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The focus of our lecture this morning will be on the OECD.

We will learn about what it is, talk briefly about its history, and consider what it does today. We have a lot to cover, so listen carefully. Some of you know what I mean by the OECD, others may not. OECD stands for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Quite a long title! The abbreviation OECD is much easier to remember and say. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is a mouthful. Now, you are probably wondering exactly what the OECD is. Well, it is an international organization. Its members are developed countries that believe in democracy and a free market economy. Lets start with a bit about its history. The OECD came into being to help rebuild Europe after the Second World War. Im sure youre all familiar with the destruction in Europe, especially in France, England, and Germany, at that time. Originally, only European countries were members. In 1961, however, non-European members were admitted, and its scope became more international. Today, the OECD is a group of like-minded countries. They help the governments of countries become prosperous and fight poverty. To be more specific, the OECD helps provide economic growth, financial stability, technology, and trade and investment. Oh, and, umm, the organization is also aware of the importance of the environment. They work hard to ensure that achieving prosperity does not mean ruining the environment. The OECD also helps governments understand and respond to new developments in the areas of terrorism, new technologies, and ageing populations. In other words, the OECD changes with the times. The OECD also collects statistical, economic, and social data. This data is highly respected and used by researchers worldwide. So, to recap, this is what we have discussed so far. This will be on the test, so you may want to write it all down. The OECD was formed to help the rebuilding of Europe. In 961, its membership expanded from European-only countries to democratic and free market economy countries around the world. Today, the OECD helps countries become prosperous and fight poverty. The organization also helps governments understand terrorism, new technologies, and ageing populations. It is also a well-respected collector of statistical, economic, and social data. I want you to understand that while the OECD has only 30 members, non-members can subscribe to OECD agreements and treaties. The organization shares its information and expertise with more than 100 countries.