The OECD will have to find new ways of involving civil society and non-member governments in its work if it is to remain relevant and important in the 21st century, Secretary-General Donald Johnston told the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly in Strasbourg on September 27.
“In essence, the OECD must exploit and expand its unique consensus-building qualities to include more stakeholders and more countries,” Mr Johnston said.This process has already begun, Mr Johnston said. He was heartened to learn, for example, that the Chinese government had translated the OECD’s “Core Principles of Corporate Governance” into Chinese and declared that Chinese corporations should meet this standard. This showed China had recognised that to participate effectively in the global economy, it must aspire to the standards of other global players.The OECD already involves some 70 economies outside its 29-country membership in its work, but eventually it should aim for “the whole international community of nations,” Mr Johnston said.
The OECD secretary-general also outlined the results of the ministerial meeting in Paris in June and the OECD’s work programme for the coming year (see OECD.org). The speech is an annual event under a 1962 co-operation agreement between the OECD and the Council of Europe.©OECD Observer No 223, October 2000