In news: Many civil society organisations have criticised Brazil’s candidacy to join the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
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- Concerns are raised about Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro’s human rights, social and environmental agenda.
- One of the main issues is a proposed law backed by Bolsonaro and a conservative agribusiness lobby (known as the ‘ruralistas’) that is set to be approved by the country’s Lower House (Chamber of Deputies) at any time.
- The Bill would undermine critical elements of national legislation concerning environmental impact assessments and licensing, as a means to fast-track approval of high-risk projects.
- There is concern about another proposed law, which if passed, would allow industrial mining, hydroelectric dams, gas and oil exploration and other high-impact activities on indigenous lands.
- Brazil has been invited to OECD meetings since 1999 but has not yet joined as a member state.
- It is an intergovernmental economic organisation with 37 member countries, founded in 1961.
- It aims to stimulate economic progress and world trade.
- Generally, OECD members are high-income economies with a very high Human Development Index (HDI) and are regarded as developed countries.
- It is an official United Nations observer.
- In 1948, the OECD originated as the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation (OEEC), led by Robert Marjolin of France, to help administer the Marshall Plan (which was rejected by the Soviet Union and its satellite states).
- In 1961, the OEEC was reformed into the OECD and membership was extended to non-European states.
- Its headquarters is in Paris, France.
The OECD is funded by contributions from member countries at varying rates.