Mario Pezzini: time for a world of equals

Eleanor Sa-Carneiro

The world is approaching the end of an era, and the next phase needs to be based on international cooperation among equals rather than around the leadership of a small group of the wealthiest nations, according to former OECD Development Centre director Mario Pezzini.

Pezzini, who spent 26 years at the OECD, including as director of its Development Centre, sees Mexico’s decision to consider re-integration into the G77 as evidence of this shift.“The world has changed, there are more actors, there are different objectives, there are different modalities,” he told The Qonversation.
Mexican Foreign Secretary, Alicia Bárcena, expressed strong interest in Mexico’s G77 membership in her speech at the group’s gathering in Havana last month, an interest she reiterated at the United Nations General Assembly.

Mexico was the first country from the Global South to become a member of the OECD in 1994 which represented a major change in policy – up until then, the club of rich countries had only counted European members, bar a few exceptions of the US, Canada, and Japan.


In order for Latin America’s second largest economy to join the OECD, Mario recalls that Mexico had to step down from the G77 “which is the group that collects the original non-aligned countries, which are referred to today as the Global South”, explaining that while the country appreciates the importance of cooperation with its neighbour to the North, the United States – with whom 80% of their trade is conducted – Mexico now wants to reintegrate the G77, a move that further signals the end of an era, according to Pezzini. 

The Foreign Secretary Bárcena intends to represent the ‘peoples of the global south’, to whom Mexico historically feels it belongs. In essence, Bárcena intends to make the country assume a more incisive role on the international scene, taking another step towards polylateralism, multi-alignment or non-alignment.  

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