“As we continue our journey to a post-2015 era, we recognize the tremendous potential of e-government as a key enabler of sustainable development,” said UN DESA’s Under-Secretary-General Mr. Wu Hongbo, as the 2014 United Nations Global e-Government Forum (GeGF) kicked off today in Astana, Kazakhstan, bringing together around 700 participants from all corners of the world.
Taking place until 8 October under the theme ‘Smart Governance for Sustainable Development: New Opportunities for Partnership in a Networked Society’, the forum was opened by the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Karim Massimov and Mr. Wu.
“The 2014 edition of the United Nations E-Government Survey shows that countries in all regions of the world, and at all levels of development, are advancing e-government,” Mr. Wu said in his opening remarks. “Advancing e-government is vital to the promotion of smart government. It can broaden public participation in decision-making and service delivery. It enhances access to information, promotes fiscal accountability and removes barriers to accessing public services,” Mr. Wu continued.
Mr. Wu also took the opportunity to congratulate the winners of the 2014 UN E-Government Survey Special Awardees, who are also honored at a special awards ceremony. “This year’s winners embody the vision and commitment necessary to transform public administration into an instrument for sustainable development. They offer important lessons on how to build more inclusive, participatory, efficient, effective, transparent, accountable and people-centred governments,” Mr. Wu said.
Since 2012, the Government of the Republic of Korea in collaboration with UN DESA has organized two Global e-Government Forums. The first Forum, held in 2012, focused on “Smart Government for a Better Future”. The second Forum was held in 2013 under the theme of “Smart Government and Smart Society: Openness, Sharing, Communication and Collaboration”, where it was also decided that the 2014 Forum would be held in Kazakhstan.
This year’s event is organized by UN DESA’s Division for Public Administration and Development Management (DPADM) in partnership with the Agency for Communication and Information of the Republic of Kazakhstan. It addresses emerging issues, such as smart governance, networked society, open government, open data and social media. It also intends to raise participants’ awareness of new e-government trends and issues, including cutting-edge technologies and innovative practices to address complex governance challenges.
“These efforts are all essential if we are to achieve a future of equitable economic growth and sustainable development. They help us to clear the path to a world free from poverty and hunger,” Mr. Wu said.