The OECD FORUM 2004 will be held May 12-13 at the Centre de Conférences Internationales, in Paris. This year’s theme is “Health of Nations”, with sessions addressing aspects such as the health of citizens, the health of the economy and the health of multilateral co-operation. The OECD Secretary General points out, *”A healthy nation is one that creates for its citizens economic prosperity and social cohesion, thanks to sound and effective systems of governance.”*

**National Economies / Corporate Governance**

Insofar as the health of national economies is concerned, the OECD says financial crises and scandals have underlined the importance of sound corporate governance for economic growth and development.

OECD Ministers have undertaken an assessment and review of the OECD Principles of Corporate Governance. These principals are one of the 12 key standards for international financial stability of the Financial Stability Forum. Striving for greater efficiency of the public sector, says the OECD, is an essential element for enhancing the efficiency of markets and long-term economic, social and environmental development.

**Multilateral System**

A well-functioning multilateral system is also central to the health of nations. Effective governance in the multilateral system requires more of both ‘give and take’ between all parties.

The Secretary General says the work of the OECD demonstrates that there is much to be learned from international comparisons of performance and investigating what methods of governance work best and under what circumstances.

The upcoming OECD Forum plays an important role in this respect by bringing together business and labour leaders, civil society personalities, government ministers and leaders of international organisations to pool their experiences and discuss the key issues of the 21st century.

The OECD Forum was launched in 2000 to mark the arrival of the new millennium, and has become an annual “multistakeholder” summit.