Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

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The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an international organisation of those developed countries that accept the principles of representative democracy and a free market economy. It originated in 1948 as the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation (OEEC), to help administer the Marshall Plan for the re-construction of Europe after World War II. Later its membership was extended to non-European states, and in 1961 it was reformed into the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.


Objectives and action

The organisation provides a setting where governments can compare policy experiences, seek answers to common problems, identify good practice and co-ordinate domestic and international policies. It is a forum where peer pressure can act as a powerful incentive to improve policy and implement "soft law" – non-binding instruments that can occasionally lead to binding treaties.

Exchanges between OECD governments flow from information and analysis provided by a secretariat in Paris. The secretariat collects data, monitors trends, and analyses and forecasts economic developments. It also researches social changes or evolving patterns in trade, environment, agriculture, technology, taxation and other areas.

The OECD helps governments to foster prosperity and fight poverty through economic growth, financial stability, trade and investment, technology, innovation, entrepreneurship and development co-operation. It is helping to ensure that economic growth, social development and environmental protection are achieved together. Other aims include creating jobs for everyone, social equity and clean and effective governance.

The OECD is at the forefront of efforts to understand, and to help governments to respond to, new developments and concerns. These include trade and structural adjustment, online security, and the challenges related to reducing poverty in the developing world. For more than 40 years, the OECD has been one of the world’s largest and most reliable sources of comparable statistical, economic, and social data. OECD databases span areas as diverse as national accounts, economic indicators, the labour force, trade, employment, migration, education, energy, health, industry, taxation and the environment. Much of the research and analysis is published.

Over the past decade, the OECD has tackled a range of economic, social and environmental issues while further deepening its engagement with business, trade unions and other representatives of civil society. Negotiations at the OECD on taxation and transfer pricing, for example, have paved the way for bilateral tax treaties around the world.

Among other areas, the OECD has taken a role in co-ordinating international action on corruption and bribery, creating the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention, which came into effect in February 1999.

The OECD's headquarters are at the Château de la Muette in Paris.

Secretary general

Since 1996 the secretary-general of the OECD has been Donald J. Johnston of Canada. He has announced that he would resign his mandate in May 2006. 6 candidates for a new secretary-general were announced in July 2005, and the choice is scheduled to take place on December 1, 2005 at the latest.[1] The candidates are:


OECD member states
OECD member states

There are currently thirty full members; of these, 24 are described as high-income countries by the World Bank in 2003. Countries that became members of the OECD in 1961 do not have dates after their names. Other nations are listed with their years of admission.

The Republic of China (Taiwan) has observership status on two OECD committees, but due to its controversial status as a state, it is not a formal OECD member.

The Commission of the European Union is participating in the work of OECD, alongside the EU Member States. For more information on OECD's work related to its member countries, visit OECD's country Web sites

See also

External links

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