Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) "groups 30 member countries sharing a commitment to the market economy. The OECD plays a prominent role in fostering governance in corporate activity. It helps governments to ensure the responsiveness of key economic areas with sectoral monitoring. By deciphering emerging issues and identifying policies that work, it helps policy-makers adopt strategic orientations."
- Angel Gurría, OECD Secretary-General
Founded in 1960, it is funded by its member countries according to a formula related to the size of each member's GDP. The largest contributor is the USA, providing 25% of the US$200 million budget.
The OECD is extremely influential, and its reports, particularly on economic issues, receive detailed attention from member goverments and are usually covered in the media. Its main focus is on developing policies designed to increase growth.
The OECD works along a structure similar to that of most western governments. Member countries maintain a Permanent Delegation on the Council, which is established as a formal diplomatic mission headed by an Ambassador. It is divided into 12 secretariats corresponding with the most common government ministries - for example, a "Directorate for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries", an "Economics Department", and a "Directorate for Education". The Secretary General is Donald J. Johnston.
Policy statements and advisories are produced via a large number of committees and sub-agencies. Membership of these committees is made up of country representatives and observers drawn from the following organisations:
- Bank for International Settlements (BIS)
- Council of Europe
- European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)
- European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT)
- European Investment Bank (EIB)
- Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
- International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
- International Labour Organization (ILO)
- International Monetary Fund (IMF)
- U.N. Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
- U.N. Development Program (UNDP)
- U.N. Economic Commission for Europe (UN/ECE)
- U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP)
- U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
- U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)
- World Bank
- World Food Council
- World Health Organization (WHO)
- World Trade Organization (WTO)
The OECD also hosts a number of semi-autonomous bodies:
- Centre for Educational Research and Innovation
- European Conference of Ministers of Transport
- Nuclear Energy Agency
- Support for Improvement in Governance and Management in Central and Eastern European Countries (SIGMA)
- Development Centre
- International Energy Agency
- Sahel and West Africa Club
It is headquartered in Paris.
- About, OECD.org.
- OECD, Frequently Asked Questions, OECD website, accessed January 2004.
- Austrialian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia and the OECD, accessed January 2004.
- Larry Elliott and Angela Balakrishnan, "United States could go into recession, warns OECD. West's leading thinktank urges Federal Reserve to cut interest rates as housing market crisis deepens," The Guardian (UK), September 6, 2007. re Federal Reserve System and U.S. economy