Innovation: Advancing the OECD Agenda for Growth and Equity

OECD Council at Ministerial Level, Paris, 15-16 May 2007
OECD Observer

Announcements about enlarging the OECD’s membership and strengthening co-operation with other countries took much of the limelight at this year’s annual ministerial meeting. Below is an extract on enlargement from the Chair’s summary, followed by some selected highlights of the meeting.

"Recognising the need to further expand the OECD’s global reach, policy impact and relevance, ministers welcomed the report on Enlargement and Enhanced Engagement. They underlined the importance of Brazil, India, Indonesia, China and South Africa in the world economy, noting how their policies and activities have global impact and affect the issues addressed by the OECD. They also considered that the OECD experience of good policy practices could be of interest to these countries. They invited the secretary-general to strengthen OECD’s co-operation with these major players through a process of enhanced engagement or as full members.Ministers decided to open accession discussions with Chile, Estonia, Israel, the Russian Federation and Slovenia. Russia was regarded as a special case because of its historical relationship with the OECD. They considered that the accession process would help foster their reform agenda and ensure its implementation and sustainability. Chile, Estonia, Israel and Slovenia have been actively engaged in OECD work for some time and benefited from OECD good practices. They have confirmed their wish to become members.Ministers supported a strengthening of OECD’s engagement with other selected countries and regions of strategic interest to the organisation. Countries of South-East Asia were regarded as having highly dynamic and influential economies, and therefore deserving further attention with a view to identifying possible members.Ministers stressed the importance of a financing reform to take into account the implications of an enlarged organisation. Council shall reach an agreement on this reform, which will ensure that the organisation has a strong and sustainable financial foundation, before the Ministerial Council Meeting in 2008.Ministers recognised that the OECD’s agenda is full of opportunities to advance its fundamental mission of promoting peace, stability, prosperity, and democratic values through sound economic policies and good governance. They invited the organisation to remain true to its founding vision and high standards–confident that real partnership will achieve real success–around the globe.During the discussions of an enlarged membership, and therefore of a stronger institution, additional avenues to increase OECD’s relevance through an enhanced relationship with the G8, or by supporting developing countries on service delivery were suggested. Mention was also made of the support of the OECD to the Chair of the G8, in particular regarding its relationship with the larger emerging economies.Ministers commended the secretary-general’s leadership in delivering the first mandate of the 2006 Ministerial Council Meeting.”
Beyond enlargement and enhanced engagement, there were several other discussion points at the 2007 ministerial meeting. As the complete Chair’s summary points out, the OECD secretary-general outlined a strategic vision for “a more inclusive organisation that can play a role as a hub for dialogue on global economic issues”. The OECD must be “more proactive, open and representative” if it is to strengthen its capacity to “develop concerted responses to global challenges”, the summary says. Moreover, the organisation “must be increasingly sensitive to diversity, and display greater understanding for the many different paths that lead to growth and development.” Ministers also recognised that “many countries continue to be bystanders in the process of globalisation and the benefits it brings” and called on the OECD “to play a greater role in identifying policies which can help ensure that the benefits of globalisation are shared more widely, and in communicating its benefits.”Ministers agreed that “innovation performance is a crucial determinant of competitiveness, productivity and national progress”, and a key to addressing global challenges, including climate changeMinisters also welcomed plans for an OECD Innovation Strategy as an important contribution to policymaking and best practices in all countries. They also welcomed plans by Korea to hold a ministerial meeting on the Future of the Internet Economy in June 2008.The Chair’s summary also reports that in discussing the current economic situation, ministers welcomed the recovery in Europe in particular, but voiced some concerns with respect to energy prices, the role of hedge funds and the evolution of current account imbalances. On inflation ministers noted it was “close to or even somewhat above comfort levels in some OECD countries”.Ministers called on the OECD to intensify its work on the political economy of reform and increase its support to governments in their reform efforts.On trade, ministers expressed their determination to achieve results in talks under the Doha Development Agenda, “in particular to improve economic prospects for developing countries.” Beyond Doha lay other challenges, on services, domestic policy goals, multilateralism and other trading arrangements, etc. The OECD would be looked to for analysis and advice on these challenges and opportunities.Climate change was described in the Chair’s summary as a “huge challenge” for all countries, demanding “urgent policy action”. Ministers looked forward to help from the OECD and the IEA in building an “efficient framework” to address the problem. Ministers also welcomed the suggestion from Sweden and the Netherlands for the OECD and the IEA to carry out a study on biofuels to be presented before the 2008 OECD Ministerial Council.~©OECD Observer No. 262, July 2007

Economic data


Stay up-to-date with the latest news from the OECD by signing up for our e-newsletter :

Twitter feed

Suscribe now

<b>Subscribe now!</b>

To receive your exclusive print editions delivered to you directly

Online edition
Previous editions

Don't miss

  • Africa's cities at the forefront of progress: Africa is urbanising at a historically rapid pace coupled with an unprecedented demographic boom. By 2050, about 56% of Africans are expected to live in cities. This poses major policy challenges, but make no mistake: Africa’s cities and towns are engines of progress that, if harnessed correctly, can fuel the entire continent’s sustainable development.
  • “Nizip” refugee camp visit
    July 2016: OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría visits the “Nizip” refugee camp, situated between Gaziantep and the Turkish-Syrian border, accompanied by Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek. The camp accommodates a small number of the 2.75 million Syrians currently registered in Turkey, mostly outside the camps. In his tour of the camp, Mr Gurría visits a school, speaks with refugees and gives a short interview.
  • OECD Observer i-Sheet Series: OECD Observer i-Sheets are smart contents pages on major issues and events. Use them to find current or recent articles, video, books and working papers. To browse on paper and read on line, or simply download.
  • Queen Maxima of the Netherlands gives a speech next to Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto (not pictured) during the International Forum of Financial Inclusion at the National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico June 21, 2016.
  • How sustainable is the ocean as a source of economic development? The Ocean Economy in 2030 examines the risks and uncertainties surrounding the future development of ocean industries, the innovations required in science and technology to support their progress, their potential contribution to green growth and some of the implications for ocean management.
  • OECD Environment Director Simon Upton presented a talk at Imperial College London on 21 April 2016. With the world awash in surplus oil and prices languishing around US$40 per barrel, how can governments step up efforts to transform the world’s energy systems in line with the Paris Agreement?
  • Happy 10th birthday to Twitter. This 2008 OECD Observer interview with Henry Copeland said you’d do well.
  • The OECD Gender Initiative examines existing barriers to gender equality in education, employment, and entrepreneurship. The gender portal monitors the progress made by governments to promote gender equality in both OECD and non-OECD countries and provides good practices based on analytical tools and reliable data.
  • Once migrants reach Europe, countries face integration challenge: OECD's Thomas Liebig speaks to NPR's Audie Cornish.

  • Message from the International Space Station to COP21

  • The carbon clock is ticking: OECD’s Gurría on CNBC

  • If we want to reach zero net emissions by the end of the century, we must align our policies for a low-carbon economy, put a price on carbon everywhere, spend less subsidising fossil fuels and invest more in clean energy. OECD at #COP21 – OECD statement for #COP21
  • They are green and local --It’s a new generation of entrepreneurs in Kenya with big dreams of sustainable energy and the drive to see their innovative technologies throughout Africa.
  • Pole to Paris Project
  • In order to face global warming, Asia needs at least $40 billion per year, derived from both the public and private sector. Read how to bridge the climate financing gap on the Asian Bank of Development's website.
  • How can cities fight climate change?
    Discover projects in Denmark, Canada, Australia, Japan and Mexico.
  • Climate: What's changed, what hasn't, what we can do about it.
    Lecture by OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría, hosted by the London School of Economics and Aviva Investors in association with ClimateWise, London, UK, 3 July 2015.
  • Is technological progress slowing down? Is it speeding up? At the OECD, we believe the research from our Future of ‪Productivity‬ project helps to resolve this paradox.
  • Is inequality bad for growth? That redistribution boosts economies is not established by the evidence says FT economics editor Chris Giles. Read more on
  • Interested in a career in Paris at the OECD? The OECD is a major international organisation, with a mission to build better policies for better lives. With our hub based in one of the world's global cities and offices across continents, find out more at .

Most Popular Articles


What issue are you most concerned about in 2016?

Euro crisis
International conflict
Global warming

OECD Insights Blog

NOTE: All signed articles in the OECD Observer express the opinions of the authors
and do not necessarily represent the official views of OECD member countries.

All rights reserved. OECD 2016