(This text is also available in German).
Switzerland, along with 19 other countries, signed the Convention founding the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development on 14 December 1960, thereby pledged its full dedication to achieving the Organisation’s fundamental aims.
What does the permanent delegation do?
Like all the member countries, the Swiss government maintains a permanent delegation to the OECD, composed of an ambassador and diplomats. As a member of the Council, Switzerland's ambassador, in consultation with his peers, agrees the programme of work which is described in the annual report and establishes the volume of the annual budget, contributions being assessed according to the relative size of each country’s economy.
Members of the Swiss Delegation monitor the work of the OECD’s various committees as well as the activities of the Development Centre, the International Transport Forum (ITF), the International Energy Agency (IEA), the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) and the Sahel and West Africa Club (SWAC), of which Switzerland is a member.
Delegations thus play a vital communication role in providing liaison between the OECD Secretariat and national authorities. They represent their governments’ positions in multilateral negotiations, indicate areas in which their governments seek OECD expertise and endeavour to help disseminate OECD recommendations in their respective countries. In doing so, they ensure that there is a good fit between OECD work and the issues of concern in their country.
What are the benefits of OECD membership?
The benefits for countries are many. Through its country surveys and comparable statistical and economic data, the OECD provides its member countries tools with which to analyse and monitor their economic, social and environmental policies. Countries can draw on the OECD’s reservoir of expertise, including peer reviews, and they can access all of the research and analysis conducted by the Secretariat. Covering the full economic and social spectrum, this work could not be carried out by any one country alone.
In addition to its economic intelligence functions, the OECD is above all a forum within which countries can discuss and share national experience, identify best practices and find solutions to common problems. The OECD having working relationships with over 100 non-member economies, members benefit from dialogue and consultations with all players on the world scene, in a context of increased interdependence that demands global rules of the game.