The Round Table is a catalyst in global environmental affairs. It brings together ministers, senior private sector executives, NGO leaders and academics to grapple with environmental and developmental issues at the global level. It was established by the Secretary-General of the OECD in 1998.

The Round Table's objectives are to:

  • Test new ideas and thinking at the highest political and commercial levels;
  • Act as a catalyst for practical action;
  • Bring together some of the best informed, best placed people in the world on key issues;
  • Look for ways to reach a better and shared understanding of the relevant facts and figures related to possible solutions for global challenges;
  • Events attended by Ministers, senior business leaders and decision-makers from intergovernmental organisations.

The Round Table deliberately avoids negotiated outcomes. Rather, it seeks to highlight issues and possible solutions that members can feed into their own work programmes. It provides an informal format through which ministers can engage one another and key international stakeholders without prejudice to negotiating positions on the cross-cutting issues comprising the sustainable development agenda.