The OECD, based in Paris, was established in 1961. Australia has been an active member since 1971. The Organisation provides independent and evidence-based analysis to help improve the economic and social well-being of citizens in its member countries and globally. The OECD does not have executive or financial powers; it relies on persuasion and consensus, and derives its relevance to member countries from its high quality analysis.
OECD member countries
OECD’s 50th Anniversary: “Better Policies for Better Lives”
This year the OECD celebrates its 50th anniversary. Australia also celebrates its 40th anniversary of membership of the OECD. The anniversaries are an occasion to reflect on past achievements and consider the challenges ahead. The OECD’s theme for 2011 is “Better Policies for Better Lives”. To mark this anniversary year, we will hold an exhibition – “Australia and the OECD: 50 years of opportunity” in a number of government departments during the latter half of 2011.
OECD 50th Anniversary presentation
The OEEC Charter, signed in 1948, established the OECD.
Photo credit: OECD.
Australian participation in the OECD
Australia joined the OECD in 1971, although initial links were established through membership of the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) in 1966. Australia decided to become a full member because we recognised the importance of exchanging views and exerting influence in an organisation which had established itself as the paramount western, economic consultative forum.
Today, Australia continues to place high value on the OECD’s evidence-based cross-country economic and social policy analysis and advice. The Organisation is an importance source of detailed analysis on a wide range of issues of interest to Australia, including trade, agriculture, the environment and climate change, and global food security. We are involved actively in the OECD’s extensive work programs on core economic policy issues, statistics, labour market issues, digital and cyberspace, governance, education, health, migration and energy.
Australia is closely involved in the OECD’s work promoting structural reform to support long-term growth and wealth creation. An important lesson learnt from the Global Financial Crisis was the need for unilateral economic reform to encourage the development of more flexible and adaptable economies. To achieve this, policies must be complementary and supported by regional and global co-ordinated initiatives to maximise competition. Another lesson is the importance of trade liberalisation as a non-budget stimulus and long term generator of jobs. We are working with the OECD to emphasise the role of science, innovation and technology in contributing to a productive, competitive, low carbon economy, and the importance of market mechanisms in achieving least-cost transition.
Australia supports the Organisation’s increasing engagement with emerging and developing countries under its enhanced engagement program as we believe it reflects the reality of the 21st Century, where global economic influence is no longer dominated by western nations.
Information on the OECD’s functions and objectives can be obtained through the OECD website.
Other Australian Government agencies involved with the work of the OECD
- Department of Broadband, Communications, and the Digital Economy
- Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities
- Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations:
- Department of Finance and Deregulation: Australian Government Response to the OECD Report - Towards a Seamless National Economy, 2009 Review of Regulatory Reform: Australia
- Attorney General's Department: Bribery of foreign public officials is a crime
General inquiries on the OECD
2 rue Andre-Pascal
75775 Paris Cedex 16
- Phone: (33 1) 40 59 33 00
- Fax: (33 1) 40 59 33 84
- Website: OECD.org
Hard copies of OECD Publications
D. A. Information Services
Post Office Box 163
- Phone: (03) 9210 7777
- Fax: (03) 9210 7788
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
General inquiries on Australia's interests in the OECD
OECD and UNCTAD Policy Unit
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
R.G. Casey Building
John McEwen Crescent
Barton, ACT, 0221
- Phone: (02) 6261 3354
- Fax: (02) 6261 1385