Contenders Emerge for Secretary-General of OECD
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development is beginning to field candidacies for its premiere position:
The most senior candidate nominated so far is Marek Belka, prime minister of Poland. A former economics professor and finance minister, Mr Belka was previously the Polish representative on the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq.
Mexico has named Angel Gurria, respected multi-lingual former finance minister, who has advised several development institutions.
In an interview with the FT earlier this year, Mr Johnston, a Canadian former minister, suggested his successor come from Asia. The OECD, which grew out of the organisation that administered the Marshall Plan in post-war Europe, has historically been weighted towards Europe and North America.
South Korea has already nominated Han Seung-soo, a highly regarded former diplomat and minister, who was president of the United Nations’ General Assembly in 2001-02. Mr Han, who was economics professor at Seoul National University before entering politics in 1988, has been minister of foreign affairs, trade and finance.
But Japan, the second biggest contributor to the OECD, is expected to nominate a candidate this week. Yoriko Kawaguchi, former foreign minister, has been mentioned as a candidate.
Speculation has grown in Paris that Tokyo may later field a more heavyweight candidate, such as Heizo Takenaka, one of the chief architects of Japan’s economic reforms, who is currently entangled in restructuring the country’s post office system.
Question: If Takenaka wins the prize, will it reduce the likelihood of China’s admission into the body, given the two Asian countries’ diplomatic rift?