Several OECD events involving civil society organisations (CSOs) have taken place since December:
The Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD (TUAC) held its Liaison Committee Meeting, an annual consultation with the OECD Council, on 11 December 2012 on the topic of the OECD's initiative on 'New Approaches to Economic Challenges'. Members of TUAC discussed the trade union perspective on this initiative, how to reduce inequality and build inclusive growth, and the role of the State in this regard.
The OECD Centre for Tax Policy and Administration met on 12 December 2012 with representatives of ActionAid, CCFD-Terre Solidaire, Christian Aid, ONE, Secours Catholique, the Tax Justice Network and Transparency International to discuss tax matters, including the outcomes of the latest Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes and the OECD projects on New Approaches to Economic Challenges and Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS). The OECD also organised a follow up conference call with civil society on 11 February 2013 as an update on the BEPS report and the next steps on the project.
Held in Hong Kong on 13-14 December 2012, this seminar focused on emerging frameworks for financial consumer protection and education; disclosure and transparency in banking and securities; financial dispute resolution schemes; the responsible business conduct of financial service providers; and, the effectiveness of investor education.
OECD Gender Forum "Closing the Gender Gap: Act Now"
In December the OECD launched its latest gender report during the Forum "Closing the Gender Gap: Act Now". This is part of the OECD Gender Initiative, which aims to explore economic aspects of gender equality and develop knowledge on why barriers to greater equality persist, focusing on three key dimensions: education, employment and entrepreneurship (“the three Es”). The Forum discussed the contribution of gender equality to economic growth; gender equality from a business angle; and ways to address gender stereotypes. More information on the event and on the report.
The Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD (BIAC) held its Liaison Committee Meeting, an annual consultation with the OECD Council on 16 January 2013 on the topic of delivering confidence for private sector-led growth and job creation, and business perspectives on the OECD initiative 'New Approaches to Economic Challenges'. Members of BIAC and invited business speakers discussed approaches and strategies to achieve private sector-led growth around three themes: approaches for short- and longer-term growth; the financial system and the real economy; and labour market and social policies.
Recent innovations in producing, processing and disseminating data present opportunities. “Big data” could be used to support early warning systems, for example, mining tweets to assess rainfall patterns or Google searches to detect spikes in illnesses. In many OECD countries, big data is already being used to produce price statistics and national accounts. PARIS21 and the OECD Development Co-operation Directorate co-hosted a debate on 21 January 2013 to consider these opportunities, as well as potential risks. Among the panel there was consensus that big data should complement official statistics, rather than provide an alternative. Despite the numerous problems that official data collection faces in developing countries, it offers more accurate, reliable and comparable information than big data, complying with international statistical standards. Participants stressed the need to make use of emerging technologies to strengthen official data. They also highlighted the role national statistical offices should play in quality control of data flows.
Building financial capability in Africa and the Middle East
This OECD-World Bank conference, held in Kenya on 30-31 January 2013, focused on issues relating to financial literacy in Africa and the Middle East. Discussions addressed national strategies for financial education, measuring financial literacy, evaluating the impact of programmes and financial education in schools and for youth. The conference was attended by high-level African, OECD and World Bank representatives, high-level officials and experts from ministries of finance and education, central banks, regulatory and supervisory authorities, officials of State governments and international organisations, the private sector, the academic and civil community as well as NGOs.
15th OECD/Japan Seminar - Global Strategies for Higher Education-Global Trends and Rethinking the Role of Government
Over the last decades, globalisation has affected many aspects of policy and practice, and education is no exception. Examples of the phenomena brought about by globalisation in the field of higher education include growth of cross-border education cooperation, increased competition among educational institutions, development of regional collaboration and a focus on quality. Over 300 participants from over 20 countries discussed on 6-7 February 2013 global strategies for higher education, including the influence of accelerated commercialisation of education and a knowledge-based society, the role of governments and several aspects of globalisation in higher education, exploring the latest trends of regionalisation and quality assurance.
Wikigender Online Discussion - Transforming social norms to prevent violence against women and girls
Between 4 and 13 February 2013, Wikigender, Breakthrough, End Violence Against Women (EVAW UK), the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, Partners for Prevention (P4P) and Womankind Worldwide held an online discussion on: Transforming social norms to prevent violence against women and girls. The discussion focused on defining the key issues (What type of social norms and attitudes contribute to violence against women? What are the challenges for changing social norms that support violence against women?), examples or case studies, and proposals for actions required (What actions should governments, donors, international organisations and civil society take to transform social norms to prevent violence against women and girls? What type of data should be collected to monitor changes in social norms?). The outcomes of the discussion were presented at a side event in New York on the topic of social norms and the prevention of violence against women and girls, co-organised by the OECD Development Centre and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland on 4 March 2013 during the 57th session of the Commission on the Status of Women.
On 19 February the OECD held its first Twitter chat on how to close the gaps in today's tax rules that enable multinationals to reduce their taxation on income. To see what was discussed use the hashtag #OECDchat. More Twitter chats are to come. Follow the OECD on Twitter: @OECD, @OECDlive
OECD International Business Dialogue 2013: Barriers to 21st Century Commerce
This event on 4-5 March 2013 provided a platform to companies to share hands-on experience in international markets with representatives of both the OECD and its members' trade ministries – and identified the most urgent obstacles to international commerce before, at, and beyond the border.