What is the OECD ?
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) replaced, in 1961, the Organization for European Economic Cooperation (OEEC), itself heir to the Marshall Plan set up in 1948 to oversee the distribution of aid for Europe’s reconstruction after World War II.
At the present time, the OECD has 30 member countries, and under Article 1 of the Convention on the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development its aims are to:
Achieve the highest sustainable economic growth and employment and a rising standard of living in Member countries, while maintaining financial stability, and thus to contribute to the development of the world economy.
Contribute to sound economic expansion in Member states as well as non-member countries in the process of economic development.
Contribute to the expansion of world trade on a multilateral, non-discriminatory basis in accordance with international obligations.
The main areas of activity are:
The economy, the environment, employment and social issues, governance and territorial development, development assistance (in the context of the Development Assistance Committee, the Sahel Club and dialogue with NEPAD), the sciences, technology and industry, education and energy (through the International Energy Agency and the Nuclear Energy Agency).
The OECD has also expanded its field of action with the emerging countries through the Center for Cooperation with Non-Member countries (CCNM) and established working relations with 70 countries or non-member economies and structured cooperation programs with the big emerging countries (Russia, Brazil and China).
The OECD is therefore a laboratory of ideas, collecting and analyzing data from which flow collective exchanges between Member states on policies to be pursued; it also promotes standards Anti-Bribery Convention.
It is the place where governments examine, formulate and refine economic and social policies. The work is examined in committees and working groups (200 in all), and 40,000 experts participate in these committee meetings every year.
The Council is the supreme body and is responsible for making decisions. It meets twice a month at ambassadors’ level and once a year at ministerial level.
The OECD Secretariat, headed by the secretary-general (Mr. Donald Johnston) who is assisted by four deputy secretaries-general, has a staff of 2,300.
The OECD groups countries that have attained a relatively high level of development and share a commitment to the market economy and pluralist democracy. Its members account for 60% of world GNP, three-quarters of world trade and 14% of the world population.