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UN hails commitment of public servants to bettering their communities


UN hails commitment of public servants to bettering their communities

Marking United Nations Public Service Day today, UN officials hailed the vital role played by those who dedicate their lives to public service and work diligently to make a positive difference in the lives of millions worldwide.

“The world faces many serious inter-connected challenges, from hunger and poverty to disease and climate change,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his message for the Day.

“Dedicated public servants work hard to ensure that people’s needs are met with care, respect and dignity,” he added. “By embracing a culture of innovation and excellence and engaging people in decisions that affect them, public servants are making a real difference in the lives of families and communities.”

In 2002, the General Assembly designated 23 June as UN Public Service Day “to celebrate the value and virtue of public service to the community” and to encourage young people to pursue careers in the public sector.

Member States are encouraged to organize special events to mark the Day that highlight the contribution of public service and public servants to effective, transparent and inclusive public governance.

As part of this year’s observance, 44 public organizations from 29 countries received the UN Public Service Awards at a ceremony held today at the world body’s Headquarters in New York.

In his remarks to the ceremony, Assembly President Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, said that the Day remains as relevant now as it was 10 years ago.

“As our societies continue to grow and expand, and as needs grow with them, the public sector must embrace a pro-active, innovative and solutions-oriented approach to public governance issues,” he stated in remarks delivered on his behalf. “This is particularly true in developing countries and countries in transition.”

Mr. Al-Nasser encouraged continuous investment in public sector capacity-building, so that “every government can deliver services that respond effectively to the needs of their people.”

In his message, Mr. Ban also noted that the winners of the 2012 Public Service Awards set an example in improving delivery, promoting accountability and combating corruption. “Through their search for innovative approaches to public governance challenges, they are building a better future for us all,” he said.

Winners of the Awards are chosen in the following areas: prevention of corruption; improving service delivery; promoting innovative mechanisms for citizen participation in policy-making; advancing knowledge management in government; and promoting gender responsive service delivery.