TALLINN - Secretary General of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Angel Gurria confirmed in his meeting with Foreign Minister Urmas Paet in Paris that the decision to accept Estonia as a member of the OECD would be made this spring, reports Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Paet and Gurria signed the agreement of privileges and immunities between Estonia and the OECD. Paet said that the invitation to join the OECD confirms the high recognition of Estonia’s development thus far.
“The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development is an expert center that analyzes the economy and the development of society. For Estonia, joining the OECD is a chance to share world-class expert information and contribute to this [knowledge] with our own experiences,” he said. The agreement of privileges and immunities signed in Paris, on Feb. 18, is based on OECD standards and guarantees the autonomy.
“Estonia and the other OECD nations confirm that they will ensure the independent work of the organization’s experts, free of interference,” Paet said, explaining the content of the agreement that is a requirement for joining the organization. Paet noted that the OECD has already compiled many high-level analyses about Estonia that have been very useful.
“For example, the first economic review of Estonia, published in 2009, attracted great attention and inspired discussions on Estonia’s economic policy,” said Paet. “Estonia is a like-minded state to the other OECD members, and the organization’s goals are also important to us: economic growth, raising the standard of living, and helping the development of global trade,” stressed the Estonian foreign minister.
The OECD is a forum for industrially developed democratic nations which is based in Paris. It was established by nineteen nations on Sept. 30, 1961, and its predecessor was the Organization for European Economic Co-operation (OEEC), which was created after World War II to administer American and Canadian aid for rebuilding Europe (the Marshall Plan). The OECD currently has 30 members: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and the U.S. In January of 2010, Chile also signed an accession agreement with the OECD and will become a full member, like Estonia, once the domestic proceedings end. Estonia was invited to begin accession negotiations with the OECD in 2007. After its signing, the agreement of privileges and immunities must be ratified by the Riigikogu (Estonian Parliament).