The OECD has its origins in 1948 as the Organisation for European Economic Cooperation, formed to help administer the Marshall Plan for the reconstruction of Europe after World War II. How would you define its role in today’s world?
The origins of the OECD had a recipe that is unique in the international context. From the beginning, we have gotten people to sit around the table in all areas of public policy, to compare their experiences with a view to coming forward with best practice, and working to keep political compromise out of the process. In doing so, the OECD has been able to continuously address issues at the top of the global agenda during the last 50 years by evolving while seeing the need for what it does remain just as necessary today as it was in the 1960s. Whereas in the 70s and 80s the OECD focused, for example, on industries such as steel or shipbuilding, it has in the meantime shifted to issues that are of major concern to us now, such as green growth and innovation strategies. The OECD is the global economic weatherman, measuring traditional economic indicators. But the OECD has always measured many other things, such as employment, education, health, innovation, environmental policies, etc. The OECD is the premier international organisation in terms of being able to compare, measure and produce data in different fields in a very authoritative and independent manner, with the purpose of translating this knowledge into policy recommendations. Our results stand up to scrutiny because of evidence, because of experience and because things are tried and tested. And that is unique.