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The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development is a Paris-based intergovernmental organisation whose purpose is to provide its 29 Member countries with a forum in which governments can compare their experiences, discuss the problems they share and seek solutions which can then be applied within their own national contexts. The Organisation is thus entirely at the service of its Member countries. It forms a homogeneous entity in that each Member country is committed to the principles of the market economy and pluralistic democracy. The fundamental task of the OECD is straightforward: namely to enable its members to consult and co-operate with each other in order to achieve the highest sustainable economic growth in their countries and improve the economic and social well-being of their populations. The OECD offers advice and makes recommendations to its members to help them to define their policies. On occasion its also arbitrates negotiations of multilateral agreements and establishes legal codes in certain areas of activity. The Organisation is a forum for objective, skilled and independent dialogue which permits a thorough understanding and true assessment of the problems posed in today's increasingly complex world. The great comparative advantages of the OECD are its multidisciplinary approach--a capacity to cover all areas of government activity in a consistent way--and its system of consensus building through peer pressure. Within the different committees the peer pressure system encourages countries to be transparent, to provide explanations and justifications, and to be self-critical where necessary, the practice of self-assessment being the most original characteristic of the OECD.
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