the organisation of labour that should apply worldwide.

Addressing challenges together

The Chancellor’s meeting with the heads of the international organisations listed above is already a tradition. This was the eleventh time that the leaders of the International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), the World Bank and the World Trade Organization (WTO) have met at the Federal Chancellery to share their ideas in an informal setting. At the press conference following the meeting the Chancellor stressed that "multilateral cooperation is crucially important in order to give as many people as possible in the world prospects of development."

Against the backdrop of the tense situation on financial markets and the international economic situation, Chancellor Angela Merkel pointed to the many and varied challenges that face the international institutions. The situation is compounded by the fact that only global actions can halt climate change. The Chancellor thanked the World Bank for its commitment in supporting climate action and environmental protection projects in developing countries.

Compromises facilitate solutions

With regard to the latest challenges facing international cooperation in the economic sphere, Chancellor Angela Merkel believes that "all sides must compromise at a stage like this" if trade barriers are to be avoided. She was referring both to circumventing reciprocal tariffs and to the question of the terms under which the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland leaves the European Union. Angela Merkel specifically pointed to the lessons learned from the international financial crisis in 2008 and 2009. At that time the G20 format was devised as a common response on the part of leading heads of state and government to problems that could not really be addressed at national level. "This is a lesson that we can and should perhaps remember," said Chancellor Angela Merkel, summing up the evening’s discussions.

Oct 01, 2019