Canada and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

Canada is one of the 20 founding members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Just as Canada was committed to strengthening the economic cooperation of the Marshall Plan, Canada contributed to the creation of the OECD with the goal of promoting economic growth as a path to stability. In Canada, the three levels of government and about thirty separate federal government departments/agencies are involved in OECD work. Canada is very active in the OECD at the committee level and Canadians currently chair several committees and working parties. Canada ranks seventh in terms of assessed contributions to the OECD, paying 3.84% of member countries’ budget contributions.

The OECD comprises 36 member countries, which collectively account for 62.2% of the world economy, 61.2% of world merchandise imports and 17.5% of the world’s population.

The Permanent Delegation of Canada to the OECD comprises an ambassador and a team of diplomats and others as the conduit between the Government of Canada, the OECD and the other member states.

The Permanent Mission of Canada to the OECD is located in Paris, France.

The OECD

The OECD comprises 36 member countries, which collectively account for 62.2% of the world economy, 61.2% of world merchandise imports and 17.5% of the world’s population. It is dedicated to ensuring the sustainable economic prosperity of its members and non-members through the advancement of economic, social and democratic best practices. Within the OECD, governments work together to address the challenges of globalization and technological development.

The OECD is a key multilateral forum through which members and partners, supported by a secretariat, collaboratively develop evidence-based policies and practices to advance sustainable and inclusive economic growth and address social and development issues with a view to improving living standards around the world.

The OECD brings together 36 countries in Europe, North America, Latin America and the Pacific. Its primary purpose is to provide a forum to discuss and identify compatible, mutually supporting and constructive approaches to economic and social issues. This helps ensure sustainable economic growth and provides employment and rising standards of living for the international community.

The organization addresses a wide range of international and domestic policy issues. Broad themes are analyzed and debated by OECD delegates: trade, social and welfare issues, public governance, development, tax, transport, science and technology and innovation.

The OECD grew out of the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation, set up by the United States, Canada and European countries to coordinate the Marshall Plan. In 1961, 20 countries, including Canada signed the convention to create the OECD to assist governments in achieving economic growth and development. Over the last 40 years the OECD’s membership and scope has grown considerably.

Almost all regions of the globe are now represented among the OECD’s 36 members. However, its work is not merely for the benefit of members alone: recognizing the harmonization of the global economy, the OECD reaches out to over 100 developing and emerging countries.

In 2007, OECD members decided to enlarge the organization's membership and increase relations with the major emerging economies. Chile, Slovenia, Israel and Estonia joined the OECD in 2010. In 2016, Latvia became the 35th member country. Lithuania joined in 2018.

The OECD is the world’s largest and most reliable source of comparable statistical, economic and social data. It provides an objective comparative analysis of members’ policies and performances, develops best practices, and undertakes peer reviews on a wide variety of key economic, social and environmental policy issues. It develops guidelines and agreements to better harmonize policies across the OECD and undertakes analysis and outreach in selected non-member countries. To achieve this, the organization pursues:

  1. public policy research, either breaking new research ground (in areas such as digitalization, taxation, the nature of work, inclusive growth, health, education, trade and services, development financing and innovation) or advancing knowledge (on economic outlooks, aging, migration, aid effectiveness, job creation, structural adjustment, etc.);
  2. soft law, by putting forward common international practices and standards in areas such as taxation, corporate governance and the measurement of innovation and classification of science, tariffs and trade flow data; and
  3. peer reviews, which represent one of the OECD’s core strengths by offering to its 36 members a framework to examine and compare experiences and discuss “best practices” in a host of areas from economic policy to environmental protection to job-creation strategies.

The decision-making body of the organization is the Council, comprising an ambassador from each member country and one from the European Commission. The Council provides guidance to the organization and its work. Member countries meet and exchange information in committees, in which national representatives advance ideas and review progress in defined areas of policy. There are about 250 committees, working groups and experts groups in all, bringing together some 40,000 officials each year to review and contribute to the work undertaken by the OECD Secretariat.

The Permanent Delegation

The Permanent Delegation of Canada to the OECD comprises an ambassador and a team of 13 diplomats and locally engaged staff. As the key interface between the Government of Canada, the OECD Secretariat and 34 other member states, plus the European Union, the Permanent Delegation provides strategic advice and support to close to 700 Canadian delegates who contribute to OECD social, economic and development aid policy discussions. The ambassador represents Canada in the organization’s governing body, the OECD Council and, in collaboration with the other ambassadors, determines the organization’s program of work and budget.

The team strives to maximize the utility of the OECD to Canadian policy makers by:

  • advancing Canadian views and positions within the OECD;
  • managing the OECD’s institutional governance by representing Canada in the administrative bodies of the organization (Council, Executive Committee, Budget Committee, External Relations Committee, Evaluation Committee);
  • representing Canada in substantive OECD committee meetings;
  • supporting Canadian delegates from all levels of government participating in OECD meetings (about 700 annually);
  • disseminating the results of OECD work; and
  • Increasing public knowledge of the role of the OECD in the international architecture and Canada’s role in the organization.

Contact information

The Permanent Mission of Canada to the OECD is located in Paris, France.

Address

15 bis rue de Franqueville
75116 Paris
France

Telephone: (011-33-1) 44 43 20 90

Fax: (011-33-1) 44 43 20 99

Email: poecd@international.gc.ca

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