The United Nations stands to benefit from the results of a meeting on good governance bringing together elected officials, experts, business leaders and representatives of civil society groups, Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro told participants assembled in Vienna for the four-day conference.
Addressing more than 2,000 delegates attending the Seventh Global Forum on Reinventing Government, she emphasized that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, upon taking office, “singled out ‘the good name of the United Nations’ as one of its most valuable – and most vulnerable – assets.”
She recalled that Mr. Ban, “promising to lead by example,” dubbed his mission “Operation Restore Trust.”
Mr. Ban, the first Secretary-General ever to make his personal financial disclosure form public, “has encouraged all of his senior managers to release theirs as well,” said Ms. Migiro, who followed suit.
“I can tell you that both the Secretary-General and I eagerly await the outcomes of your discussions,” Ms. Migiro told the participants, who are expected to discuss different perspectives, exchange expertise, forge partnerships, and devise effective governance strategies.
The results of the meeting “can help guide our ongoing attempts to make the United Nations the best it can be,” said the Deputy Secretary-General. “And we know that ‘Operation Restore Trust’ can certainly benefit from your combined experience and expertise.”
She expressed confidence that, working together, it would be possible to “not only build trust in government and in the United Nations, but also bring people everywhere to believe in a more hopeful future for themselves and for the world.”
Welcoming delegates to the Forum, the Director-General of the UN Office at Vienna, Antonio Maria Costa, said corruption is often to blame for a lack of public trust. “All too often the public is robbed of the money that it needs to build schools, roads, sanitation and healthcare,” he said.
“The fight against corruption…is another way of reinventing governance,” he said.
Since 1999, the Global Forum on Reinventing Government has addressed the need for improvements in governance and public administration. Previous conferences have been held in Washington D.C., Brasilia, Naples, Marrakech, Mexico City and Seoul.
This year, for the first time, the Forum is being hosted by the world body as part of a UN-wide partnership led by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs.