Several OECD events involving civil society organisations (CSOs) have taken place since September:
Implementing due diligence in the 3Ts and gold supply chains
A multi-stakeholder forum on 28-30 November examined how companies working in Africa's Great Lakes region are making progress using the Due Diligence Guidance to enable the responsible sourcing of minerals. Discussions also addressed due diligence practices for the responsible sourcing of gold from conflict and high-risk areas.
Green Growth & Sustainable Development Forum 2012
The first Green Growth and Sustainable Development Forum, which took place on the 23 November, enjoyed significant interest and participation from civil society, such as WWF, the Global Footprint Network and Vitae Civilis Institute. This Forum is a new initiative established by the OECD as a vehicle for facilitating dialogue on cross-cutting green growth and sustainable development issues, to meet and exchange experiences, to identify key knowledge gaps as well as policy tools and best practices that respond to specific national circumstances. CSOs from both developed and developing countries attended this inaugural event and contributed to the discussion, which this year focused on encouraging the efficient and sustainable use of natural resources. In helping to achieve greater societal development, CSOs welcomed the opportunity to participate in this event, and indeed expressed strong interest to enhance their contribution to future versions of this forum. A statement from 10 CSOs participating in the GG-SD Forum is available here.
The OECD’s Working Party on Export Credits and Credit Guarantees (ECG) and the Participants to the Arrangement on Officially Supported Export Credits held a half-day consultation with CSOs on 13 November. The purpose of this consultation was two-fold: first, to update CSOs on recent developments, such as agreement earlier this year to a new Sector Understanding on Export Credits for Renewable Energies, Climate Change Mitigation and Water Projects (CCSU) and to a revised Recommendation of the Council on Common Approaches for Officially Supported Export Credits and Environmental and Social Due Diligence (the 2012 Common Approaches); and, second, to exchange views on issues of interest to CSOs, such as follow-up work on the CCSU and 2012 Common Approaches , proposals for revising the financial terms available for the rail transportation sector, current funding problems in the banking sector, and outreach to key emerging market providers of official export credits support. The CSOs represented were: Amnesty International, the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD, the Coalition for Employment through Exports Inc. of the United States, the Danish Institute of Human Rights, ECA Watch, the Equator Principles Financial Institutions, the European Banking Federation and the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
On 12-14 November, transfer pricing experts from governments met with more than 100 private sector representatives to consider transfer pricing issues raised in discussion drafts on Intangibles, Safe Harbours and Timing Issues that have particular importance for developing countries. Following the release of the discussion drafts, almost 1400 pages of comments were received, including 132 comment letters from business representatives, one from academia and one from a tax journalist. During the two and a half days of consultation, the seriousness of issues relating to base erosion and profit shifting for both governments and business were recognised. It was underscored that such issues need to be addressed within a neutral and predictable transfer pricing framework and in a way that will encourage innovative activities and economic growth. It was also recognised that bi- and multilateral safe harbours would help governments in their aim to simplify transfer pricing rules, provide certainty for business and limit the costs of complying with such rules, both for governments and for business.
The International Commission on Radiological Protection, in co-operation with the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency, held a dialogue with civil society in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, on 10-11 November. This fourth dialogue in a series focused on the education of children and youth, building upon knowledge gained during the previous dialogues. Participants heard about lessons learnt in the areas in Norway and Belarus affected by the Chernobyl nuclear accident, and teachers from schools in Fukushima shared their experiences. There was broad agreement that all teachers should train in radiation protection science and learn more about the situation in affected areas. Teachers in the affected areas themselves should in addition learn about self-protection.
Expert consultation on integrated services and housing
On 8-9 November, the OECD Social Policy Division held its first Expert consultation on integrated services and housing, bringing together over 60 experts, made up of academics, practitioners and policymakers. The purpose of the consultation was to provide a forum for experts working in the area of integrating social services and housing for vulnerable populations, to explore the potential similarities and differences in providing integrated services for populations with multiple and complex needs across the OECD. Continued work in the area of integrated service delivery, and also in the specific area of homelessness/vulnerability, was strongly encouraged by all participants, who stressed the unique role OECD could take in defining the cross-national research agenda and building a knowledge base on which better social policies can be developed. A full list of the participants, presentations delivered at the meeting, as well as commissioned papers, can be found atwww.oecd.org/social/integratedservices.htm.
4th OECD World Forum on Measuring Well-Being for Development and Policy Making
Well before the onset of the 2008 economic crisis, the OECD has been working with governments to "go beyond GDP" and create new tools for measuring progress in societies. Well-being has emerged as a relevant complementary metric, and was at the heart of discussion at the 4th OECD World Forum on Measuring Well-Being for Development and Policy Making, organised jointly with the Government of India in New Delhi on 16-19 October. Close to 1000 delegates from more than 70 countries – representing governments, international organisations, civil society organisations, think tanks, academia, trade unions and the private sector – came together to discuss how this and related initiatives could be useful for measurement and policy in non-OECD countries. See also www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org
On 10 October, private sector and civil society representatives met with the OECD Working Group on Bribery to discuss collective action and how collaborative and sustained processes of co-operation amongst stakeholders can combat corruption. More than 170 participants from business, civil society and governments attended the meeting, which included presentations by the International Center for Collective Action of the Basel Institute on Governance, the B20, Siemens, Colombia, BIAC and Transparency International. Working Group on Bribery consultations with the private sector and civil society are held on a regular basis. Participation is by invitation only. Interested participants can email Mary Crane-Charef of the OECD Anti-Corruption Division for more information.
How can African policy makers promote more productive and labour-intensive economic sectors, and at the same time exploit better the continent's large natural resource endowments? How can Africa maximise its wealth while avoiding the mistakes of the economic boom of the 70s? Over 900 officials, entrepreneurs, civil society actors and academics came together at the OECD on 4 October to sketch tomorrow's African growth strategies. There was a broad consensus that levers of public action – training, investment, taxation, regulation – can be catalytic, if operated in a coordinated manner, with a more judicious selection of projects at both national and regional levels, and an active economic diplomacy keeping the interest of Africans at centre-stage. They also stressed that regional co-operation, e.g. on taxation, should foster greater policy coherence. Learn more about the 12th Africa Forum.
OECD at the WTO Public Forum
The OECD participated in the World Trade Organization Public Forum, which took place in Geneva on 25-26 September. The Forum provides an opportunity for government representatives, CSOs, academics, businesses and students to discuss the latest issues regarding the multilateral trading system. Apart from participating in various sessions, the OECD also organised a session on "Better Jobs Through Trade".