At the G8 Summit in L’Aquila world leaders have reaffirmed the need for a broad agreement on the objectives of the Global Standard, including through the G20. This is a success! The OECD is committed to working to make further progress.

 

The relevance of the Global Standard has also been validated, over the past few days, by the wide range of contributors to this blog and your inputs have contributed to a lively discussion around the issues of propriety, integrity and transparency.

 

Thanks to all of you for your welcoming words, your timely ideas and suggestions.

 

The interest shown by the MBA community for the Global Standard is a very positive signal. The involvement of tomorrow’s managers in this discussion gives us hope for the future. It reinforces my conviction that tomorrow’s business practices can indeed be based on a new set of foundations, including enhanced accountability, transparency and responsibility.  I appreciate your sharing with us your “MBA oath”.

 

The need to build upon and complement existing instruments such as the OECD Corporate Governance Principles, the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and the Basel Committee Principles is also acknowledged. And of course, I have been pleased to read these comments because many of these are OECD living instruments that are bound to change and adapt as circumstances require. In this regard, I particularly welcome the important suggestions of IFAD’s President Mr. Kanayo Nwanze who reminds us of the potentially significant gains for poor countries from a well designed Global Standard.

 

At the same time, as Professor Schneider rightly points out, any efforts to create a Global Standard or a Lecce Framework should address the question of its added value. So what is the “plus” of the Global Standard that we would like to achieve?

 

Two broad themes emerge from your inputs:

  • One is a strong reminder that the well-being of businesses and the market conditions required to support their prosperity are in the interest of all stakeholders and of society as a whole.
  • The other is the call for a Global Standard that, while helping business players to remain connected world-wide, also reminds them that there are responsibilities and ethical rules to be met. Professors Khurana and Nohria summarise this well: “To put our global economic system on a path towards sustainable long term growth, business leaders must begin to embrace a way of looking at their role that goes beyond their narrow responsibility to the shareholders and includes a broader commitment to their duty as institutional custodians.”

 

Allow me a few words about the 12 Principles developed by the working group as input for these discussions. They are not written in stone. Rather, they constitute a first step towards a Global Standard, grounded in the notions of propriety, integrity and transparency that will help prevent a recurrence of future crises. Your comments are already providing food for thought and I encourage your continued feedback.

 

As Senator Gary Hart, Enrico Letta of the Italian Parliament and Professor Giorgio Napolitano have underscored, we face many common challenges. The movement towards a Global Standard provides a basis for common solutions, agreed openly, inclusively and collaboratively. The exchange so far is showing that this blog can indeed complement well the OECD’s efforts to work as a ‘hub for dialogue on global issues’.

 

I am looking forward to reading more of your comments in the coming days.

 

Thank you very much!