Opening remarks by Bruce Gosper, ADB Vice-President for Administration and Corporate Management, at the 2023 Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) Training for Public Financial Management (PFM) in Asia, 23 May 2023
Good morning to all of you. Welcome to the ADB
It’s great to see you here on this slightly rainy Wednesday, a really beautiful time of the year to be in Manila, so we do hope that you enjoy your time here.
In particular we extend our special thanks to the representatives from the PEFA Secretariat based, of course, in Washington D.C. for collaborating with ADB to hold this event, which we hope will be of particular benefit for our developing member economies in the Asia Pacific Region.
It is our pleasure to host PEFA’s flagship training event here in Manila for the first time since the pandemic. We are delighted to see the diversity of institutions represented here, including governments, development partners, consulting firms, and nongovernmental organizations. This is a very good turnout and highlights the strong interest in using the PEFA tool to evaluate PFM systems.
Of course, the Asia Pacific region faces many challenges; I’ll mention three in particular, which are our focus of our Strategy 2030, which will be of particular interest I think to this meeting. Obviously, the first are governance issues, including corruption, poor public services, and weak PFM and institutions. Second is climate change, a major concern, as the region has the largest number of climate-vulnerable people worldwide and contributes to more than half of global carbon dioxide emissions and that’s why ADB is committed to becoming the Climate Bank for the region, with a cumulative financing commitment of $100 billion from 2019 to 2030. A third issue I’ll focus on, of course, is gender inequality with persistent gaps in health, employment, and participation and leadership in decision making, a real challenge for the region. Our Strategy 2030 includes three operational priorities, which address these issues and on gender. We are committed to ensuring that 75% of our operations include support for gender and climate issues by 2030.
A robust PFM system is essential for achieving successful outcomes in all these priority areas. PFM systems help governments plan, budget, account, monitor, and report on the use of public funds, while effective external audits and timely public disclosure of financial information enhance transparency and accountability. As funding in the region increases, strengthening our PFM systems to ensure effective use of funds is critical.
And PEFA has emerged as the top tool for assessing PFM systems, with PEFA findings helping to craft reform plans and track progress over time. Both governments and development partners rely on PEFA for this purpose, and the gender and climate supplementary modules are valuable additions. We appreciate the dedication of PEFA partners in building and streamlining this toolkit.
We hope that this training will serve as a forum for learning about the PEFA methodology. With participants from diverse countries and governance models, as well as experts from development partners and experienced PFM professionals, we hope this training will provide opportunities for sharing ideas and lessons learned.
We trust that you will leave this event inspired to work towards improved governance and greater transparency in your countries, and that you will form a sustainable network for collaboration. We wish you all the best and a fruitful learning experience. I hope you enjoy the rest of our proceedings.