Formed in 1961, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) provides a means for member nations to further their commitment to democracy and a market economy. Specific goals include supporting economic growth that is sustainable, boosting employment, raising standards of living, maintaining financial stability, assisting the economic development of other countries, and contributing to the growth of world trade. The headquarters of the organization is in Paris, France, and the official languages of the organization are French and English.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development grew out of the Organization for European Economic Co-operation (OEEC), which had been founded in 1947 with the mission of administering aid given by the United States and Canada under the Marshall Plan for reconstructing Europe after World War II. As of 2010, there were 31 member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 20 of which have been members since its inception. The initial members, all from Europe and North America, include Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The eleven members that joined between 1962 and 2010 include Mexico, in North America; the Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Italy, Poland, and the Slovak Republic in Europe; Australia and New Zealand in the South Pacific; and Japan and Korea in Asia. Estonia, Israel, and Slovenia were invited to join in May 2010.
In addition to its membership, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has forged cooperative ties with 70 countries that are not members. A subsection of the organization — the Centre for Co-operation with Non-Members (CCNM) — is responsible for developing and overseeing initiatives with non-members. OECD also maintains official relationships with other international organizations. These include many United Nations bodies, as well as the Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the International Labour Organization, and International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank.
There are a large number of publications put out by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. One publication that is considered a key resource is the OECD Factbook. This volume, published annually in May, contains a global overview of economic, social, and environmental indicators that have the most impact. A variety of versions are available, including print, USB key, web book, iPhone® app, other smartphone versions, and they come with access to interactive maps and graphs, as well as the database on which the publication is based.