94/06/08 "Toward a More Integrated World": Remarks at the OECD Ministerial Meeting (Paris, France)  Return to: Index of 1994 Secretary of State's Speeches/Testimonies || Electronic Research Collections Index || ERC Homepage

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                          U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
                          OFFICE OF THE SPOKESMAN
                              (Paris, France) ________________________________________________________
 
 
                 "Toward a More Integrated World"
                            Remarks by
             U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher
                at the OECD Ministerial Meeting
                          Paris, France
                          June 8, 1994
 
 
 
 
 
It is an honor to be the first American Secretary of State
to attend an OECD Ministerial in more than a decade, and a
pleasure to join Secretary Brown in today's proceedings.
Let me take this opportunity to express my government's
appreciation for Secretary General Paye's many contributions
to the OECD over the past decade.  You have earned our
gratitude.
 
 
 
I am especially pleased to be here today as the OECD
welcomes its first new member nation in more than 20 years.
By doing so, it reaffirms its scope as a truly global
organization.  I want to congratulate my neighbor and
friend, Foreign Minister Tello.  Mexico's commitment to
economic reform and free trade have earned it the respect of
the world.  Now it can assume new responsibilities as a
contributor to the OECD's important work.
 
 
 
Today, this organization is taking historic steps almost
unimaginable five years ago.  We have agreed to start
membership negotiations with four of the new democracies to
the East:  Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and
Slovakia, and with South Korea as well.  We hope that these
five nations take steps that will enable them to attain full
membership as soon as possible.  And we will sign a
cooperation agreement with the Russian Federation to extend
the OECD's unique expertise to the great task of building a
market economy in Russia.
 
 
 
With these actions, the OECD renews the purpose that
inspired Jean Monnet, George Marshall, and postwar leaders
of long vision and strong will:  to build a democratic and
integrated Europe, and a more peaceful and prosperous world.
Today, these goals are within sight.
 
 
 
We are gathered this morning at a historic site.  It was
here, after the Second World War, that the challenge of
building peace and reconciliation was met.  The United
States and Western Europe understood, as George Marshall
expressed it, that a "working economy" had to be revived "to
permit the emergence of political and social conditions in
which free institutions can exist."
 
 
 
The OECD evolved from that effort.  Its predecessor, the
Organization for European Economic Cooperation, helped
coordinate post-war reconstruction under the Marshall Plan.
As the first European institution dedicated to economic
cooperation, the OEEC was a catalyst for economic recovery
and integration on the western half of this continent.  In
the words of its first Secretary-General, Robert Marjolin,
our predecessors were "convinced that the different European
countries were indissolubly linked in their destinies."
 
 
 
That we can meet today in a vibrant city, in a prosperous
Western Europe at peace, is a tribute to the success of
their work.  But to the east, the scourges that George
Marshall described almost 50 years ago, "hunger, poverty,
despotism, and chaos," still are vivid in the memory of
nations that never had the chance to share our prosperity.
These scourges are especially vivid in the former
Yugoslavia.  And they threaten the nations that emerged from
the former Soviet Union.
 
 
 
Marshall's vision, and Monnet's, encompassed all of Europe;
the reality of their time could not.  The Eastern European
nations were invited to join the Marshall Plan, but Soviet
leaders would not allow it.  The benefits of Western
European reconstruction and integration were denied by the
absolute divisions of the Cold War.
 
 
 
We cannot allow new divisions to arise.  Europe must not be
split into zones of prosperity and poverty, stability and
insecurity.  With the Cold War past, we can now extend to
the East the benefits--and obligations--of the same liberal
trading and security order that have been pillars of
strength for the West.
 
 
 
Tomorrow, many of us will meet in the North Atlantic Council
in Istanbul to review our progress in renewing NATO,
especially through the Partnership for Peace.  In Istanbul,
we will continue to develop the important network of
relationships with our new partners to the East.
 
 
 
By widening the reach of NATO, and of organizations like the
OECD, we will strengthen the security and prosperity of an
undivided, democratic Europe.
 
 
 
I believe that the OECD, with its unique capabilities, can
be a model and an instrument of wider integration in the
post-Cold War world-- just as its predecessor was during the
early Cold War years in Western Europe.  The OECD can
perform its core function as a forum for policy analysis and
coordination at a time of accelerating economic change.  And
it can help complete the unfinished business of post-war
reconstruction, in a new era and on a wider scale, by
helping more countries throughout the world enter the
community of advanced industrial nations.
 
 
 
Last January in Prague, President Clinton announced that the
United States supported early entry into the OECD for the
Visegrad countries, four nations that, in his words, have
"confounded skeptics. and surprised even the optimists."  By
undertaking the process leading to membership, they will
push market reform further and ultimately lift economic
growth and the living standards of their people.  The United
States has strongly supported the OECD's Center for
Economies in Transition and its efforts to forge closer
links with other nations in Eastern Europe and the New
Independent States.  As we learned in the years after the
Second World War, economic cooperation is the best way to
promote stability.
 
 
 
Five years ago, the countries of Eastern Europe won their
freedom and helped cement ours.  If we no longer fear a
Third World War, if we can envision a Europe no longer riven
by repression or conflict, we owe it in part to the
struggles of men and women in Gdansk and Vilnius and Prague
and Sofia.
 
 
 
The Visegrad states have the potential to form one of the
world's fastest-growing economic regions.  Poland, for
example, already has one of the highest growth rates in
Europe, a budget deficit lower than the European average,
and declining inflation.
 
 
 
But expectations in the East have outpaced living standards.
Market reforms have caused short-term pain.  It continues to
be in the interest of the world's advanced industrial
democracies to help ensure that dislocation does not lead to
disillusionment with democratic institutions and free
markets.  That is why the United States has provided more
than $8 billion to support reform efforts in Central and
Eastern Europe since 1989.
 
 
 
But economic assistance is not enough.  We all must urge
these countries to build legal, tax and regulatory
structures that will attract additional private capital to
the region.  These steps will complement the difficult
actions already taken to privatize factories, reduce
subsidies and lower tariffs.
 
 
 
If the countries of Central and Eastern Europe have the
courage to take these painful but necessary steps, we must
be prepared to do our part.  As President Clinton has said,
"it will make little sense for us to applaud their market
reforms on the one hand while offering only selective access
to our markets on the other."  We must lower the remaining
trade barriers that limit their nations' exports and
potential for development.  Market access is not just an
economic issue.  At stake are the prospects for democracy
and stability across Europe.
 
 
 
There is no reason why our institutions or our aspirations
should stop at old frontiers of the Cold War.  I believe
that encouraging Russia's integration with the West is the
best investment we can make in our security, and in the
security of all the peoples of Europe.  Integration will
bring benefits to Russia--not only expanded trade and
investment, but participation in military arrangements with
NATO and political discussions with the G-7 nations.
Integration also will require Russia to accept the
obligations we all share:  to pursue sound economic
policies; to uphold democracy; to respect the rights of
other countries.
 
 
 
It is, of course, Russia's choice whether to take the path
of integration.  But we must do everything we can to
encourage it to choose that path.  Russia's recent agreement
with the IMF is evidence that its government, under the
leadership of President Yeltsin and Prime Minister
Chernomyrdin, continues to make progress in stabilizing its
economy.  Substantial progress already has been made in
privatization and decentralization-- the twin reform
objectives at the center of our assistance efforts.  As a
result, an increasing amount of Russian economic life is no
longer controlled by the rigid hand of the state.
 
 
 
The agreement the OECD will conclude today with Russia is a
welcome step.  It will allow the OECD to provide expertise
on structural reform and to carry out in-depth analyses of
the Russian economy--just as it does each year, with such
integrity and objectivity, for its members.
 
 
 
Our response to Russia's reforms, and to those of its
neighbors, should be based on a simple proposition.  The
community of market democracies is not a closed club.  It is
open to open societies. It is open to open markets.  It is
open to freedom everywhere.
 
 
 
The OECD had its origins in Europe; its initial membership
was transatlantic.  But with Japan a member for three
decades and Australia and New Zealand for more than two, and
with Mexico joining this year, the time has come for the
OECD to evolve further as a global organization.  It must
create new and flexible relationships with non-member
nations of growing economic importance.
 
 
 
An open, creative and dynamic OECD can help enlarge the
community of free and prosperous nations throughout the
world.  The opportunity is there.  South Africa has emerged
as a source of healing and hope-- and a potential catalyst
for economic development in Southern Africa.  In Asia, we
have seen dramatic growth, from India to South Korea.  In
Latin America, liberalization is opening markets, cutting
tariffs, and creating jobs.
 
 
 
The United States welcomes the OECD's dialogue with dynamic
economies in Asia and Latin America.  We hope that South
Korea will follow Mexico as a full member.  The OECD can
also assume a new importance in the architecture of the
global economy, as a bridge between Atlantic and Pacific
industrial economies.
 
 
 
Just as European integration began with economic
cooperation, so must the challenge of global integration.
Implementation of the Uruguay Round is a critical task for
us all.  The world's advanced industrial democracies share a
responsibility to sustain and strengthen the liberal world
trading system that has allowed our economies to grow and
our peoples to prosper.  Now we must meet that great
responsibility.
 
 
 
Cordell Hull, a distinguished predecessor of mine who served
Franklin D. Roosevelt as Secretary of State, did more than
any statesman of his time to make America a champion of the
liberal world trading system.  He knew that open trade was
good economics.  He also knew, as he put it, that "when
goods move, soldiers don't."
 
 
 
President Clinton is committed to passing legislation to
implement the Uruguay Round in this calendar year.  The
legislation will be submitted to our Congress this summer,
and I am confident that it will be approved.  This agreement
is in the overriding interest of America and the world.
Each of our nations must approve the Uruguay Round this year
to ensure that the most far-reaching trade agreement in
history takes effect by January 1, 1995.
 
 
 
By approving the Uruguay Round this year, we will open
markets, boost confidence, spur growth, and create jobs.  We
will help new market democracies carry out difficult
economic reform.  We will help ensure that the post-Cold War
world is not divided into new blocs: not North against
South; not rich against poor; not North America against
Europe or Asia.
 
 
 
We also must move ahead with a strong World Trade
Organization to set the stage for a new century of
prosperity.  The WTO can strengthen the multilateral trading
system through new rules and disciplines.  The OECD can help
it address the next generation of trade issues: the
intersection of trade with investment, labor standards, and
the environment.
 
 
 
New rules are also needed in other areas to make trade more
efficient and equitable.  Our nations will not have open
competition unless we have clean competition.  Our ability
to advance economic development will be undermined as long
as bribery distorts the allocation of resources, saps
accountable government, and subverts the rule of law.
 
 
 
The United States has long sought to build an international
consensus against the bribery of foreign officials in
international business transactions.  Last October, I
proposed on my country's behalf an initiative to advance
this vital objective.  Now OECD member nations have
committed themselves to take "concrete and meaningful" steps
to stop illicit payments by their firms.  These steps must
become a sustained campaign against bribery.  And I am
pleased that with endorsement of the agreement at this
ministerial meeting today, we can move from the discussion
phase to the action phase of this campaign.
 
 
 
The campaign against illicit payments is a prime example of
the OECD's new, more activist role.  The agreements we have
reached with the Visegrad states and with Russia show that
the OECD is playing its part in integrating Europe.  The
accession of Mexico, and the likelihood that South Korea
will join soon, demonstrate the OECD's global reach.
 
 
 
The United States sees a broader role for the OECD and also
encourages its reform.  The OECD must live within its means
and streamline its operations and decision-making.  It must
focus its priorities on areas where it has a comparative
advantage, such as structural analysis.  A recent example is
the seminal Growth and Employment Study that is helping our
nations tackle the central task of job creation.
 
 
 
That the OECD is changing and growing is a mark of progress
not only for the institution but for the world.  It means
that the sphere of advanced, industrial democracies is
growing.  It means that economic cooperation is enlarging
the circle of prosperity.
 
 
 
As Jean Monnet once said, "Nothing is lasting without
institutions."  The gains of freedom will endure only if we
have the foresight to extend to new nations the institutions
that have served us so well for so long.
 
Let us summon the confidence and the sense of common purpose
that guided us through the last half century.  Let us gain
inspiration from the vision of Marshall and Monnet.  Now
that we can, let us strengthen our security by extending to
others the blessings our predecessors secured for us.
 
 
 
Thank you very much.
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