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UN chief honours civic servants on Public Service Day

UN chief honours civic servants on Public Service Day

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon paid tribute today to public servants around the world who use their services on behalf of their towns, cities, or countries, and called on young citizens everywhere to explore dynamic and diverse careers in public service.

“Public service is not always an easy career choice to make, but it can be immensely rewarding for the opportunity it offers to get involved in addressing the challenges of our time,” the Secretary-General said in a message in observance of Public Service Day.

“In an era of increasingly complex challenges, from climate change to food insecurity and the financial and economic crisis, the world needs its public servants to be more creative and talented than ever.”

The UN General Assembly designated 23 June “to celebrate the value and virtue of public service to the community” and to encourage young people to pursue careers in the public sector.

“We need to recruit into the public service an ever-increasing tide of ambitious youth who want to use their technological and scientific skills for the common good if we are to defeat poverty, disease, illiteracy and gender inequality and achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015,” Mr. Ban said.

In recognition of the Day, the UN honours 23 public institutions – from Asia and the Pacific, Europe and North America, Western Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean – with the UN Public Service Awards.

The awards are divided into four categories: improving transparency, accountability and responsiveness in the public service; improving the delivery of services; fostering participation in policymaking decisions through innovative mechanisms; and advancing knowledge management in government.

This year’s awards ceremony and forum are focused on the theme of “The Role of Public Service in Achieving the Millennium Development Goals: Challenges and Best Practices,” and will be held in Barcelona, Spain.

The awards are organized by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), the Division for Public Administration and Development Management (DPADM) and the Government of Catalonia.