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Volume 16, No.12 - December 2012

Global dialogue on development


Promoting a society accessible for all

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities will be celebrated with a number of events at UN Headquarters on 3 December under the theme “Removing barriers to create an inclusive and accessible society for all”

The United Nations has a long history of advocating for the full and effective participation of persons with disabilities in society and development. Persons with disabilities – more than one billion persons – who make up more than 15% of the world’s population – have so much to contribute when and if the barriers are removed for their participation. 

The annual observance of the International Day of Disabled Persons, proclaimed by the General Assembly in 1992, aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for action toward protecting and promoting the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. 

As the global population with disabilities continues to grow, an accessible and inclusive world is more important and essential than ever.

This year’s event will focus on the High-level Meeting of the General Assembly on Disability and Development (HLMDD), which will take place on 23 September 2013 in accordance with General Assembly resolution 66/124. It will also mark the official opening of the preparatory process for the High-level Meeting. The President of the 67th session of General Assembly along with the co-facilitators of the HLMD will officially launch the preparatory process on Monday, 3 December 2012 at a high-level opening ceremony of the International Day. 

The commemorative events for the Day will also include a panel discussion under the theme: “The way forward: a disability inclusive development agenda towards 2015 and beyond” and will culminate with the annual United Nations Enable Film Festival (UNEFF), featuring short films to help raise awareness concerning disability issues with a view to promoting the full and effective participation of persons with disabilities in all aspects of society and development.

The event will be co-sponsored by the Office of the President of General Assembly, Governments of the Philippines and Spain and UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs. 

“Together, we must strive to achieve the goals of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: to eliminate discrimination and exclusion, and to create societies that value diversity and inclusion,” said the UN Secretary-General in his message for the day.

For more information:
International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Women in development

The Vienna Policy Dialogue on Gender Equality will take place on 13-14 December to discuss how to anchor gender equality and the empowerment of women in the evolving post-2015 UN development agenda

Given the centrality of women as critical drivers of development, the Development Cooperation Forum (DCF) Vienna Policy Dialogue will discuss how to firmly anchor gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls and the protection of their rights in the changing landscape of international development cooperation and in the post-2015 UN development agenda.

Organized by DESA, in partnership with UN Women and the Government of Austria, the Vienna Policy Dialogue, will bring together senior representatives, experts from national and local governments, civil society organizations, parliaments, women’s organizations and the private sector with representatives of international organizations to develop concrete policy recommendations to advance gender equality and the empowerment of women in response to the profound shifts in international development cooperation. 

The Vienna Policy Dialogue is the first in a series of consultations in preparation of the 2014 DCF. The DCF is the principal multi-stakeholder platform for global dialogue and policy aimed at reviewing trends and progress in international development cooperation.  It provides policy guidance and recommendations to promote more effective and coherent international development cooperation.

For more information: Vienna Policy Dialogue on Gender Equality

Rewarding public service excellence

The United Nations is calling for nominations for the UN Public Service Awards 2013, which is an international event designed to promote and support innovations in public service delivery worldwide (deadline 7 December 2012)

The awards are open to public organizations of all kinds, including governments and public-private partnerships involved in delivering services to citizens. 

An annual United Nations event, the Public Service Awards are bestowed on those public institutions that have distinguished themselves in the following categories: Preventing and Combating Corruption in the Public Service; Improving the Delivery of Services; Fostering Participation in Policymaking Decisions through Innovative Mechanisms; Promoting Whole-of-Government Approaches in the Information Age; and Promoting Gender-Responsive Delivery of Public Services. 

“The winners of the United Nations Public Service Awards set an example in improving delivery, promoting accountability and combating corruption. Through the search for innovative approaches to public governance challenges, they are building a better future for us all,” the UN Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon noted in his 2012 United Nations Public Service Day welcome message. 

The United Nations Public Service Day was established by the Economic and Social Council in 2003 to promote better delivery of services by governments and to encourage excellence in the public service through the collection, transfer and adaptation of innovative public service initiatives. Learning from other countries’ experiences in reinventing government can inspire new reforms, and in some cases help countries to leapfrog stages of development. “Such successful innovations and initiatives are concrete evidence proving that in order to find solutions to challenges of our times we need to learn from each other and think outside the box,” stressed Mr. Wu Hongbo Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs. 

The United Nations Public Service Awards winners, selected by the United Nations Committee of Experts on Public Administration, receive a trophy and a certificate of recognition during the United Nations Public Service Awards Ceremony and Day held annually on 23 June. The global event is organized by the Division of Public Administration and Development Management (DPADM) of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), in partnership with UN Women and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). 

While contenders cannot nominate themselves, interested institutions deemed to have very good performance in any one of the categories can have their name put forward by governments or civil society organizations.

Nominations for 2013 are being accepted online until 7 December 2012 at UN Public Service Awards Application

Keeping the momentum beyond 2015

A live chat on Facebook was arranged on 27 November to engage the online community in a discussion on the post-2015 development agenda

Keeping the momentum beyond 2015“We hope to bring views from all corners of the world together because what we are striving for is an agenda that will take us to a shared, secure and sustainable global development for all, our generation and all future ones,” said Rob Vos, Director of DESA’s Division for Development Policy and Analysis (DPAD).

More than 900 participants took part in the chat themed “Keeping the momentum beyond 2015: Moving forward towards a new global development agenda”. Panelists from the UN System Task Team on the Post-2015 Development Agenda included DPAD Director Rob Vos with DPAD colleagues Diana Alarcon and Sabrina Axster, Fred Soltau from DESA’s Division for Sustainable Development and Jose Dallo and Gina Lucarelli from the UNDP Bureau of Development Policy.

The live chat was jointly organized by DESA and UNDP to engage various stakeholders in the preparations for a global development agenda beyond 2015 that can build on the progress of the MDGs and meet the new challenges ahead.

The chat was very popular among the online audience and the engagement level was high. Words of appreciation came from many including from this participant in Malaysia, who said that “it is a very healthy two-way interaction platform that has been created by the UN to engage online participants in a transparent way and interactive chat.”

For more information:

Video promoting the event

Facebook event page