The Round Table on Sustainable Development brings ministers and high-level governmental officials together with senior-level representatives of business, intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations to help tackle complicated sustainability questions that defy negotiated solutions at the global level. Established by the OECD Secretary-General in 1998, it is hosted by the Organisation but fully independent of its budget and work programme.

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

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 forum through which ministers can engage one another and key international stakeholders without prejudice to negotiating positions on cross-cutting issues comprising the sustainable development agenda.