Source: Small Island Developing States
26 June 2019: Participants gathering at the 2019 UN Public Service Forum (UNPSF) discussed ways public institutions can better deliver on the SDGs, including through accountability mechanisms. The Forum also included the UN Public Service Award Ceremony, which recognized 11 countries for their winning SDG-related initiatives.
The 2019 UNPSF on ‘Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals Through Effective Delivery of Services, Innovative Transformation and Accountable Institutions’ was organized by Azerbaijan, the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), and the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women). It took place in Baku, Azerbaijan, from 24-26 June 2019.
The Forum included a ministerial roundtable that considered:
- harnessing innovation and creativity to transform mindsets to achieve the SDGs;
- leveraging the data revolution and digital transformation for sustainable development;
- reaching the poorest and most vulnerable through inclusive services, partnerships and participatory decision making;
- promoting gender-responsive public services to achieve the SDGs;
- reaching SDG 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions); and
- the role of the UN in supporting capacity development of developing country governments for the realization of the SDGs.
Plenary sessions on ‘Making Institutions More Effective Through Enhanced Accountability, Transparency, Inclusion and Participation’ and on ‘Innovation Driving Transformation,’ and parallel workshops also took place.
Among the topics discussed at the workshops, participants considered ensuring integrated approaches in public sector institutions. Mouchera Karara, Ministry of Planning, Monitoring and Administrative Reform, Egypt, noted that her country’s Sustainable Development Strategy, ‘Egypt Vision 2030,’ acts as the governing framework of all policies, programmes and projects to be implemented within the coming 15 years, and is being reviewed with the participation of multiple stakeholders. She said Egypt has an SDG Observatory that provides a digital platform for tracking progress towards the SDGs in the country, and an integrated electronic system for planning and monitoring to ensure projects’ compliance with the criteria of sustainability.
On mobilizing and equipping public servants to realize the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Martin Mahe, Department of Strategic Policy, Planning and Aid Coordination, and Vanuatu Public Services Commission, announced the upcoming launch of a National Human Resources Plan that addresses the capacity and skill needs of public service to implement the National Sustainable Development Plan, ‘Vanuatu 2030.’ He reported that Vanuatu is making steady progress on SDG 16, and stated that implementation of Justice and Community Services Sector Capacity Development Strategy 2017-2020 provides a strong foundation for ensuring equitable access to justice and legal institutions. He noted that Vanuatu has ratified several UN conventions and treaties committing the government to safeguard human rights.
Alexander Heichlinger, European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA), Barcelona, Spain, indicated that the Barcelona Provincial Council Action Plan 2016-2019 and related projects are aligned to the SDGs, and that Hamburg, Germany, has an online portal that informs on SDG progress.
The UN Public Service Award Ceremony, which took place during the Forum, honored 11 winning initiatives under five SDG-related categories, namely: delivering inclusive and equitable services to leave no one behind (Kenya, Brazil, Australia); ensuring integrated approaches in public sector institutions (Indonesia, Argentina, Portugal); developing effective and responsible public institutions (Thailand); promoting digital transformation in public sector institutions (Costa Rica); and promoting gender-sensitive public services to achieve the SDGs (Republic of Korea, Chile, Austria). The UN Public Service Awards is the most prestigious international recognition of excellence in public service, and takes place once a year.
The UNPSF also included the launch of the World Public Sector Report 2019, and “partner events.” [UNPSF Website] [DESA Website on Forum]