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UN-backed meeting in Morocco to focus on modernizing governments

UN-backed meeting in Morocco to focus on modernizing governments

Making governments more responsive to citizens and the private sector, modernizing their operations and reconciling the values of local societies with the sweeping culture of globalization will be high on the agenda of a United Nations-supported meeting next week in Marrakech, Morocco.

The Fourth Global Forum on Reinventing Government "will deliver a strong message in favour of good governance and partnerships for democracy and development," said Guido Bertucci, director of the UN Division for Public Economics and Public Administration. "It will identify concrete means to improve functioning of the public sector and to redefine governance modes and priorities."

The Forum, to be held from 11 to 13 December, is expected to draw more than 1,200 participants from over 100 countries, including Prime Ministers Driss Jettou of Morocco, Rafiq Hariri of Lebanon and Apolo Nsibambi of Uganda. Other scheduled participants include Vice-President Atiku Abubakar of Nigeria, more than 40 government ministers and up to 20 mayors, along with governance experts and leaders from the corporate world and civil society.

Mervat Tallaway, the Executive Director of the Beirut-based UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), is expected to represent UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan at the Forum, which will be held at the Palais des Congres.

The Forum itself will be preceded by two days of intensive training sessions for high-level government officials, organized by the UN Department for Economic and Social Affairs in partnership with the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the World Bank, Transparency International and other institutions, with sponsorship from the Government of Italy.