Colombia has now completed its domestic procedures for ratification of the OECD Convention and deposited its instrument of accession, culminating a process that began in 2013 by then President Juan Manuel Santos. That makes the Andean nation the OECD’s 37th member.
The Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is an international organization that states its mission as promoting policies to improve the economic and social well-being of people worldwide. It provides a forum in which member governments can work together to share experiences and seek solutions to the economic, social and governance challenges they face.
OECD Member countries formally invited Colombia to join the Organization in May 2018, following a five-year accession process during which it underwent in-depth reviews by 23 OECD Committees and introduced major reforms to align its legislation, policies and practices to OECD standards. These spanned the breadth of policy fields including labor issues, reform of the justice system, corporate governance of state-owned enterprises, anti-bribery, trade and the establishment of a national policy on industrial chemicals and waste management.
Beyond the technical aspects, the accession process has served as a catalyst for Colombia to proceed to important reforms to improve the well-being of its citizens, such as the reduction of informality in the labor market, improving the quality and relevance of education and training as well as the long-term sustainability of the health system.
Welcoming the news, OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría said, “We are delighted to welcome Colombia as the 37th member of the OECD. Colombia’s accession is tangible proof of our commitment to bring together countries who strive for the highest standards in global public policy in order to improve the well-being and quality of life of their citizens. Given its recent history, Colombia can be rightly proud of what is truly an exceptional achievement.”
“The accession process has offered Colombia the opportunity to address major policy issues and challenges multilaterally and to learn from the experiences of fellow OECD countries. Engaging Colombia has also served to enrich the OECD’s knowledge and policy experience,” Mr Gurría said.
Colombia’s accession will extend the OECD’s membership to 37 countries. It will be the third Member country from the Latin America and Caribbean region to join following Mexico and Chile. A fourth, Costa Rica, is entering the final stages of its accession process to the Organization.
The OECD’s 37 members are: Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.