The 9th session of the Committee of Experts on Public Administration (CEPA) started at United Nations Headquarters in New York this morning.
Each year, CEPA’s annual meeting provides guidelines on public administration issues related to the implementation of the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The session this year will focus on the current challenges to and opportunities for public administration in the context of the financial and economic crisis.
“The current crisis and the global economic downturn represent serious challenges not only for economic sustainability but also for effective governance in all parts of the world”, said H.E. Hamidon Ali, the President of the Economic and Social Council in his statement to the opening session
He underscored the need to pay attention to three key factors — Integrity, Innovation and Information — in order for Governments and Member States to “better prepare for the likes of the financial and economic crisis.”
He added that hard work is imperative “towards making sure that all governance actors—local, national and regional governments, private sector and civil society representatives, international financial institutions and international organizations and all citizens of Member States, effectively share information and collaborate with each other.”
Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General of DESA, stressed in his welcome address that the Committee’s work this year is “especially important and demanding. The crisis has underscored that market economies, when left to grow unfettered by sufficient regulations, can cause catastrophic damage.”
He added that “polls show in some countries, trust levels in public institutions have hit all-time historic lows…The magnitude of the financial crisis has left many government leaders lost in terms of how to communicate with their citizens.”
He suggested that in order to find root causes of the financial crisis, “governments need to adopt better regulation of their financial sectors.”
“Governments need to publicize their socio-economic and financial indicators and their policies clearly. They need to present their interventions in timely; well-thought out ways”, he said.
The Committee is expected to examine the theme of 2010 Annual Ministerial Review and focus on how public administration can include women more actively in the development of ICT tools. Mr. Hamidon Ali said, “the crisis has put a disproportionate toll on women and that their empowerment and active participation in economic and political decision-making are indispensable to development.”
The 9th session of the Committee will run from 19-23 April 2010.