To mark the occasion of the 50th anniversary edition of the OECD Observer, we take a brief look at how the information world and the global economy have transformed since the OECD’s first secretary-general, Thorkil Kristensen, launched the magazine in November 1962.(796 words)
OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría has congratulated Barack Obama on his re-election as US president. Mr Gurría said the OECD was proud to have worked with President Obama and his team over the past four years, both on the home front and in international fora such as the G8 and G20 (our photo).(145 words)
Two decades ago, when the first Rio Earth Summit took place in 1992, the most advanced economies were in an economic downturn. It was not as severe as the crisis many countries have endured since 2008, but asset bubbles had burst, unemployment had risen and recovery seemed a remote prospect.(836 words)
We live in a globalised world where a significant event occurring today in a given place has direct and immediate consequences in the rest of the world. Hunger in Africa and the political turmoil in the Maghreb have translated into new migration flows towards countries of greater relative development.(702 words)
Having left the most difficult years of the global crisis behind us, it is now universally recognised that Turkey is one of the countries which has managed to put its economy back on the path to strong growth in a short period of time.(599 words)
The worst economic crisis in half a century still holds us in its grip. In fact, with a bleak short-term outlook, global public opinion could be forgiven for questioning the ability of political leaders and policymakers to find a way out.(705 words)
2010 started with the devastating earthquake in Haiti that killed well over 100,000 people and nearly destroyed a country. We stand in solidarity and sympathy with the people of Haiti, whose tragedy brought back memories of the tsunami just before New Year 2004. Nothing can replace the loved ones lost.(790 words)
Spain in the new OECD
Article by Mr Gurría published in El País, 8 September 2008.
Click below to read it (Spanish)
"España en la nueva OCDE"
Today, barely more than a decade after its first commercial incarnation, it is difficult to think of a policy domain that is not affected by the Internet.
The Internet and the constellation of information technologies it connects are viewed as essential ingredients in addressing some of the world's most pressing policy issues: sustainable and increasing economic growth, ageing societies, environmental management, energy efficiency, the eradication of poverty, and many more. The implications for economic and social development are far-reaching and profound, including for the next several billion users.(250 words)
See Joong Choi
Chairman, Korea Communications Commission
In 1998, the Internet was emerging as a major new medium for communications. OECD ministers gathered in Ottawa, Canada, and established policies promoting online activities in areas such as privacy, security, taxation and consumer protection. Since the Ottawa ministerial, the global Internet economy has grown remarkably.(259 words)
On 1 January, Germany took over the presidencies of the European Union and the G8. The last time our country had this dual-chair role was in 1999. Our basic goal this year is to address global challenges and to tap fully the opportunities of globalisation.
The interests and concerns of the EU and the G8 are by no means identical, but there are several areas where we can take the opportunity of our dual presidency to build useful synergies.(1451 words)
The OECD Anti-Bribery Convention is ten years old this year. In that short time it has established itself as the first truly effective global instrument to fight corruption in cross-border business deals. But despite enormous advances, the fight against bribery must continue. And the key to further progress depends on the resolve and willpower of OECD member countries.(853 words)
I am in contact with leaders and officials both from the world’s most developed nations and from developing countries. When the Doha Development Round talks collapsed in July, I was struck by the gap between what officials say when they meet at the OECD in Paris and how they define their positions in the WTO talks in Geneva.(872 words)
The OECD 50th Anniversary Week 2011 was a momentous and inspirational occasion. Against the background of a fragile recovery of the world economy, 21 heads of state and government and deputy prime ministers, 86 ministers and state secretaries, and over 2,000 participants from business, labour and civil society gathered to identify and discuss the policies needed to achieve a more inclusive and greener path to economic growth and job creation.(833 words)
We are celebrating the OECD’s 50th anniversary during the tail-end of the worst financial and economic crisis of our lifetimes. It’s a good moment to take stock and to ask the right questions. Why couldn’t we avoid the crisis? Were the policies and the policy mix we promoted the right ones, and how can we adjust these polices to new realities? What is more, are we doing enough to prevent another crisis? Are our economic theories, our models and our assumptions still appropriate? How should our organisation’s work be adapted so that we continue fulfilling our founding mission of promoting better policies for better lives?(872 words)
According to the latest Economic Outlook, growth in the OECD will reach some 2.7% in 2010. But while the global economy may be out of intensive care, it remains very fragile, as underlined by market volatility, rising public debt and high unemployment. A key missing ingredient is confidence. What must be done to restore it?(764 words)
One of the difficult challenges for governments facing a crisis is to keep an eye on the wider picture. This is particularly true in OECD countries today, as they fight down unusually wide fiscal deficits and heavy debt. These problems are a sequel to the financial crisis that started in 2008. Now, most countries, from the largest to the smallest, have to make new sacrifices. People are understandably angry, feeling they are not responsible for the current situation.(848 words)
Spring is finally in the air for most OECD countries, as the signs of recovery start to multiply. The recession has been long and hard, so this is reassuring news. But while the worst of the crisis may be behind us, the recovery remains fragile, and there are still many policy challenges to address.(843 words)
The world is going through hard times. Though there are some signs of an economic recovery, global confidence remains fragile. From the economic and social crisis to climate change, natural disasters and conflict, rarely in modern history have we faced such a testing period.
The crisis has taught us many lessons, about our policies, our practices and our ways of life. But if there is one lesson that stands out, it is the importance of international co-operation to help us overcome the challenges we face.(782 words)
Some 15 million people have joined the ranks of the unemployed in OECD countries since the end of 2007. Unemployment has already reached a record high of 8.5% as a result. Without the right policies and if the recovery fails to gain momentum, OECD unemployment could approach 10% next year. That would mean 57 million people out of work-roughly equivalent to the population of some G8 countries!(824 words)
Angel Gurría, Secretary-General of the OECD
When leaders of government, international organisations and civil society from around the world gather for critical discussions at the OECD summit meetings in Paris this June, one question will dominate the agenda: Is enough being done to restore confidence and long-term growth, and break the grip of the worst global crisis of our times?(811 words)
The world economy remains gripped in the deepest and most widespread economic crisis in modern times. The latest update of the OECD Economic Outlook expects GDP to plummet by an average 4.3% in the OECD area in 2009, and world economic activity to shrink by 2.7%.(804 words)
Can 2009 bring a ray of light to lift the gloom and end the severest financial and economic crisis in decades?
The OECD Economic Outlook issued end-2008 sees some 21 of 30 member countries already in or heading into a recession that could last a year. Business investment will contract by over 5%, and unemployment could rise by at least 8 million by 2010. This social crisis is affecting families and communities across the planet, with emerging and developing economies suffering too.(781 words)
OECD will work with governments in a two-strand approach to develop policies for tighter financial market oversight and risk management, and for economic recovery, Secretary-General Angel Gurría has announced. The plan will form part of a comprehensive contribution to the G20’s Action Plan agreed in mid-November, he said.(280 words)
The financial crisis sweeping world markets is the worst since the Great Depression. While the crisis is biting into the real economy, hard lessons are being learned. How should policymakers move forward, particularly as room for manoeuvre is being squeezed?(934 words)
2008 will be a decisive year in the battle against climate change. Hopefully, it will see us forge an international consensus so an agreement can be reached in Copenhagen in 2009 that will allow us to build on the Kyoto Protocol.(1057 words)
The 2008 OECD Ministerial Council Meeting and Forum, the high points of the OECD calendar, could not be more timely. The issues we will be dealing with and the policy responses we will discuss should pave the way for a better world economy. Christine Lagarde, the minister of economy, finance and employment of France–the OECD’s host country–will chair the ministerial meeting.(833 words)
A 50% rise in global greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, higher temperatures, with more droughts and storms harming people, crops and buildings; more animal and plant species becoming extinct under expanding farmland and urban sprawl; dwindling natural resources; a billion more people living in water-stressed areas by 2030, with more pollution, disease and premature deaths ahead.(700 words)
If Shakespeare was right, and the world is a stage, then “Gathering Storm” could be the title of the play as we enter 2008. With a US economy flirting with recession, the euro area losing stamina under a strong euro, a barrel of oil close to $100, international food and commodity prices reaching record levels and climate change intensifying, it looks like we are heading into a turbulent zone.(807 words)
The history of human progress is also a history of innovation, and OECD countries have been rediscovering what this means for the global economy. Consider the US. For two decades the world’s largest and most advanced economy has been driving forward the frontiers of technical progress. Yet whether in information technology, pharmaceuticals or biotechnology, the US knows it must innovate to stay in front.(884 words)
The global economy is into its fifth year of growth. The expansion enjoyed in the OECD area has benefited from the dynamism of large non-member economies, especially in Asia. Globalisation has helped these countries raise living standards and reduce poverty. Indeed, the participation of China, India and other non-OECD nations in global economic flows has been increasing at a remarkable pace, now representing around half of total world GDP (measured by purchasing power parities), about 40% of world exports and nearly half of the world’s energy consumption. They have become massive outward investors, too.(792 words)
It is a great honour to have been given the mandate to lead the OECD following Donald Johnston’s great legacy. We are facing a number of pressing challenges, of which I will mention just a few. Starting with the global economy, I would note that although the economic outlook for this and next year is rather positive, there is no room for complacency.(883 words)
The OECD Ministerial Council Meeting and the Forum are major opportunities for member countries and other emerging economies to exchange views on global economic issues, share best practices and discuss policy priorities. Our central theme this year is “Delivering prosperity” and our focus is on the wide-ranging reforms required to make our world a safe and thriving place for its citizens. Chair's summary, now available.(847 words)
This is my last editorial for the OECD Observer before I step down as secretary-general in May 2006. Nevertheless, I will focus on the future, rather than dwell on the past. That is not to say that we should ignore John Maynard Keynes’ advice that we should examine the present, in light of the past, for the purposes of the future. But sometimes the present and the future cannot draw many useful lessons from the past.(774 words)
Where are we in the current economic crisis?
- Clinical trials for better health policies
- Asia’s Challenges
- Women in work: The Norwegian experience
- The EU fish discard ban: Where’s the catch?
- Information society: Which way now?
- Policy can brighten the economic outlook
- How to get it right
- Interns are workers, too
- It’s all about people
- Time for an energy [r]evolution