The round table is an informal forum offering key participants in the sustainable development debate an opportunity to take stock of progress at global level and think laterally about solutions that are difficult to introduce in formal negotiating processes. It enables environment and economics ministers, representatives of the OECD, World Bank, United Nations programmes, World Trade Organisation and individuals invited from business and civil society organisations to meet twice a year to tackle some of the more intractable problems that defy negotiated solutions.
The three-year appointment of Simon Upton as full-time chairman will provide additional momentum to this work, which should contribute both to efforts to launch a new global trade round and to preparations for the Rio+10 Summit in 2002.
The OECD is currently concluding a three-year project on sustainable development and a report will be presented at the annual OECD ministerial meeting in Paris in May.
©OECD Observer No 225, March 2001