The Ministerial meeting of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) yesterday gave the green light to the initiative on safe international mobility, which was launched last December 14 by the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, on the occasion of his visit to Paris to participate in the 60th anniversary of the organization.
The aim of this initiative, as reported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is to “reactivate mobility in the safest possible way, taking advantage of the development of diagnostic tests, as well as the progress in vaccination and its certification”. “In addition to contemplating the necessary mechanisms for the exchange of information between countries, the initiative elaborates a standard of international best practice that allows consensus and standardization of criteria and protocols for mobility, to correct the current disparity of international practices that generates confusion, uncertainty and arbitrariness,” it added.
This initiative, according to the Government, is “of great importance for Spain because it will make it possible to establish a framework of reference to which countries can adhere voluntarily, with maximum guarantees that any reestablishment of mobility takes place in the safest possible way”. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and in particular the Secretary of State for Global Spain (SEEG), has played “a leading and monitoring role in the initiative, working closely with the OECD Secretariat and facilitating negotiations with the other member countries,” it added.
The initiative proposes an international framework that facilitates the reestablishment of international mobility with maximum security guarantees, while facilitating the mutual recognition of certificates and their “interoperability”. It also complements, at a technical level, the work of the EU and aspires to scale the best practices developed by the EU itself to a larger number of countries within the OECD framework. This is particularly important for Spain, given that key countries for tourism in our country, such as the United Kingdom, are members of the OECD.
The initiative is one of the highlights of the 2021 OECD Ministerial Council Meeting (MCM), chaired by the United States, with Luxembourg and South Korea acting as vice-chairs. It will be held over two sessions, a first one taking place virtually, between yesterday and today, and a second session that will take place in the fall, on dates to be determined and will be in principle face-to-face. Both sessions are held under the slogan Shared Values: building a green and inclusive future.
The current session will also mark the handover of functions from the hitherto Secretary General, the Mexican Ángel Gurria, who left his post yesterday, to the new Australian Secretary General, Mathias Cormann, who will take up his duties today. This session will also be an opportunity to welcome Costa Rica, which has become the 38th member of the Organization and as such will participate in this its first MCM as a full member.
The meeting was opened by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and is attended by the Ministers of Economy and Foreign Affairs of the Organization’s Member States. Spain is represented by the Second Vice-President of the Government and Minister of Economy and Digital Agenda, Nadia Calviño, in yesterday’s session, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Arancha González Laya, in today’s session.