United Nations


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

10 July 1998


                                                  Original: English

General Assembly
Fifty-third session
Item 12 of the provisional agenda*
Report of the Economic and Social Council

     * A/53/150.

Economic and Social Council
Substantive session of 1998
Agenda item 13 (e)
Economic and environmental questions:
  public administration and finance

         Implementation of General Assembly resolution 50/225

                   Report of the Secretary-General


            In its resolution 50/225 on public administration and development
of 19 April 1996, the General Assembly invited Governments and public agencies
to strengthen their public administrative and financial management capacities
through public sector administrative and management reform, with emphasis on
enhanced efficiency and productivity, accountability and responsiveness of
public institutions, and encouraged, where appropriate, decentralization of
public institutions and services. It also confirmed the importance and called
for the enhancement of the effectiveness of United Nations activities
in the area of public administration and development. Moreover, the General
Assembly acknowledged that the role of United Nations activities and
programmes in public administration and development is to assist Governments
in improving their responsiveness to meet the basic needs of all, as well as
in achieving sustainable development in all countries.

            The General Assembly also recommended that the Secretary-General
take appropriate measures in order to ensure maximum coordination of
activities of the United Nations system in the field of public administration
and development, and to ensure ways of strengthening the coordination,
coherence and harmonization of the management and implementation of the
operational activities of the United Nations system in the field of
public administration and development. Furthermore, the General Assembly
requested the Secretary-General to submit to it at its fifty-third session a
report on public administration and development containing information on the
implementation of its resolution 50/225.

            Pursuant to the above request, the present report contains a
synthesis and analysis of the information provided by the United Nations
agencies on their activities and contributions to the implementation of
Assembly resolution 50/225 on public administration and development. The
report also contains specific recommendations regarding further work of the
United Nations programme on public administration and development.

            At the time of preparation of the report, replies to the request
for information had been provided by the following United Nations bodies:
Centre for Crime Prevention, Economic Commission for Africa, Economic
Commission for Europe, Economic Commission for Latin America and the
Caribbean, Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, United
Nations Conference on Trade and Development, United Nations Development
Programme, International Labour Organization, the International Labour
Organization Training Centre at Turin, the United Nations Educational,
Scientific and Cultural Organization, the United Nations Industrial
Development Organization and the World Bank.


                                                         Paragraphs   Page

  I.  Developments since the resumed fiftieth session. .    1-16        3

 II.  Activities of the Department of Economic and 
      Social Affairs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   17-34        5

III.  Activities of the organizations and bodies of the 
      United Nations system. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   35-98        8

      A.  Centre for International Crime Prevention. . .   40-42        9

      B.  Economic Commission for Africa . . . . . . . .   43-48       10

      C.  Economic Commission for Europe . . . . . . . .   49-53       10

      D.  Economic Commission for Latin America and the 
          Caribbean. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     54        11

      E.  Economic and Social Commission for Asia and 
          the Pacific. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   55-61       11

      F.  United Nations Conference on Trade and 
          Development. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   62-70       12

      G.  United Nations Development Programme . . . . .   71-78       13

      H.  International Labour Organization. . . . . . .   79-82       14

      I.  International Training Centre of the 
          International Labour Organization. . . . . . .   83-84       15

      J.  United Nations Educational, Scientific and 
          Cultural Organization. . . . . . . . . . . . .     85        15

      K.  United Nations Industrial Development 
          Organization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   86-91       15

      L.  World Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   92-98       16

 IV.  Conclusions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   99-101      17

        I.  Developments since the resumed fiftieth session

1.   The resumed fiftieth session of the General Assembly,
which was devoted to the theme of "Public administration
and development", took place from 15 to 19 April 1996,
against the backdrop of a rapidly changing environment for
public administration worldwide. In its resolution 50/225,
of 19 April 1996, the Assembly highlighted the challenges
faced by public administration and the responses required
to meet those challenges at the national and international

2.   The resolution provided a much needed contribution
from the United Nations to the analysis of emerging issues
in public administration and development, and marked a
turning point in the very perilous trends that advocated a
minimalistic State and thus contributed to widening the gap
between the rich and the poor, the skilled and unskilled, the
powerful and the weak. The resolutions pointed to the need
to implant robust systems of public administration and
finance into government operations as a means to reverse
socio-economic inequalities, foster economic growth and
slow down environmental degradation.

3.   The World Development Report, prepared by the
World Bank in 1997 on the theme, "The State in a changing
world", provided further analytical support for the notion
that a strong, efficient, transparent and accountable
administration is a key factor in economic development.

4.   The approaching millennium poses challenges that are
becoming starkly apparent as countries attempt to adjust to
the evolving trends in economic, social and political reality.
Each of these trends, such as globalization, urbanization and
the information age, provides both a challenge and an
opportunity. The extent to which the citizens of a country
are able to take advantage of these emerging trends depends
in large part on government policies and actions. Will
citizens flourish in the global economy or be marginalized?
Will citizens take advantage of the expanding availability
of information and networking or will they be increasingly
isolated from global trends? Will citizens find themselves
drawn into conflicts based on local and regional jealousies
or will they focus on future cooperation among neighbours?
The United Nations must encourage global discussion of
these emerging issues, and indeed must promote capacity-building 
to enable Member States and their citizens to
participate in global opportunities.

5.   Following the Charter of the United Nations and
responding to evolving circumstances, the United Nations
fosters dialogue among Member States on how to optimize
national and global opportunities. The series of world
conferences and summits have articulated an emerging
consensus on various policy issues, but fundamental to
national progress is the institutional and managerial
capacity to formulate and implement national strategies and
programmes. In resolution 50/225, the Assembly thus
recognized the importance of assisting Governments in
building the necessary capabilities to implement the
commitments made at the major conferences. Increasingly,
the focus is not only on the actions of the Government itself
but also on evaluating the conditions for the involvement
of a productive private sector and a vital civil society.

6.   Many Governments have been reforming the legal
framework in their societies. In some countries, such reform
is still part of the process of transition to a market economy,
creating and sometimes revisiting commercial, business and
professional regulations, as well as human rights and laws
registering civic associations. In other cases, Governments
are attempting to harmonize their national legal frameworks
with trends in the global and regional economies,
international standards or the emergence of newly active
segments of society. The elaboration and enforcement of a
constitution and/or laws constitute a framework for
government, organizational and personal action. By
providing for social peace, political stability and economic
development, the constitution and various government and
social institutions establish a platform for people's

7.   The Thirteenth Meeting of Experts on the United
Nations Programme in Public Administration and Finance
(New York, 27 May-4 June 1997) focused on issues of
redesigning the State and modernizing State institutions to
face the new emerging challenges. Although some
Governments have focused redesign on reducing the role
of government, the meeting noted that a strong proactive
State is necessary to promote social justice, ensure universal
access to quality services, and safeguard the rule of law and
respect for human rights, within the context of Assembly
resolution 50/225. A strong State is required to lobby for
the poor and for the future, neither of which have an
adequate voice. The need to redesign a strong strategic State
does not entail "big government". It is fully compatible with
steps that encourage cost-consciousness, fiscal
responsibility and sound financial management. What it
does require, however, are properly organized and duly
equipped public administration systems, encompassing
structures and policies that can attract, retain, develop and
motivate high-calibre personnel.

8.   A series of ad hoc meetings of experts in all regions
organized in the past two years identified the need for
reinforcing the integrity and the knowledge base of public
services. Professionalism, merit and an enforceable code
of ethics are essential aspects of a much needed campaign
to restore and enhance the image of the public service. In
resolution 50/225, the Assembly recognized the need for a
judicious combination of institution-building and human
resource development; these ad hoc meetings of experts
filled in the details, for example, concerning the necessary
content of training and the mechanisms for ensuring
integrity of government operations. The meetings also
pointed out the usefulness of transparency institutions, such
as ombudsman offices, administrative courts, corruption-fighting 
offices and citizen-based policy dialogues.

9.   Modernizing government operations involves the use
of technology and the establishment of open
communications between government and stakeholders. The
use of modern information technology can make operations
more efficient and speedy ("doing it right"), but it is through
communication among stakeholders that decisions are taken
about "the right things to do". The process of reviewing the
"design of the State" allows an opportunity to examine
necessary tasks, the appropriate sectors for task
responsibility, and methods and partnerships for achieving
the objectives.

10.  The Fourteenth Meeting of Experts on the United
Nations Programme in Public Administration and Finance
(New York, 6 31 July 1998) concentrated on the important
role of stimulating progressive policy decisions and
ensuring effective policy implementation. These tasks
involve monitoring, recording and analysis of data, and
feedback to policy makers and implementers. More
specifically, the experts suggested strict methods of
financial and operational monitoring, as well as wide
consultations among citizens on issues of service delivery.
Both bureaucratic monitoring and citizen consultation
involve considerable decentralization, with increased efforts
at the local if not grass-roots levels. To achieve better social
service delivery, some Governments are instituting
alternative mechanisms, such as contracting out to the
private sector or to non-governmental organizations.
Concurrently, Governments are developing better
mechanisms for performance monitoring and performance
management. Increasingly, Governments are researching
best practices in order to benchmark their efforts to higher
standards. Thus, every programme and practice becomes a
learning situation in which to compare and reduce the gap
between current and preferred performance levels.

11.  The Fourteenth Meeting of Experts emphasized the
need to develop ways to circulate performance measurement
information among public administrators, responsible
bodies and the public in order to enhance accountability,
programme performance and cost-effectiveness, noting that
effective governance involves opening access to information
on government performance to bureaucrats, elected officials
(especially in legislatures) and the public at large. This
principle applies to the processes and results of not only the
executive but also the legislature and the judicial system.

12.  Furthermore, performance management needs to be
linked to systems, such as budgeting, accounting, auditing,
strategic planning, internal management and client
communication systems. When applied to current
operations, performance management systems need to
include full-cost accounting and strategic planning, thereby
linking current operations to past and future operations.
Indeed, to be fully futuristic, performance indicators need
to be people-centred in order to measure progress towards
sustainable development.

13.  The analytical and policy discussions in 1997 and
1998 that took place in the context of the Thirteenth and
Fourteenth Meetings of Experts on the United Nations
Programme in Public Administration and Finance have
further elaborated on the themes raised in Assembly
resolution 50/225, and have provided a more focused
direction for the activities of the United Nations Secretariat
in public administration and finance, under the general
umbrella of the provisions of paragraph 13 of the resolution.

14.  The reform measures taken by the Secretary-General
in 1997 with respect to the economic and social field have
affected in a positive manner the work of the Secretariat in
the implementation of Assembly resolution 50/225. The
integration of support for policy formulation, analytical and
normative functions, and relevant technical cooperation
activities in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs
will facilitate the interface between the intergovernmental
policy dialogue in the area of public administration and
development and the relevant technical cooperation
activities carried out by the Secretariat and the other
organizations of the United Nations system. It will also
strengthen the role of the programme both as a repository
of data and information on the public sector and as a hub
for the global exchange of information on policies, best
practices and methods among Governments,
intergovernmental and non-governmental institutions. As
indicated in the Secretary-General's proposed programme
budget for the biennium 1998 1999 (A/52/303), which was
approved by the General Assembly at its fifty-second
session, activities in public administration and development
in implementation of Assembly resolution 50/225 are
carried out within the Department of Economic and Social
Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat by its Division for
Public Economics and Public Administration.

15.  As a result of the reform measures, the activities of the
Secretariat in the field of public administration and finance
were integrated with the other core components of the
economic and social sector, such as sustainable
development, social development, population, advancement
of women etc., thus adding the dimension of institutional
strengthening, management improvement and human
resources development to these components.

16.  The new institutional set-up for the activities in public
administration and finance will also give rise to greater
synergies in the context of the integrated follow-up to the
United Nations global conferences in response to the
provisions of paragraph 10 of Assembly resolution 50/225.
In fact, apart from being a global gathering in itself, the
resumed fiftieth session of the General Assembly
demonstrated the cross-cutting nature of public
administration inasmuch as most of the recommendations
adopted at the global conferences are directed to
Governments and imply a pattern of demands on the State
and on public administration. They cover virtually all of the
subjects that are the responsibilities of government and
provide a framework in which public institutions have to
operate. The mechanisms of response of Governments to the
mandates of the global conferences range from institutional
reform to management reform, decentralization and
innovation in service delivery. The activities in public
administration within the Department of Economic and
Social Affairs through policy analysis, dissemination of best
practices and information, and technical cooperation
provide valuable inputs relating to these mechanisms in
connection with the work on follow-up to conferences
carried out by the various components of the economic and
social sector within the Secretariat.

       II.     Activities of the Department of
               Economic and Social Affairs

17.  In paragraph 13 of its resolution 50/225, the General
Assembly charted out the areas in which the United Nations
should focus its activities and the modalities to be
employed, namely pooling and facilitating access to
information in public administration; promoting training and
research in public administration and finance at all levels;
advocacy and exchange of experience; advisory services;
technical assistance; capacity-building; and human
resources development.

18.  In response to the resolution, the Department of
Economic and Social Affairs has given priority to the
collection and dissemination of basic data on public
administration and finance for policy formulation and
implementation with a view to assisting Member States in
basic government functions: preparation of long-term
strategies, policy formulation, programme management and
service delivery. It has also increased its advocacy work
along the lines suggested by the General Assembly through
the organization of global, regional and national
conferences, seminars and workshops, and through the
dissemination of technical materials and publications.
Technical assistance activities have focused on policy
advice to Governments on needs assessment, assistance in
programme design and formulation, and in substantive
support to nationally executed projects in close
collaboration with the United Nations Development
Programme (UNDP).

19.  In particular, through the use of information
technology, an Internet Web site has been established for
the purpose of facilitating access to information,
customizing and disseminating best practices, providing an
international forum for exchange of experiences, providing
on-line advisory services and technical advice, and
maintaining a global network of institutions, both
governmental and non-governmental, which cooperate with
the Secretariat in this field. Through this facility, the
Department will thus be able to cover a wide spectrum of
its mandate in an interactive, inexpensive, immediate,
multidisciplinary and multidimensional fashion.

20.  A sampling is set out below of the activities carried
out by the Department to illustrate the types and scopes of
conferences, ad hoc meetings, publications and advisory
services that have been undertaken since the adoption of
Assembly resolution 50/225.

          Strengthening government capacity for
          policy development

21.  In May 1998, the Department carried out an advisory
mission to review with the Brazilian Government the reform
and modernization of key policy coordination units within
the Presidency of the Republic. In addition, the mission also
reviewed the state modernization programme being carried
out by the Ministry of Federal Administration and State
Reform and the national programme in support of the
Brazilian states in fiscal administration and fiscal reform.
The programme is funded by the Inter-American
Development Bank and implemented by the Government
with the assistance of UNDP.

          Administrative restructuring

22.  The study Aspects me'thodologiques de la re'forme des
fonctions publiques africaines: Le cas des pays
francophones au sud du Sahara, containing technical papers
and outcomes of a special panel on administrative reform
in francophone Africa, was published in 1998. This panel
was held during the Thirteenth Meeting of the Group of
Experts on the United Nations Programme on Public
Administration and Finance in June 1997. Its objective was
to share different experiences of administrative reforms
carried out in sub-Saharan francophone Africa in order to
identify success and failure factors and to reflect on
conditions that would assure successful reforms in the
future. On October 1996 in Sweden, the Department, in
collaboration with UNDP, organized the Global Forum on
Innovative Policies in Local Government. The Forum, a
follow-up activity to Assembly resolution 50/225,
recognized the importance of a transfer of power to local
government and improvement of civil society. Its focus was
primarily to review organizational, managerial and financial
issues, as well as to achieve increased participation of civil
society for the advancement of social and development
goals and democracy.

          Civil service reform

23.  A regional conference on the theme "Public service
in transition: enhancing its role, professionalism and ethical
standards and values" was held in Greece, November 1997.
The purpose of the conference was to provide a forum for
21 countries in Central and Eastern Europe to discuss
approaches to strengthening the professional core,
performance and integrity of the civil service. The
participants discussed the enormous political, economic and
social transformation that the region is experiencing as
countries embark on reforms from a one-party to a
pluralistic State and a centrally planned to a market-oriented
economy. The conference was hosted by the Government
of Greece and organized by the Department, in cooperation
with the UNDP Regional Bureau for Europe and the
Commonwealth of Independent States. In December 1997
at Brasilia, the Department organized a colloquium on the
theme "Promoting ethics in the public service" for about
300 high-level, federal and state Brazilian civil servants.
The purpose of the colloquium was to discuss pertinent
issues and make suggestions to the Brazilian Council of
State Reform for launching a national ethics initiative in the
public service.

          Human resources development

24.  In 1998, the Department published "Changing
perspectives on human resources development", a report of
the Expert Group Meeting on Human Resources
Development in the Public Sector. The report combines
selected reports of the Secretary-General, reports of related
past meetings, the deliberations of the Expert Group and
several case studies. It emphasizes enabling conditions and
appropriate processes to prepare people for work rather than
providing a "blueprint" approach to be mechanically applied
to particular human resources problems.

          Public administration training

25.  In May 1996, a demonstration training programme
was developed for a project in which the Department
assisted the Government of Thailand in strengthening the
capacity of local government officials at the Tambon or
subdistrict level. This upstream activity was intended to
assist in implementing a piece of legislation that
decentralized authority and responsibility to the Tambon
level in order to enable people to participate more
extensively in the development process. One of the
innovative aspects of the training programme was bringing
central government representatives to negotiate with
Tambon council officials concerning planning and
budgeting for the Tambon, through exchanging views and
perspectives on the eradication of poverty and developing
a common understanding of opportunities for and
constraints to development. The Department is cooperating
with the state of Bahia, Brazil, in the establishment of an
international centre of innovation and exchange in public
administration. The centre will work to foster South-South
cooperation by facilitating access to information on
innovative, administrative and management techniques;
promote training at all levels, advocacy and exchange of
experience; and provide advisory services, technical
assistance, capacity-building and human resources

          Improving performance in the public sector

26.  A training workshop was held in December 1997 on
the theme "Budget reform in developing countries" to
review recent developments in this field and their practical
application in developing countries. The workshop
discussed the gradual shift to budgeting outputs and
outcomes as well as expenditures, but also highlighted the
concern that the best practices of the developed countries
are not necessarily good models for developing countries.
Nevertheless, fundamental reforms in budgeting and
accounting classifications and procedures are needed in
most developing countries, together with computerization
and integration of financial management systems. In a
similar vein, the Department also organized the
International Symposium on Advanced Information,
Technology and Governance in June 1996 in China. The
objective of the Symposium was to foster awareness and
appreciation in developing countries of the advanced state
of the art of information technologies for the improvement
of performance in the public sector. It also dealt with
management issues concerning the use of information
technology, such as policy, strategy, planning and
methodologies; re-engineering and restructuring public
administration; and accessing internationally available
information resources in a global information society.

          Financial management (transparency
          and accountability)

27.  The Twelfth Joint United Nations/International
Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions Seminar on
Government Fraud, Corruption and Mismanagement was
held at Vienna in October 1996. About 50 delegates from
developing nations, supreme audit institutions in developed
nations and international organizations participated. In a
series of papers, institutions reported on their experiences,
sharing their insight into the tasks, duties and options of
government auditing in the fight against corruption and
prevention of mismanagement, and acquainting them with
the many different challenges and tasks encountered in this
area. In June 1997 in New York, the Department organized
its first on-line ad hoc expert group meeting, on the theme
"Effecting transparency and accountability in government
financial management", held over the Internet for auditors-general and
accountants-general of eight African countries
to consider improved accounting, auditing and financial
controls. Participants accessed on-line comments, papers
and the bulletin board, and were invited on a "Web tour"
of interesting and relevant resources on the meeting's
topics. A number of Departments have approached the
Division with a view to following similar formats for their
own meetings and conferences.

          Public-private interaction

28.  In January 1997, about a dozen countries were
represented at an international conference on performance
contracting at New Delhi to share experience in meeting the
challenges of a large public enterprise sector providing
goods and services to the public inefficiently. They reached
the conclusion that performance contracting was an
important and useful tool in improving public enterprise
performance, regardless of whether the sector was
scheduled for privatization. The event was sponsored by the
Centre for Economic and Industrial Research at New Delhi,
with inputs from UNDP headquarters, the Commonwealth
secretariat and the World Bank.

          Social development

29.  The Department published Social Management: Some
Strategic Issues in 1996. The publication covers critical
subjects, such as the emergence of a new paradigm in
management, the redesigning of the State, the
implementation of social policies, participation and training
social managers. The publication Towards a New Paradigm
for State Action in the Social Sphere was also published
during this period. It outlined guidelines for an action plan
for the strengthening of public administration and the
management of social policies.

          Developing infrastructure and protecting
          the environment

30.  In May 1998, the Department jointly organized with
the Tokyo metropolitan government a world conference on
the theme "International cooperation of cities and citizens
for cultivating an eco-society" at Tokyo. The conference
provided an opportunity for all interested parties worldwide
to discuss their roles, responsibilities and modalities in
fostering mutual cooperation and solidarity in creation of
an eco-society on a global scale. These endeavours are fully
consonant with the recommendations of Agenda 21, which
was adopted by the United Nations Conference on
Environment and Development in 1992, and the outcome
of other related United Nations conferences.

          Government legal capacity (democratic legal
          and judiciary reforms)

31.  A project in Uzbekistan was undertaken on
democratization, human rights and governance aimed at
enhancing human rights through institutional and human
resources capacity-building. Project technical assistance
activities are enabling the Parliamentary Commission on
Human Rights to create an office of an ombudsman and a
national centre for human rights. Citizens will have
increased access to legal advice and assistance through the
creation of a prototypical and replicable legal aid society.
Judicial and legal professionals will also enhance their
capacity to communicate with each other and gain access
to information. The Department and the Economic
Commission for Africa (ECA) jointly organized a major
Africa-wide Conference on governance in Africa at ECA
headquarters at Addis Ababa in March 1998. Conference
deliberations touched on a wide range of issues relevant to
the consolidation of the institutional foundations of good
governance in Africa, including the fundamental issues of
the nature and objective of good governance; the nature and
role of the State; key governance institutions; civil society;
and related issues of the military, elections, the opposition,
women, decentralization and the media. In addition to
examining these issues in detail, the conference debated the
question of how to manage political transitions in a manner
that facilitates the achievement of good governance. Great
emphasis was placed on the need to enhance the
effectiveness and legitimacy of the State as a necessary
condition for economic development and the strengthening
of good governance.

          Strengthening civil society

32.  In line with the Azerbaijan Government's commitment
to achieve the establishment of civil society and within the
framework of UNDP Programme for Democracy,
Governance and Participation, the Department has been
implementing the Non-Governmental Organizations
Development Project since 1997. The overarching goal of
the project is to accelerate the development of civil society
through support to and capacity-building of non-governmental and
community-based organizations. This goal is being achieved through the
establishment of a non-governmental organizations resource and training
centre, which is a management and technical support facility that
provides much needed advice, assistance, training, equipment, 
information and know-how in ways that promote cooperation, 
networking, and cooperative interaction with Governments and among the
non-governmental organizations community.

          Post-conflict rehabilitation and reconstruction
          of government machinery

33.  The Department has been executing a major project
on the post-conflict reconstruction of government
machinery in Rwanda. Funded by UNDP and involving 10
major agencies, the programmes "Strengthening the
management capacity of the State for economic
development" and "Rehabilitation of the justice system"
have set up local government structures, recruited senior
civil servants, reorganized all central government ministries,
restructured the government pay system, and trained judges
and set up a justice infrastructure, among other activities in
Rwanda. Based on the work of the past four years, the
Department has formulated a comprehensive, national
governance programme aimed at developing full ownership
by the Government of Rwanda.

          Management of development programmes

34.  The Department managed a series of regional
workshops in 1996 and 1997 on the theme "Management
of development: national capacity strengthening".
Sponsored by UNDP headquarters and the United Nations
Staff College Project, these workshops were held in Africa
and Asia for high-level managers from national institutions
responsible for the management of development from
various countries in the region. The aim of the workshops
was to promote networking among participants, facilitating
exchange of training material, experience and expertise.

      III.     Activities of the organizations and
               bodies of the United Nations system

35.  In paragraph 18 of its resolution 50/225, the General
Assembly recommended that the Secretary-General ensure
maximum coordination of the activities of the United
Nations system in the field of public administration and
development. It also called upon the Secretary-General to
ensure ways of strengthening the coordination, coherence
and harmonization of the management and implementation
of the operational activities of the United Nations system
in the field of public administration and development.

36.  The reform measures carried out by the Secretary-General
and adopted by the General Assembly in 1997
provide a clear framework for allocation of responsibilities
in the area of public administration and finance for
development among the various entities of the United
Nations system, particularly between the United Nations
Secretariat and the funds and programmes. This framework
also constitutes a solid basis on which to build cooperative
initiatives and activities. According to this framework, the
Department of Economic and Social Affairs will concentrate
on (a) supporting standing political and ad hoc processes
for the development of integrated policy responses to
emerging issues in this field; (b) providing substantive
secretariat services and support to intergovernmental bodies
addressing governance and public finance issues; (c)
promoting and monitoring the implementation and
coordinated follow-up to General Assembly resolution
50/225; (d) analysing emerging trends and issues in this
field; (e) promoting global and collective approaches to
address governance, institutional and management
development issues in support of economic and social
development; (f) serving as a forum for the exchange of
information, lessons and experiences among Governments,
intergovernmental and non-governmental institutions; (g)
facilitating the translation of global policies, strategies and
programmes at the country level, as well as feeding back
lessons learned and experiences gained at the country level
into the global policy development process; (h) supporting
the Secretary-General in enhancing policy coherence and
coordination in this field both within the United Nations and
among United Nations system organizations; (i) increasing
awareness of and disseminating United Nations work in this
field, including facilitation of access to United Nations
electronic information; and (j) providing technical
assistance to developing countries in the form of advisory
services and policy advice, technical and substantive
support services to UNDP-funded projects, particularly in
the context of national execution.

37.  The funds and programmes will concentrate on (a)
planning, programming and implementation of programmes
and projects in the area of governance, public
administration and finance for development; (b)
coordination of United Nations activities at the country
level; (c) mobilization of resources for and funding of
programmes and projects in this field; (d) ensuring that the
country development assistance framework takes fully into
account the recommendations of the General Assembly
contained in resolution 50/225.

38.  The clearer distribution of functions that has emerged
from the reform process has facilitated the elimination of
duplications, promoted operative synergies between the
work of the organizations involved and engendered a new
spirit of cooperation. Another concrete step in the
implementation of the provisions of Assembly resolution
50/225 was taken on the occasion of the inter-agency
meeting held in connection with the Fourteenth Meeting of
Experts on the United Nations Programme in Public
Administration and Finance (the inter-agency meeting is an
event that has accompanied all previous Meetings of
Experts). At the last meeting in May 1998, the agencies of
the United Nations system active at various levels in
activities covered by Assembly resolution 50/225 agreed
to establish a standing consultative mechanism in the form
of regular consultative meetings to coordinate the respective
activities in this field. The first of these meetings will take
place in the last quarter of 1998, and will cover the
following agenda:

               (a)     Review of respective programmes for 1999;

               (b)     Coordination of activities to be included in the
                       respective biennial budgets for the years 2000 2001;

               (c)     Coordinated follow-up to Assembly resolution 50/225;

               (d)     Sharing of data on the public sector;

               (e)     Relationship between electronic databases and
                       Web pages;

               (f)     Participation in joint programming exercises
                       under the umbrella of United Nations Development
                       Assistance Frameworks.

39.  A comprehensive summary is set out below of the
activities carried out by the organizations of the United
Nations system pursuant to the recommendations contained
in General Assembly resolution 50/225.

        A.  Centre for International Crime Prevention

40.  The initiatives of the Centre for International Crime
Prevention related to the implementation of General
Assembly resolution 50/225 on public administration and
development are mainly connected to the activities
undertaken to prevent and fight corruption and bribery. In
the last two years the Centre has taken needs assessment and
advisory missions to ascertain the specific requirements of
Governments facing the challenge of corruption in Angola,
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Guinea, Lebanon,
Mozambique, Romania, Senegal, Sierra Leone and the
former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The Centre has
undertaken several technical assistance activities, such as
training seminars for law enforcement officers, judges and
prosecutors, and the elaboration of projects aimed at
providing requesting Member States with the legislative and
institutional capacity to control the phenomenon of
corruption, particularly by drafting new legislation or
revising existing legislation, establishing special anti-corruption 
bodies and organizing public awareness campaigns.

41.  The Centre elaborated two projects to strengthen the
criminal justice systems in Bosnia and Herzegovina. An
anti-corruption project is being implemented in Romania
for anti-corruption institution-building in the country. In
response to the request submitted by the Lebanese
authorities on strengthening institutional capacities to
control corruption, the Centre elaborated a project proposal
that aims to provide Lebanon with the legislative and
institutional means to prevent and control the phenomenon
of corruption and associated organized criminality. One
component of the project in support of the national crime
prevention strategy of South Africa is also related to the
prevention and fight of corruption in that country. The
Centre also convened a meeting of experts from all regions
at Buenos Aires to consider ways of improving international
cooperation against the phenomenon of corruption. The
Centre organized the African Regional Ministerial
Workshop on Organized Crime and Corruption at Senegal
in July 1997, and the Asia Regional Ministerial Meeting on
Transitional Crime in the Philippines in March 1998.

42.  In cooperation with the United Nations International
Drug Control Programme, the Centre has worked on the
elaboration of a model law against corruption that contains
provisions designed to assist Member States to prevent,
detect and fight corruption in a more effective way. The
Centre is in the process of revising the manual on practical
measures against corruption to include the text of the
International Code of Conduct for Public Officials, the
United Nations Declaration against Corruption and Bribery
in International Commercial Transactions, and other
relevant instruments, such as the Organization of American
States and Organisation for Economic Cooperation and
Development conventions.

        B.     Economic Commission for Africa

43.  The strategic objectives of the development
management programme are to enhance the productivity and
accountability of the public sector, support the efforts of the
private sector in promoting economic growth, and
encourage popular participation in development through
strengthening of civil society. In pursuance of these
objectives, ECA has designed and implemented a number
of activities. Its research studies, in particular, have
generated material focusing on best practices in
development management, public service reform, ethics and
accountability, and trends in public service retrenchment
and human resource management.

44.  In recognition of the vital role of small- and
medium-scale enterprises (SME) in development, ECA has
concentrated its efforts on defining programmes that allow
microenterprises access to equity capital and credit. A study
produced by ECA reviewed microfinancing practices and
constraints, assessed policies and strategies, and outlined
ways in which Governments, financial institutions, 
non-governmental organizations, informal sector groups and
small-scale enterprises might work together to tackle
identified problems. A complementary project, aimed at
promoting the development of the informal sector, was
financed by the Deutsche Gesellschaft fu"r Technische
Zusammenarbeit. Its main feature is the development of
linkages among different institutions to enhance the capacity
of the informal sector.

45.  In response to the strong demand for enhancing the
capacity of civil society organizations, ECA organized a
series of seminars and workshops at the national and
regional levels aimed at exposing civil society actors to
policy analysis techniques. In collaboration with non-governmental 
and voluntary organizations, ECA established
and is currently hosting the African Center for Civil Society,
which essentially provides information-sharing and
networking services.

46. ECA provides advisory and training services under
the regular programme of technical cooperation for the
benefit of Member States, local government and
decentralization bodies, and the secretariats of subregional
economic groupings (particularly the Economic Community
of West African States, the Common Market for East and
Southern African States and the Southern Africa
Development Community).

47. At the request of Member States, ECA has designed
a major project focusing on the development of customer
standards for service delivery agencies in the public sector,
and the promotion of customer service orientation among
public servants generally.

48. ECA has been able to implement its programmes as
a result of the cooperation it received from the partnership
it forged with other agencies within the United Nations
system. Particular reference needs to be made to the work
jointly carried out with UNDP (in organizing the first annual
governance forum, as well as the African investment forum
held at Accra in 1997), the Department of Economic and
Social Affairs (conference on consolidating the institutional
foundations for good governance), the Global Coalition for
Africa Transition and Economic Development); and the
World Health Organization (project on the role of local
government in health-care delivery).

        C.     Economic Commission for Europe

49. The work programme of the Economic Commission
for Europe (ECE) does not explicitly cover the area of
public administration, but a number of its activities are
directed to public administration in its areas of competence.
The Commission contributes to the improvement of public
administration through the elaboration of norms and
guidelines in various areas to be implemented by
Governments, and through the provision of technical
assistance to promote their effective implementation in
countries with economies in transition.

50.  ECE carries out research, analysis and projections on
economic situations and developments in Europe and North
America, with special emphasis on countries with
economies in transition. The results, published in the
Economic Survey of Europe, are used by economic advisers
to ministers as well as central banks, and serve as a basis for
policy debates in which decision makers participate. The
Commission organized a one-day seminar on the theme
"Enterprise and bank restructuring in the transition
economies", which was attended by a wide range of senior
economists, government officials and academics from ECE
member States.

51.  As the international focal point for trade facilitation
standards and recommendations, ECE develops instruments
to reduce and automate procedures and paperwork. The
Centre for Facilitation of Procedures and Practices for
Administration, Commerce and Transport develops and
maintains the only international standard for electronic data
interchange (Electronic Data Interchange for
Administration, Commerce and Transport) between public
administrations and private companies of all economic
sectors worldwide.

52.  In the field of trade and investment promotion, ECE's
focus has been on the dissemination of best practices in
investment promotion techniques, the promotion of private
investment in infrastructure (road, rail, telecommunications,
power generating networks, water systems etc.) and
stimulation of investment in real estate. A forum on
prospects for promoting foreign direct investments in the
transition economies was organized in September 1997 at

53.  In the field of SME development, a programme for
countries with economies in transition has continued to be
implemented to assist these countries in formulating
national SME policy, designing promotion programmes,
developing the relevant infrastructure and helping new
entrepreneurs. The programme is focused on collecting and
disseminating statistics and information on legislation and
promotional measures; developing information networks;
preparing case studies and information materials on SME
development issues; formulating project proposals;
providing advisory services; and training.

        D.     Economic Commission for Latin America
               and the Caribbean

54.  The Economic Commission for Latin America and the
Caribbean, through the Latin American and Caribbean
Institute for Economic and Social Planning, organized a
number of workshops and training courses relating to
themes covered by Assembly resolution 50/225. The courses
were directed at officials of central and local governments,
and covered such issues as public policy development and
management; regional development management;
decentralization and municipal administration; formulation,
management and evaluation of development projects.

        E.     Economic and Social Commission for Asia
               and the Pacific

55.  Most activities undertaken by the Economic and
Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) fall
into the following categories: (a) enhancing governmental
capacity for economic and social policy making through
exchange of experiences on the best practices; (b)
increasing the skills of public administration officials; and
(c) strengthening governmental institutions. Activities
implemented by ESCAP in the areas mentioned in paragraph
13 of General Assembly resolution 50/225 are set out

          Strengthening governmental capacity for
          policy development

56.  A national workshop on economic reform was held in
Viet Nam, covering policy analysis, macroeconomic
reforms and macroeconomic models, and aiming to enhance
the capacity of relevant government officials of Viet Nam
in making use of macroeconomic models for policy analysis,
based on experience in China and India. A consultative
meeting on the identification of institutional constraints of
selected ESCAP least developed countries in implementing
macroeconomic policies and lessons from East and South-East 
Asian countries, held at Bangkok from 2 to 4 April
1997, enabled an exchange of experiences between
government officials from 10 least developed countries of
the region, the Republic of Korea and Thailand, and
formulated a set of recommendations for strengthening
institutions responsible for macroeconomic policy-making
in least developed countries.

          Financial management

57.  A regional meeting on improved management of the
financial sector held at Bangkok from 20 to 22 May 1998
invited officials from central banks of 14 member countries,
including nine from countries with economies in transition
from central planning to a market oriented system, to
discuss current practices, and formulated recommendations
for improved financial sector management.

          Improving performance in the public sector

58.  A training programme on project preparation and
appraisal with an environmental impact assessment
component held at Dhaka provided training of about 25
officials of various economic ministries of Bangladesh on
the techniques of project preparation and appraisal,
including assessment of environmental impact.

          Public-private interaction

59.  At a policy-level seminar on commercialization and
private sector involvement in ports held at Chittagong,
Bangladesh, on 18 June 1997, public-sector officials
associated with port administration of several member
countries were sensitized, with the help of resources
persons, on the various modalities of private-sector
involvement in the area of building, maintenance and
operation of ports. A subregional workshop on public
participation for electricity generation project, held at
Bangkok from 19 to 24 November 1997, invited public-sector 
officials from the countries of the Mekong Delta
region to examine possible modalities for increased
community involvement in designing electricity generating
projects for making such projects more beneficial to the
public at large.

          Social development

60.  The South Asian Association for Regional
Cooperation (SAARC) project "Seven sisters: district
development coordination and improved policy project
design", involving six SAARC countries, was conducted
from March 1996 to March 1997. The project created and
operationalized pilot district-level institutions to enhance
dialogue and cooperation among government agencies, non-government
organizations and beneficiaries to improve the
effectiveness of poverty alleviation programmes. A regional
seminar on Government-non-governmental organizations
cooperation for older persons, held at Macau from 16 to 19
June 1997, brought together representatives of government
and non-government agencies involved in implementing
programmes for older persons from 17 member countries,
and formulated a set of follow-up actions for increasing
cooperation between the agencies for exploiting synergies
between programmes.

          Developing infrastructure and protecting
          the environment

61.  A subregional expert group meeting on integrating
environmental considerations into economic policy-making
processes for South Asia, held at Colombo from 24 to 26
November 1997, invited selected government officials
associated with formulating and implementing
environmental policy in six South Asian countries and other
experts to identify best practices in the subregion, and
formulated a set of recommendations for the integration of
environmental considerations into economic policy-making.

        F.     United Nations Conference on Trade
               and Development

62.  Following the adoption of the Midrand Declaration
and Partnership for Growth and Development by the United
Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
at its ninth session, the work of UNCTAD is, inter alia,
based on the recognition that market and private initiatives
are important dynamic agents of an expanding economy,
without losing sight of the determining influence of good
governance and an efficient but reduced role of the State.

63.  As part of the overall democratic processes necessary
for sustaining growth and development, good governance
requires the presence of efficient management of resources.
Some notable examples are set out below of the activities
that contribute to the above-mentioned processes as part of
the overall UNCTAD mandate.

          Efficient customs management

64.  Activities are undertaken to foster a more efficient
customs administration that will be able to clear foreign
trade operations efficiency in a minimum period of time,
and that reduces cost for warehousing, thus making the
national economy more competitive.

          Strengthening public administration by creating
          a positive environment for investment

65.  Assistance is provided to investment countries that
have liberalized their foreign investment policies and are
keen to ensure the effectiveness of their policy reforms, as
well as determine how they should be formulated and
implemented. Investment policy reviews are conducted in
an open and transparent manner with the private sector of
the country concerned to enable government officials to
administer direct investments in a liberalized environment
with modern and innovative management techniques.

          Capacity-building for participation in
          multilateral trading system

66.  Existing synergies between UNCTAD and the World
Trade Organization (WTO) are further developed in this
area. Promoting an internationally competitive and efficient
service infrastructure for trade and development, as well as
advisory services in such fields as investment, competition,
technology, trade and entrepreneurship, are important
factors for good governance.

          Debt management

67.  UNCTAD has developed appropriate administrative,
institutional and legal structures for effective debt
management, including the setting up of an adequate
information system, with detailed and aggregated data on
loan contracts, past and future disbursements, and past and
future debt-service payments, in particular the national
capacity to define and select appropriate debt strategies, and
to improve national capacity to record grants and projects
financed through external resources, contributing to good
governance of financial resources and obligations of the

          Management of mineral resources

68.  Activities are undertaken in this area that can generate
sustainable benefits for the countries in which they are

          Action-oriented development strategies
          for Africa

69.  Implementation of projects that will promote
investment and exports, and stimulate regional dynamics,
including helping to build capacities of African policy
makers in designing and implementing new development

          Promotion of private investment flows to the
          least developed countries

70.  This involves activities related to the use of the
mechanism of investment funds (country funds, venture
capital funds or specific sectoral investment funds) to attract
foreign investment flows in least developed countries.
Issues addressed include investment opportunities in least
developed countries; obstacles to investment and measures
to reduce these obstacles; and last but not least, how the
international community, including international
organizations, can help to reduce obstacles and promote
investment in least developed countries.

        G.     United Nations Development Programme

71.  UNDP undertook the piloting and researching of new
approaches and methodologies in public administration and
its relationship to civil society as a whole. At the global
level, key achievements can be divided into three
categories: (a) new tools and methodologies that were
devised to assist the implementation of UNDP country
policy on governance; (b) UNDP's involvement in cross-fertilization 
of experiences on governance and public administration; and 
(c) partnership founded with other players in governance.

          New tools and methodologies

72.  Several publications were issued on the various facets
of governance and sustainable human development. One of
the most significant documents is the policy paper that
outlines UNDP's approach on human rights, which is meant
as a tool to integrate human rights and sustainable human
development. UNDP has published discussion papers on
reconceptualizing governance; corruption and good
governance; and debt management. In the field of
decentralization and local governance, UNDP has published
a technical advisory paper entitled "Participatory local
governance", which analyses processes, methods and
experience of participatory approaches to improved local

73.  UNDP developed a resource book that compiles all
major resource material on capacity development and serves
as a one-stop source to better understand capacity
development, and describes how to set up and run capacity
development programmes. In the attempt to link governance
experts from the world, an electronic mailing list was set up
to stimulate discussion, ask questions and seek answers on
issues related to governance and public administration, as
well as building the capacity of public reform efforts, of
government and of public management professionals.

74.  In cooperation with the International Labour
Organization (ILO), UNDP contributed to a forthcoming
study and policy review on the informal sector and job
generation in urban areas. The urban development team
began an ongoing survey that attempts to establish the track
record of South-South and North-South development
cooperation between cities in the context of globalization
and decentralization.

          Cross-fertilization of experience

75.  UNDP sponsored a global conference on governance
for sustainable growth and equity whose participants
included ministers, parliamentarians, mayors and civil
society forums, for which it produced a report, immediately
followed by an international colloquium of mayors. Other
conferences dealt with trade and least developed countries,
trade and sustainable human development, and fractured
communities. UNDP organized a global workshop on the
Programme on Accountability and Transparency, and jointly
coordinated with OECD a workshop on corruption in Paris,
bringing together 90 participants, mainly from the donor
community, as well as corruption and anti-corruption
practitioners from Africa, Asia and Latin America. UNDP
was actively involved with WTO in the preparation of a
high-level conference on trade and developing countries,
which was supported and attended by the International
Trade Centre, UNCTAD, UNDP and the World Bank. A
conference was sponsored by UNDP and UNCTAD on debt
management, attended by participants from more than 80
countries. UNDP participated in an urban poverty forum and
a technical consultation on decentralization.

76.  UNDP promoted cross-fertilization of experiences in
governance by chairing the sub-task force on capacity-building 
for governance, which was part of the United
Nations Task Force on an Enabling Environment for
Economic and Social Development, and was mandated to
enhance inter-agency coordination at the country level in
support of implementation of national governance strategies
and action plans for poverty eradication. The sub-task force
was also mandated to pay particular attention to the
strategies and action plans adopted at the World Summit for
Social Development.

77.  In the area of urban development, UNDP participated
and contributed substantially to various international events,
such as an international forum on urban poverty held at
Florence. UNDP was invited to a conference in Washington,
D.C., to advise on the future activities and shape of the
global urban Research Initiative network of researchers in
urban governance. The African Congress on HIV/AIDS
created the Network of African Mayors against HIV/AIDS,
and the UNDP/HIV programme supported its first
conference at Abidjan in 1997.


78.  UNDP forged partnerships and pursued joint projects
with several organizations. Memoranda of understanding
were signed with, inter alia, the American Bar Association
and the International Union of Local Authorities. UNDP
pursued closer working relations with bilateral agencies,
such as the Swedish International Development Cooperation
Agency. UNDP developed a close working corporate-wide
partnership within the United Nations system, such as with
UNCTAD on globalization, liberalization and sustainable
human development. The partnership with UNCTAD led
to a programme that will develop into 10 concrete country
programmes aimed at assisting and enabling 10 countries
in integrating into the global economy and hence reaping
the benefits of integration.

        H.     International Labour Organization

79.  The objective of ILO activities in public
administration and development is to strengthen the
capacity of labour administrations to design and implement
effective policies for the protection of workers and the
efficient functioning of labour markets. There has been a
trend over the past two biennia for member States to request
more wide-ranging assistance, covering the whole gamut of
services and activities of labour administration systems,
rather than single operational services, such as labour
inspection and public employment services.

80.  In the field of institutional and management capacity-
building, the ILO has provided assistance to constituents
through a series of audits of ministries of labour and labour
administration systems, carried out in Benin, Burkina Faso,
Ethiopia, Guinea and Zimbabwe in 1997 by ILO experts,
in close cooperation with the staff of labour administrations.
These exercises often lead to the development of proposals
for technical cooperation projects to assist in the
implementation of reforms and capacity-building activities
and training of labour administration staff.

81.   Further support was provided to member States in the
form of technical advisory services in Brazil, Chile, the
Niger and Yemen, and national technical cooperation
projects in Azerbaijan and Bulgaria. The assistance
provided to the Baltic States and Slovakia produced some
encouraging results. Through national seminars, training
and policy advice, the focus in these countries was widened
from labour inspection and safety and health issues to
broader employment policy issues. A tripartite seminar, held
at Strasbourg in November 1997 for countries of Eastern
and Central Europe on the subject of labour administration
as a vector of development, emphasized the need to adapt
the system of labour administration to specific national
factors, such as the relative strength of the social partners
and of tripartite consultation machinery. Information
material has been prepared in support of these activities,
ranging from an introductory brochure to a detailed
database covering labour administration systems in 40
countries. A study was completed on the role of consultation
and cooperation bodies in labour administration, showing
how in seven countries social dialogue can be maintained,
and how responsibility can be shared between public
administration and the social partners for the adoption of

82.  Technical assistance was provided to a number of
countries, including Albania, Jordan, Lebanon, South Africa
and Viet Nam, as well as the occupied Arab territories, to
help to develop public employment services. Meetings were
organized to facilitate the exchange of experiences on
employment services, including an interregional technical
meeting, convened at Geneva in January 1997 to consider
the strategies developed by public employment services in
response to structural changes in the labour market; it
examined practices of cooperation between public
employment services and private employment agencies in
Australia, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland. This
led to the creation in 1996 of the Public Employment
Placement Enterprise in Australia, which now competes for
business in a wide range of employment services against
other private and community sector organizations.

        I.     International Training Centre of the
               International Labour Organization

83.  Between May 1996 and May 1998, roughly 10,000
participants benefited from the training offered by the
International Training Centre of the ILO (ITC/ILO), of
whom about 2,000 participated in the training/learning
exercises organized by the United Nations Staff College
Project. ITC/ILO has played a major role in assisting its
constituents, including Governments and social partners,
in achieving sustainable development in all countries.
Senior government officials and civil servants have
traditionally represented the main target group of the
training activities of ITC/ILO. Through such training,
ITC/ILO has contributed to strengthening Governments'
capacity in a wide range of subjects. With more specific
reference to the areas recommended by the Group of
Experts on the United Nations Programme in Public
Administration and Finance, training activities have been
implemented in order to: (a) strengthen government capacity
for civil service reform, human resource development and
public administration training; (b) improve the performance
in the public sector; (c) improve financial management; (d)
support public-private interaction; (e) promote social
development; and (f) improve the management of
development programmes.

84.  The United Nations Staff College Project improved
the training programme on the theme "Management of
development: national capacity strengthening", in which 41
country teams participated, with a total of 265 team
members, including key national and international staff.
Through its multifold activities, the Project offered training
tailored to specific contexts, aiming at (a) promoting
transparent and accountable governance; (b) contributing
to capacity-building and improvement of training
programmes for the public sector; (c) developing the
necessary capabilities to enable public administration to
implement the commitments undertaken as a result of the
major United Nations conferences; and (d) increasing
synergy, cooperation and coordination between United
Nations funds and programmes, the specialized agencies,
the United Nations Secretariat and the Bretton Woods

        J.     United Nations Educational, Scientific and
               Cultural Organization

85.  UNESCO has no major activities in the field of public
administration and development. However, by promoting
education, training and research and facilitating access to
information, UNESCO programmes and publications
contribute to ensure capacity-building, human resource
development and governance in developing countries and
countries with economies in transition. Its
intergovernmental social science programme on the
management of social transformation aims to ensure an
integrated urban development by carrying out activities on
city governance, social sustainability, decentralization and
urban development, formulation of urban policies, and
gender and environment issues, to provide decision makers
with scientific data to improve the management of crisis.

        K.     United Nations Industrial Development

86.  UNIDO activities have supported the development of
policy and regulatory framework that are efficient,
transparent and accountable. It plays a key role in mediating
and promoting dialogue between the public and the private
sectors. UNIDO services in this field were aimed at building
up institutions capable of formulating and implementing
sound industrial policy, facilitating and easing the transition
of ownership from public and private enterprise, improving
dialogue between the public and private sectors, fostering
environmentally sustainable industrial development, and
promoting clearer and safer industrial production.

87.  UNIDO has assisted Governments in the formulation
of national strategies and programmes to promote the
development of SMEs by strengthening capabilities to
collect and analyse SME sector-related information;
developing new or amending existing legislation,
regulations and incentives to promote a network of
appropriate demand-driven institutions and support
mechanisms; and improving the policy and business
regulatory environment of SMEs.

88.  UNIDO provides support to the creation of industrial
governance for environmentally and socially sustainable
industrial development. It assists developing countries in
gaining access to environmentally sound technologies, and
forms learning networks for building capacities at the
institutional, enterprise and professional levels. It has
developed a network of investment promotion services in
10 developed and developing countries; and it has
established in collaboration with UNEP, a network of
national clearer production centres in 10 developing
countries. UNIDO regularly conducts training programmes
in technology transfer.

89.  The following examples illustrate some UNIDO
technical cooperation in public administration and
development: medium-term industrial strategy in Viet Nam;
assistance in the formulation and implementation of an
industrial policy in Ecuador; and a support programme for
industrial development of the Sumgait region and
Azerbaijan. UNIDO has assisted China in township and
village enterprise development; assisted Kyrgyzstan in the
preparation of a national programme for management of
economic and technical change; assisted Bangladesh in rural
industrialization employment generation; assisted Cuba in
a programme for industrial restructuring; assisted
Guatemala in advancing industrial decentralization in three
departments; assisted Niger for a programme of
decentralization; and assisted Thailand in improving
industrial competitiveness and sustainable growth.

90.  UNIDO provided advisory services on policies and
strategies, and participated in the development of optional
solutions, in cooperation with government counterpart
ministries and institutions, as follows: Cambodia: micro and
small enterprise development for poverty alleviation; Chile:
assessment of modernization and diversification of Chilean
industry; India: modernization and restructuring of clusters
of small and medium scale industries; and Kyrgyzstan:
support to small and medium enterprises development.

91.  UNIDO is looking into cooperative arrangements with
other agencies to create synergies and avoid overlaps.
Started in 1996, the process will continue to be enhanced.

        L.     World Bank

92.  The World Bank has focused increasing attention on
issues that affect public-sector performance. Of particular
note are The 1997 World Development Report: The State
of A Changing World, and the commitment of the President
at the 1996 annual meeting to tackle corruption. Reflecting
the importance being attached to these issues and related
public sector reform issues, a public sector group was
established in mid-1997 within the Poverty Reduction and
Economic Management Network to take forward the
expanded agenda for public-sector reform. The 1997 World
Development Report was notable for the emphasis it placed
on "reinvigorating institutional capability" and on the
balance of restraint and flexibility as underpinning a well
performing public sector.


93.  A task force established to help develop the Bank's
anti-corruption programme produced the report "Helping
countries combat corruption, the role of the World Bank"
in September 1997. The framework developed in the report
has four main thrusts: (a) strengthening the Bank's own
projects against corruption and fraud; (b) providing direct
assistance to countries that request assistance in tackling
corruption; (c) mainstreaming a concern for corruption
throughout the Bank's lending and policy work; and (d)
supporting international anti-corruption efforts, including
the work of OECD and non-governmental organizations,
such as Transparency International.

94.  Many of the Bank's interventions to streamline the
role of the State and improve its functioning and
management contribute directly to reducing opportunities
and incentives for corruption. A review of the Bank's
regional efforts shows that activities are under way in
Armenia, Georgia, Latvia and Ukraine. Innovative
diagnostic tools have been developed to help to understand
the nature of the corruption problem and to set priorities for
intervention, and workshops have been organized to bring
various stakeholders into the discussion. In the Africa
region, six countries have requested assistance, and
diagnostic missions and workshops have been undertaken,
to be followed by targeted interventions. The South Asia
region will undertake economic and sector work across the
region to identify manifestations, causes and cures for
corruption, with contributions from India, Pakistan, Nepal
and Bangladesh. A detailed action plan for Bangladesh and
specific interventions in Nepal are envisioned. The Latin
America and Caribbean region will complete anti-corruption
studies in Colombia, and will complete mainstream anti-corruption 
activities in the design of a Guatemala judicial
reform project and a proposed Bolivia institutional reform


95.  Closely associated with anti-corruption activities, a
strategic forum identified an institutional need to focus the
Bank's activities on building countries' capacities in the
areas of governance, policy-making and policy
implementation. Three major activities include: (a) a 
public-sector reform strategy paper that will suggest new
approaches, lending instruments, staffing, and partnerships
to increase the Bank's effectiveness; (b) the Public Sector
Board will produce a set of tools for use by Bank staff in
assessing countries' institutional capacities; and (c) a
specific capacity-building initiative will be considered for
the Africa region, with potential support by the Bank and
other donors. The Bank's outreach on capacity-building will
be enhanced through the use of new technologies (such as
distance learning) and through new partnerships with
learning institutions in developing countries.

96.  The Bank has been involved across the full range of
activities identified in General Assembly resolution 50/225.
In the field of judicial reform, for example, it is estimated
that in early 1998, 23 projects supported by the Bank are
under way or have been completed, with a further seven
planned, ranging from simple studies of the court system in
the case of Indonesia and Sierra Leone to major reforms of
the judicial branch in Bolivia, the Russian Federation and

97.  In the more traditional areas of budget and financial
management and civil service reform, major progress has
been made in defining a coherent strategy for supporting
public-sector reform efforts. These principles underpin the
Bank's public expenditure management handbook, which
was published in June 1998. The emphasis on institutions
and budgetary outcomes has been linked with the decision-making 
systems and processes at the centre of government.
Across all these issues, a comprehensive training
programme is being managed by the Economic
Development Institute. In the area of civil service reform,
a paper titled "Re-thinking civil service reform: an agenda
for smart government" was issued in June 1997. Attention
has been given to working with countries to help them to
understand the institutional environment that fosters well
performing public sector organizations.

          Knowledge management

98.  As part of the Bank's reorganization into networks,
a great deal of attention has been given to managing the
knowledge available both within and outside the Bank on
development issues. There are now in excess of 50
electronic sites, mostly internal at this stage, dealing with
specialized topics in development. Within the Bank's Public
Sector Group, sites have been developed for public
expenditure and corruption, and are under development for
decentralization, government reorientation (late civil
service reform), institutional analysis and judicial reform.

       IV.     Conclusions

99.  The two years since the adoption of resolution 50/225
by the General Assembly have witnessed a growing volume
of analysis, research and experimentation on the role of the
State and the public sector in the development process. At
the national level, countries have embarked on important
reforms of the State and the public sector on the basis of
new approaches that aim to balance the need for reducing
public budgets with the need for preserving and/or
strengthening the capacity of the State to carry out its basic
functions and provide its citizens with essential local
services. Although Governments have been steadily
reducing their involvement in the production of goods and
services, they have been focusing their attention on the need
to strengthen their capacity to formulate and develop
economic and social policies, and on the need to establish
appropriate regulatory frameworks and control mechanisms
for the operation of the private sector. New partnerships
between the public sector, civil society organizations and
business have been forged, and innovative ways of
delivering public services are being explored.

100. In this thriving environment of reform and innovation,
the United Nations must play an important role in
facilitating discussions and analysis of these themes at the
global, regional and national levels. It must foster the
exchange of information on policies, successful practices
and innovative experiences. It must also provide developing
countries and countries in transition with the necessary
policy advice and technical assistance to enhance their
capacity to formulate, implement and monitor reform
strategies able to contribute to their development efforts.
The steps taken in better coordinating the inputs provided
by the various organizations and bodies of the United
Nations system in the area of public administration and
development will no doubt enhance the impact of United
Nations activities.

101. The Fourteenth Meeting of the Group of Experts
recognized that the effects of change and reform at both the
national and international levels in this field cannot be
evaluated in the short term. It therefore suggested that a
more comprehensive and in-depth review be carried out in
the year 2001 (i.e., five years from the adoption of
Assembly resolution 50/225) of the changes, trends and
developments in the area of public administration and
development, and of national and international measures
taken in response to the resolution. The Secretary-General
supports this recommendation of the Meeting of Experts,
and subject to the approval of the Council and the General
Assembly, will include such a review as part of the proposed
activities to be carried out by the Division for Public
Economics and Public Administration of the Department
of Economic and Social Affairs in the biennium 2000-2001.



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Date last posted: 10 January 2000 10:05:30
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