Dear OECD Forum Friends,
We hope you had an opportunity to attend this year’s OECD Forum.
Please save 28 and 29 May 2013 in your calendar for the next OECD Forum in Paris.
This year’s Forum gathered some 1 400 participants from 70 countries, while 6 Deputy Prime Ministers and 59 Ministers, State Secretaries and Vice-Ministers attended the Ministerial Council Meeting (MCM) that followed it. The Forum brought together 151 speakers and 154 journalists and generated over
8 000 online news articles and social media posts.
The enclosed newsletter aims to provide you with a flavour of the debates during the panel discussions, “food for thought lunches” and IdeaFactories. The two days of debate featured concerns about growing levels of inequality; the impact of the crisis on the middle classes in the developed and developing world; the effects of the very high levels of unemployment, especially amongst young people; as well as concerns about transparency, corruption, tax evasion and fraud and the growing need for effective corporate governance, financial regulation and consumer financial protection. The challenges we face are indeed immense. We need stronger, more inclusive, and job-rich growth. We need growth that will bring people hope and new opportunities, and restore dignity to the millions who are unemployed.
A number of MCM and Forum sessions were dedicated to transition and reforms in the Middle East and North African region with a focus on good governance, participation of civil society and promoting entrepreneurship of women in the region in particular.
To help countries develop a new type of growth (i.e. sustainable, more inclusive and job-rich), the OECD launched a new initiative, called New Approaches to Economic Challenges which will draw lessons from the crisis and, as appropriate, adjust the OECD’s economic analysis and policy recommendations.
In summary, OECD Week, with the Forum and the Ministerial, offered a content-rich, thought provoking and varied programme. We are pleased when participants tell us that they feel that “they have the possibility to take the floor, hear new ideas and really feel like being part of the debate”.
OECD Week for this year is now over. But the fundamental questions about how to tackle the economic, social, environmental and governance challenges we all face remain. Many of these questions and issues high on the agenda this year will again be important in 2013. In a session with this year’s Forum participants some of the key challenges identified were the need to find effective ways to redress inequalities, how to ensure jobs are created for young people, but also how to ensure that we encourage people to feel involved in solutions through voting and participating rather than protesting.
The OECD is convinced that the only effective way to address these issues is through a truly open dialogue involving all parts of society. It's for this reason that we hope very much that you can join us next May at the 2013 OECD Forum. If you have suggestions for us to take into consideration for Forum 2013, please don’t hesitate to contact the Forum team.
The OECD Forum Team