Australia nominates its finance minister for OECD top position

Australia will nominate its finance minister Mathias Cormann to be the new secretary general of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), PM Scott Morrison announced on Thursday. The OECD is headquartered in Paris and promotes economic growth and policies to face social and environmental challenges.

Belgian-born Mathias Cormann, 50, has been Australia's finance minister for seven years and is due to leave the role at the end of October. Morrison said Cormann will bring a rare perspective to the OECD role, having spent half of his life in Europe and half in the Indo-Pacific. "In addition to understanding the cultures, economic strengths and political dynamics of both regions, Senator Cormann grew up speaking German before pursuing his high school and university studies in French, Flemish and English," Morrison said in a statement on Thursday.

Cormann was born in the German-speaking Belgian town of Eupen. He moved to Australia in 1995 and was elected to the senate in 2010. As a strong conservative, he opposed legalizing same-sex marriage, and in 2018 was instrumental in toppling PM Malcolm Turnbull from his post in an internal party coup.

Mexico’s Angel Gurria, the current OECD chief, said in July that he would not be applying for another mandate to head the group. His successor will be selected by the OECD's 37 member countries for a five-year term in June 2021. Nominations are being accepted until the end of October.


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