What is the OECD?
The OECD is an international organism that has as primary goal the promotion of “Better Policies for Better Lives”.
Founded in 1961, the OECD gathers 34 member countries from all over the world. Its mission is to promote good practices through policies that improve social and economic welfare of people. The OECD offers a forum in which governments can work hand to hand by sharing experiences and finding solutions to common problems, identifying good practices and coordinating national and international policies. Thanks to the work of the OECD, international standards are set within a wide range of subjects related to public policies, which are created considering real facts and experiences.
Although it has an intergovernmental nature, the Organization gives an important value to the civil society: labor and business organizations are involved in its activities and have an advisory status. The OECD also promotes dialogue platforms with parliaments, non-governmental organizations and other social actors. Moreover, the OECD is one of the largest and most trusted sources of statistic data in the world, regarding economic and social information.
Colombian Accession Process
- In 2011, the President of Colombia visited the OECD and expressed the country´s intention to become member of this organization.
- In 2012, an official letter from the Colombian Government was sent to point out our intention to begin an accession process. This year a Ministerial Meeting took place in the OECD, and Colombia adopted four (4) different instruments. Finally, this year tree (3) technical studies regarding investment, education and economy were performed.
- In 2013, Colombia received a formal invitation to begin the formal accession process to the OECD. In September of the same year, the official Roadmap for the Colombian Accession Process was submitted.
From this review, we can appreciate that Colombia´s approach towards the OECD has been really short in comparison to other countries. It only took two (2) years to receive a formal invitation from this Organization.
The Roadmap established the process and conditions for the Colombia´s future membership. Thanks to its content, the collaboration of Colombian officials in different OECD Committees formally began. Experts of different member countries in different subjects of international relevance integrate those Committees.
During the accession process, the OECD has evaluated the application of policies, the best practices that are being used and the implementation of the legal instruments of the Organization by Colombia. Also, its committees have been making recommendations to Colombia regarding the introduction of adjustments to the country´s legislation, policies or practices; so that they can be harmonized with the OECD guidelines and standards.
Twenty three (23) Committees must give “approval” to the Country, considering specific legal regimens. Once all the approvals are obtained, the the OECD Council, composed by all member countries of the Organization, must give its final decision. Like all-important decisions affecting the Organization, those concerning the accession of new members are taken by consensus.
Currently, Colombia has the approval of eighteen (18) different Committees in the following topics: Fishing, Agriculture, Insurance and Private Pensions, Corporate Government, Fiscal Affairs, Financial Affairs, Health, Statistics, Competition, Consumer Protection, Science and Technology, Investment Affairs, Financial Markets, Regulatory Policy, Education, Digital Economy Policy and Regional Development.
The goal is to obtain the approval of the remaining five (5) committees in 2017.
Participation of the SIC
The SIC has a direct participation in the Competition Committee and in the Consumer Protection Committee – and their corresponding working parties. Both of them have already approved Colombia´s legal regimes in such fields.
In each one of them, the Superintendence of Industry and Commerce is responsible for representing the country and serving as a link between the Organization´s guidelines and the Colombia´s process of adjustment.
Moreover, the Superintendence of Industry and Commerce has an indirect participation in the Digital Policy Committee – and its working parties, in which it represents the country in specific topics related to privacy and data protection. The Communications Regulatory Commission and the Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies are the lead representatives of Colombia in this specific Committee.