Tasks and Objectives of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

Conference entrance of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
Photo: OECD

The aim of the OECD is to use its wealth of information to help governments foster economic growth and prosperity and fight poverty.

For this purpose, the OECD analyses and compares key economic figures and calculates the effects of various political options while consistently pursuing an approach that promotes market economy and free trade. The analyses are subjected to discussion in a number of committees with representatives of the member states and ultimately result in recommendations. Being a knowledge institution, the OECD has no impact on whether or not its recommendations will be implemented. As with all scientific works, OECD's reports and recommendations are available for discussion.

In accordance with Article 1 of its Convention, the aims of the OECD shall be to promote policies designed
- to achieve sustainable economic growth and employment and a rising standard of living in member countries, while maintaining financial stability,
- to contribute to sound economic expansion in member as well as non-member countries in the process of economic development; and
- to contribute to the expansion of world trade on a multilateral, non-discriminatory basis.

The OECD also monitors Green Growth and Better Life initiatives based on indicators.

As an international organisation, it is funded by its member countries. The contributions depend, on the size of each member's economy. Main contribution payer is currently the US (23 %), followed by Japan. Austria contributes 1.25 % to the Part I budget. Member countries may also make voluntary contributions to support special programmes (Part II budget).

As indicated above, the OECD works in dialogue with its member countries. The highest OECD body is the Council, which defines the general strategic direction and action fields. The Secretariat is led by the Secretary-General (as of June 2006 Angel Gurria) and is organised in several directorates responsible for different areas. The Trade and Agriculture Directorate (TAD) is in charge of agriculture.

The major OECD committees established for agricultural matters are:

The Committee for Agriculture (COAG) as the superior body and

  1. the Working Party on Agricultural Policies and Markets
  2. the Joint Working Party on Agriculture and Trade and
  3. the Joint Working Party on Agriculture and Environment.

In line with intra-state responsibilities, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Regions and Water Management supports the committees related to agriculture and the environment. Since 8 January 2018, the overall coordination of OECD matters has been the responsibility of the Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs (BMEIA). The Permanent Representation of Austria to the OECD is in Paris.