OECD 2011 : Better policies for better lives OECD 50th anniversary forum / Paris 24-25 May 2011.

When Man first appeared on the Earth, there was no economic life to speak of. When the battle for survival had been won, the wandering tribes began to settle down and fashion tools and weapons, and the art of tilling the soil was gradually mastered by Man.

Trade was already brisk at the dawn of History. With the discoveries and inventions of the late 15th century there began the evolution of techniques , which later became a revolution , the pace of which has gathered so much speed these few decades that it can change the way of life from one generation to the next. While printing made a wider knowledge of new theories and discoveries possible, sturdy sailing-ships were built which could weather the assaults of the Atlantic and other oceans, and find their way to distant lands thanks to the compass, the principle of which had been brought back from China.

The steam engine which drove more and more efficient machines as well as railway trains and ships, was hailed as the greatest human invention since that of the wheel and opened a new era. Animal strength was gradually replaced by natural forces harnessed by man : coal was transformed into steam and later on into electricity. Petroleum is nowadays of an importance equal to that of coal and electricity.

Today, we have sky-scrapers, the Shuttle, railways, the internet and the AIRBUS A380. We also have the Atomic energy which makes our lives much easier. The social influences of these inventions have been tremendous and a rapid comparison shows that, in all fields, our life bears little resemblance to that of a few centuries ago. This is so true, but not everywhere in the world. And definitely not in lots of countries in Africa where the attainment of the MDGs has become particularly challenging against the background of the recent economic and financial crisis.

The crisis has set back some of the progress that Africa has started to achieve, leaving the continent with steeper challenges to face over the next 4 years to the target date of 2015. This context highlights the importance of reviewing both the delivery of commitments and the effectiveness of development policies.

More than ever, we need to redouble our efforts to track and assess both achievements and gaps. As we all know, the OECD is a unique forum where governments work together to address the economic, social and environmental challenges of globalization. The OECD is also at the forefront of efforts to understand and to help governments respond to new developments and concerns. In that regard, to mark the OECD’s 50th Anniversary, the OECD Forum 2011 builds around a special programme showcasing how the OECD has helped raise our standards of life and how, in the future, the OECD can sharpen its contribution toward a more resilient and balanced world economy.

What does the future hold ? :

If every age has been faced with the questions that inevitably arise from man’s progress, our present civilization changes at such a rate that each problem solved is immediately replaced by two others to be solved.

The most urgent question is undoubtedly that of the increasing world-population.

It is no exaggeration to say that we are at a turning point, such as Man has not known since the 16th century in Europe.

At www.Off-The-RecordMessaging.com/www.conversationprivee.com, we do believe that :

  • Man has at his disposal the means of doing away with poverty and undernourishment and, at least to a great extent, disease : it is to be hoped that the extraordinary high level of modern technology will be turned to that end !
  • It is possible to turn talent into jobs.
  • Innovation is the key for a shift to a greener economy.
  • Budgetary reforms help growth.