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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on May 17th, 2010
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

OECD – The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, is often seen as an exclusive club of rich countries. It is basically made up of Western and central European countries, Anglo-Saxon countries, Japan, and a very small number of newly industrialized countries limited just to Korea, Mexico, and Turkey – as recognized also in the structure of www.SustainabiliTank.info Home-page.

The list of OECD countries ten days ago included the Twenty countries that originally signed the Convention on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development on 14 December 1960.

Since then eleven countries have become members of the Organization. The last to be accepted before last Monday was the Slovak Republic that ratified acceptance December 14, 2000,

The Member countries of the Organization before last Monday, and the dates on which they deposited their instruments of ratification are:
AUSTRALIA: 7 June 1971
AUSTRIA: 29 September 1961
BELGIUM: 13 September 1961
CANADA: 10 April 1961
CHILE: 7 May 2010
CZECH REPUBLIC: 21 December 1995
DENMARK: 30 May 1961
FINLAND: 28 January 1969
FRANCE: 7 August 1961
GERMANY: 27 September 1961
GREECE: 27 September 1961
HUNGARY: 7 May 1996
ICELAND: 5 June 1961
IRELAND: 17 August 1961
ITALY: 29 March 1962
JAPAN: 28 April 1964
KOREA: 12 December 1996
LUXEMBOURG: 7 December 1961
MEXICO: 18 May 1994
NETHERLANDS: 13 November 1961
NEW ZEALAND: 29 May 1973
NORWAY: 4 July 1961
POLAND: 22 November 1996
PORTUGAL: 4 August 1961
SLOVAK REPUBLIC: 14 December 2000
SPAIN: 3 August 1961
SWEDEN: 28 September 1961
SWITZERLAND: 28 September 1961
TURKEY: 2 August 1961
UNITED KINGDOM: 2 May 1961
UNITED STATES: 12 April 1961

The preamble to the document that created December 14, 2010 the OECD organization says:

PARIS 14th December 1960

THE GOVERNMENTS
of the Republic of Austria, the Kingdom of Belgium, Canada, the Kingdom of Denmark, the French Republic, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Kingdom of Greece, the Republic of Iceland, Ireland, the Italian Republic, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Kingdom of Norway, the Portuguese Republic, Spain, the Kingdom of Sweden, the Swiss Confederation, the Turkish Republic, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America;


CONSIDERING
that economic strength and prosperity are essential for the attainment of the purposes of the United Nations, the preservation of individual liberty and the increase of general well-being;


BELIEVING
that they can further these aims most effectively by strengthening the tradition of co-operation which has evolved among them;


RECOGNISING
that the economic recovery and progress of Europe to which their participation in the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation has made a major contribution, have opened new perspectives for strengthening that tradition and applying it to new tasks and broader objectives;


CONVINCED
that broader co-operation will make a vital contribution to peaceful and harmonious relations among the peoples of the world;


RECOGNISING
the increasing interdependence of their economies;


DETERMINED
by consultation and co-operation to use more effectively their capacities and potentialities so as to promote the highest sustainable growth of their economies and improve the economic and social well-being of their peoples;


BELIEVING
that the economically more advanced nations should co-operate in assisting to the best of their ability the countries in process of economic development;


RECOGNISING
that the further expansion of world trade is one of the most important factors favouring the economic development of countries and the improvement of international economic relations; and


DETERMINED
to pursue these purposes in a manner consistent with their obligations in other international organisations or institutions in which they participate or under agreements to which they are a party;


HAVE THEREFORE AGREED
on the following provisions for the reconstitution of the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development –

And the proactive 21 articles can be seen at:

www.oecd.org/document/7/0,3343,en_2649_201185_1915847_1_1_1_1,00.html

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On Monday, May 10, 2010, Israel, Estonia and Slovenia, by unanimous vote of the member States, were invited to join the OECD.

Israel, Estonia and Slovenia Join the OECD (UPDATE)

Mark Leon Goldberg – May 11, 2010 – 10:32 am

Israel, Slovenia and Estonia were invited to join the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a group of (now 34) wealthy democracies.  The OECD does a host of things, from helping to stabilize its members’ economies to serving as a focal point for assisting in the economic development of poorer countries.

The full release can be read at:  

—————————-

 ipsterraviva.net/UN/currentNew.as…

MONDAY, MAY 17, 2010
Shielded by U.S. Umbrella, Israel Joins Rich Man’s Club.
by Thalif Deen

UNITED NATIONS, May 16 (IPS) – With tongue firmly entrenched in his cheek, an Arab diplomat recounts an Israeli cabinet meeting interrupted by an aide rushing in with the latest statistics on the state of the economy. The crops were down, growth was low, reserves were minimal and inflation was high, he announced, portraying a rather gloomy economic picture.

Momentarily, the prime minister seemed flustered by the news – until he realized the aide was really referring to the state of the Israeli economy. Breathing a sigh of relief, he joyfully exclaimed: “Thank God, for a moment I thought you were referring to the American economy” – and went on with the business of the day, totally unfazed. The apocryphal story, doing the rounds at the United Nations, reveals the reality of Israeli life: its very existence has depended largely on the unrestrained political, economic and military support of the United States.

After more than a decade of lobbying, Israel won a key diplomatic victory Monday by gaining admission to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). But could Israel have joined the OECD without the billions of dollars in U.S. aid and outright grants, which helped propel the Jewish state into the ranks of Western industrial nations?

The Paris-based organisation, long described as an exclusive club of rich nations, also invited Estonia and Slovenia to join its privileged ranks, pushing its total membership to 34.

OECD’s current members range from Austria, Australia, Belgium, and Canada to France, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Britain and the United States.

All three new members will be inducted at a special ceremony during the annual meeting of the OECD Council, chaired by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, in Paris on May 27.

The OECD decided to admit Israel into its ranks despite accusations of human rights violations and war crimes by a U.N. commission – specifically during the war against Gaza in December 2008.

Asked if Israel’s entry will have an impact on how the politically and economically powerful European Union (EU) responds to human rights violations in the occupied territories, Nadia Hijab, an independent analyst and a senior fellow at the Institute for Palestine Studies, told IPS she wasn’t sure how it will play out with the 27 EU states.

But Hijab pointed out that from a human rights perspective, the OECD has completely ignored its own Road Map for Israel’s accession, which states that Israel has to demonstrate a commitment to pluralist democracy based on the rule of law.

Indeed, only a democracy can join the OECD, she added.

But human rights organisations have accused Israel of violating most of the basic principles of democracy, including civil and political rights, freedom of the press and fundamental rights of people under occupation.

A 17-point memo to the OECD by the worldwide Palestinian coalition BNC (the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee) listed the many ways in which Israel does not uphold the rule of law at home or abroad.

In a detailed critique published in Agence Global, Hijab points out that the EU’s planned upgrade of relations with Israel was put on hold in the wake of Israel’s Gaza attack.

She said intensive lobbying by several churches and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), including three Israeli human rights organisations, B’Tselem, HaMoked and Physicians for Human Rights, helped prevent it from being acted on.

Writing on ‘U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel’ for the U.S. Congressional Research Service (CRS) last December, Jeremy Sharp, a specialist in Middle Eastern affairs, says “Israel is the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. foreign assistance since World War II.” Since 1985, the United States has provided over 3.0 billion dollars in outright annual grants – with no payback obligation – to Israel. Of this, about 1.9 billion dollars have been earmarked as military aid and 1.2 billion dollars as economic aid.

Virtually all of the U.S. equipment in the Israeli military inventory has been purchased out of U.S. funds.

For many years, Sharp points out, “U.S. economic aid helped subsidise a lacklustre Israeli economy, though since the rapid expansion of Israel’s hi-tech sector in the 1990s (sparked partially by U.S.-Israeli scientific cooperation), Israel is now considered a fully industrialised nation with an economy on par with some Western European countries.”

Consequently, Israel and the United States agreed to gradually phase out economic grant aid to Tel Aviv.

According to an agreement reached under former U.S. President George W. Bush in August 2007, and to compensate for the loss of economic aid, there will be incremental annual increases in U.S. military grants to Israel, reaching 3.0 billion dollars by 2012.

The administration of President Barack Obama will dole out about 2.8 billion dollars in military grants to Israel in 2010.

And, Sharp says, U.S. military aid has “helped transform Israel’s armed forces into one of the most technologically sophisticated militaries in the world.”

Despite its admission to the OECD, Israel will continue to depend on strong political and military support from the United States. And more so at the United Nations, where Washington has continued to shield Israel from Security Council sanctions for war crimes and human rights violations.

Stephen Zunes, professor of politics and international studies and chair of the Middle Eastern Studies Programme at the University of San Francisco, told IPS there is no way that Israel could get away with its widespread and systematic violations of international law were it not effectively shielded by the U.S. veto power in the Security Council.

“Israel is not inherently worse than other countries, it’s just that their government has so few constraints upon its behaviour,” he said.

But thanks to this superpower umbrella which protects the Israelis from sanctions and other consequences of their actions, there is no deterrent preventing them from running roughshod over international legal norms, Zunes added.

This is not fundamentally different than the threat of a French veto preventing the Security Council from enforcing its resolutions regarding the Moroccan occupation of Western Sahara, he added.

Similarly, for decades, Britain and the United States blocked any decisive U.N. action regarding Indonesia’s occupation of East Timor.

“The failure to force Israel to end its occupation, colonisation and repression of its neighbours, therefore, is not simply the fault of a supposedly all-powerful Zionist lobby,” Zunes said.

Rather, it is yet another sad chapter in the longstanding tradition of great powers hypocritically aiding and abetting the very kinds of illegitimate policies by their allies for which they would demand strict international sanctions, he argued.

Or worse, if they were being carried out by a regime deemed less friendly to their interests, Zunes declared.

———————

Our website purports to provide a neutral platform when it comes to the Middle East. This includes a clear rejection of the world pouring in finances to the oil countries and hurting the interests of our generation and of all generations to come.

Providing funds to the oil countries has done nothing for their development and only enriched a very thin layer of royal families in underpopulated countries that in order to deflect attention from what they do to their own people created the obviously, originally UN-approved Israel bogey-man. Rather then develop the Middle East, the oil money deepened resentment of Israel and the US was poring money not just into Israel, but to all States in the region.

Egypt got more money then Israel, just in order to pay for the smile of the Sphinx – Egypt being the only Arab country that had the military potential to do mischief – so they were bought off with American money that was used up not to create an economy. There is no chance Egypt will be invited to OECD membership – they have little to offer but needs.

Israel is the only Democracy in the region – albeit not a perfect one as it is being managed under conditions of a perpetual state-of-war. Yes, there is much we criticize in Israel, but we also know that as long as the Arab leaders do not follow President Sadat’s example and come to Jerusalem – Yes – Jerusalem – not Tel-Aviv – with an outstretched hand to claim “Peace and Territory” – there is very little that can change. The Arabs will have the money and stay underdeveloped and poor – the Israelis will have the technologies and will help build the World of tomorrow. So far as our friend Thalif Deen, his article is informative as far as it describes the Arab position at the UN – it negative and uninformed when it comes to what the UN ought to be like.

Will Brazil, China, India look at what we say here and think how to move up in the world to enter OECD also – see Mexico, Korea, Turkey, Israel were able to and have much smaller economies?

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