Introductory remarks by Angel Gurría
22 April 2015
(As prepared for delivery)
Your Excellency President Poroshenko,
Dear Ministers and representatives of the Ukrainian Government,
Ambassadors, dear colleagues,
It is a great honour to welcome His Excellency President Poroshenko to the OECD. This is the first time that the President of Ukraine visits our organisation, and it happens at a critical time for his country. Mr President: Thank you for coming today and a very warm welcome to you and your team!
Excellencies, Dear colleagues,
You have just witnessed the signature of the “Action Plan on Strengthening OECD Co-operation with Ukraine”. With this signature we are entering a new phase in the OECD’s relations with Ukraine. This Action Plan is the implementation tool of the Memorandum of Understanding which we signed last October, and it underlines specific projects for bilateral cooperation, particularly on fighting corruption, improving governance and the rule of law and facilitating a better investment and business climate.
The “Ukraine Action Plan” sets out an ambitious and transformational work programme that is designed to help Ukraine bring about the necessary reforms to overcome current economic challenges and ultimately build a better future for the Ukrainian people.
The Action Plan includes over 30 reviews and projects, identifies 24 OECD instruments to which Ukraine could request adherence, and underlines a dozen of OECD bodies in which Ukraine could request to participate. Twelve reviews and projects are already being implemented or about to start, and more shall commence as funding becomes available.
We would not be here today talking about this growing work and the prospects to extend it further without the support of our Members. So thank you.
The presence of President Poroshenko this morning is a testimony to the close relations we have with Ukraine and should reinforce the role of the OECD in supporting the priority policy reforms of Ukraine. Thank you, President, for your trust in this institution, its values and its advice.
This new phase in our collaboration could not come at a more critical time. Ukraine has embarked on an ambitious programme of reforms, including deregulation, restructuring state-owned enterprises, combating corruption, reforming the public service and modernising the financial system.
The OECD played an important role in similar endeavours by many countries in Central and Eastern Europe, supporting their political transformation and their effective transition towards becoming market economies. These countries today are successful and prosperous democracies, and many of them are even seated around this table today, as OECD Members.
Mr. President, Excellencies, dear Colleagues,
At this critical juncture, President Poroshenko’s visionary leadership is a decisive asset for Ukraine. The challenges ahead are enormous, but the OECD stands ready to assist Ukraine in this important phase of political and economic transformation.
Mr. President: the floor is yours.