Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
With its headquarters in Paris, France, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has a membership consisting of thirty-three nations, working together to find solutions to common problems. As outlined in their mission statement, the “OECD brings together the governments of countries committed to democracy and the market economy from around the world to: support sustainable economic growth; boost employment; raise living standards; maintain financial stability; assist economic development in other countries; and contribute to growth in world trade.” To this end the OECD provides a platform for representatives of member governments to co-operate and learn from one another in a world that is becoming more of a global village with each passing day. In addition to sharing information between member nations, the OECD also communicates with more than 100 other countries on matters of mutual concern and interest.
The OECD has its roots in the Organization for European Economic Cooperation (OECC), an organization which was formed following World War II with the purpose of implementing and administrating the European Recovery Program, also known as the Marshall Plan in honor of then US Secretary of State George Marshall. This plan, which was proposed by the United States in 1947, focused on building a strong economic foundation for European countries with the assistance of the United States and Canada. The organization later extended its membership to countries outside of Europe, was restructured as the OECD in 1961 and continued to undergo changes over the years. The most recent nation to join the OECD was Israel on September 7, 2010 – bringing the current membership up to 33 nations.
The OECD’s objectives include, among others, the achievement of sustainable economic development along with financial stability, thereby raising the standard of living in member countries and contributing to the global economy. The OECD also aims to expand multilateral world trade in a manner which does not discriminate and which contributes to economic expansion in both member and non-member countries.
In addition to promoting trade and sustainable economic growth, the OECD plays an active part in fighting international corruption and bribery. The OECD also provides guidelines on tax implications on international investments, as well as fighting against harmful tax practices, particularly with regard to tax havens. As with any regulatory-type of organization, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has both critics and proponents. Nonetheless, it remains an authoritative source of information as it strives to meet its objectives.