Foreign Affairs Ministers’ meeting
Remarks by Angel Gurría, OECD Secretary-General
New York, 25 September 2014
(As prepared for delivery)
Dear Ministers, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Three years after the launch of the Deauville Partnership, countries in transition need to take bold economic and social reforms under the pressing reality of on-going security challenges. The serious tension in the region, the risks of spill-overs from neighbouring conflicts and their social and political consequences constitute major obstacles to smooth democratic transitions and stronger economic growth.
Sustained support from the international community and under your leadership is needed now more than ever. Policy efforts must be stepped up to ensure inclusive growth
that is sustainable,
that promotes investment and allows SMEs to thrive,
that is conducive to job creation, in particular for women and young people.
This is the only way to make sure the people who carried the torch of the Arab Spring did not strive in vain.
Strong, effective, inclusive, transparent and accountable institutions are the sine qua non for successful reform efforts. These will not only help win the trust of your citizens, but also to level the playing field for investors and entrepreneurs while supporting an environment that is conducive to a more balanced distribution of resources.
The OECD continues to accompany countries on their path towards Open Government. We are working with Tunisia, Jordan and Morocco to provide concrete policy guidance on:
These priorities also hold for local government. Subnational governments have an pivotal role in ensuring coordination with local stakeholders in the implementation of holistic, multi-sectoral regional policies.
In the face of these challenges, how can countries ensure fiscal sustainability in response to growing demands and limited resources? They simply cannot afford to waste precious public money on dysfunctional systems.
Implementing a public financial management system that is sound and comprehensive can help governments impose fiscal discipline and ensure projects achieve value for money. To this end, countries must also modernise their procurement systems, train public officials to operate them, and set up cost-effective and transparent mechanisms that eliminate the risk of corruption risks while creating business opportunities, in particular for SMEs.
Managing an effective public administration that delivers sound policies to citizens and business is crucial to countries’ social cohesion, prosperity and development. We will be happy to work with the German Presidency, the DP countries and partners this year to support democratic transition, deliver reforms and implement change!