Today, we congratulate the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on the occasion of its 60th anniversary. In the six decades since the United States joined 19 other nations in signing the OECD convention, the organization has served as an indispensable forum for the democracies of the world to advance shared prosperity through free markets founded on good policy, sound economic data, and cooperation.
Through the OECD, member nations advocate for accountability, integrity, reciprocity, transparency, and the rule of law all over the world. By promoting and implementing policies grounded in these values, we have helped to improve the lives of hundreds of millions of people.
In the wake of the Second World War, Europe faced a daunting road to recovery. The continent had experienced a stunning loss of life nearly unfathomable in modern times, and its economies were torn apart. In laying out his plan for the rehabilitation of Europe, General George Marshall noted that “…there must be some agreement among the countries of Europe as to the requirements of the situation and the part those countries themselves will take in order to give proper effect to whatever action might be undertaken by this Government.” It was this observation that led to the founding of the organization that eventually would become the OECD, and through the Marshall plan, Europe built back stronger than ever before.
While the wide range of challenges confronting the world today are different than those General Marshall faced in 1947, they are nonetheless critically important to address and will require international cooperation to surmount. The OECD is uniquely positioned to be the most influential international organization in the world if it remains globally focused, well-managed, and forward-looking. As the organization’s single largest contributor, the United States will continue to play a central role in this effort.
As we celebrate 60 years of partnership with the OECD’s member countries, we reaffirm our commitment to working together to solve the substantive issues facing our governments and economies. Together, we can continue to advance the cause of freedom and increase our shared prosperity for generations to come.