International Engagement

International forums help promote Australia’s national interests. Learn about how we, The Department of Education engage with international forums to promote Australia’s national interests and help develop policies to support the creation of a strong and diversified Australian economy.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)


Our engagement with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) helps us:

  • Influence international economic and labour market agendas
  • Contribute to global policy dialogue on employment, workplace relations, small business and deregulation issues.

Maintaining a permanent presence at the OECD creates opportunities to:

  • Grow awareness and collaboration on domestic and regional interests and policy objectives
  • Exchange best practices, ideas and research to inform our domestic evidence base


Australia maintains a Permanent Delegation to the OECD in Paris, led by the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Australia to the OECD, Dr Alexander Robson.

The Minister-Counsellor (Employment) is part of this Delegation and represents the Department of Education in all OECD activities relating to employment, skills, labour, migration, youth and workplace relations. Ms Moya Drayton was appointed to the position of Minister-Counsellor (Employment) in August 2019.

For more information, visit the OECD.

Group of Twenty (G20)


The Group of Twenty (G20) is the leading forum for international economic cooperation. Each year G20 Leaders and Ministers meet to discuss ways to strengthen the global economy.

Membership of the G20 includes 19 countries plus the European Union. Members meet regularly to discuss ways to promote more inclusive economic growth and review progress on policy commitments.

Employment issues are central to the G20 agenda. 2020 agenda priorities include working towards policy recommendations on employment, including:

  • Youth employment
  • Gender equality
  • New forms of work


The Department of Education represents Australia in the G20 Employment Working Group.

This group meets several times a year and holds a yearly G20 Labour and Employment Ministerial meeting. The group develops advice for G20 Labour and Employment Ministers and G20 Leaders on a wide range of policy issues.

Find out about the department's involvement in the G20 Employment Working Group.

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation APEC

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is made up of 21 regional economies. The department participates in a wide range of projects with APEC colleagues.

United Nations (UN)

Australia was a founding member of the United Nations (UN) in 1945 and has been active in the organisation since. We work closely with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, as well as other key agencies, to ensure Australia meets its international obligations as a member of the United Nations.

2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

In 2015, Australia and other United Nations Member States adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This is a global strategy for addressing issues faced by the world today and into the future.

The agenda has 17 thematic goals and 169 targets. Goal 8 relates to the department’s portfolio responsibilities. It promotes:

  • Sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth
  • Full and productive employment

Achieving the goals

Australia conducted its first Voluntary National Review of the 2030 agenda in 2018 and presented the report to the United Nations High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.

One of the key highlights of the review is Australia’s success in achieving strong employment growth in 2017–18.

As Goal 8 aligns with other goals, Australia’s progress towards the 2030 agenda depends on:

  • Sustained economic growth
  • High levels of employment
  • Labour productivity