Increased participation in the 2011 Public Service Awards

Nominations for the United Nations Public Service Awards (UNPSA) Programme grew by 44 per cent this year and were received from 58 UN Member States, with 7 participating for the first time

UNPSA is the most prestigious international recognition of excellence in public service. It rewards the creative achievements and contributions of public service institutions that lead to a more effective and responsive public administration in countries worldwide. Through an annual competition, the UNPSA promotes the role, professionalism and visibility of public service. It is held every year on 23 June, the United Nations Public Service Day. This year’s Awards Ceremony and Forum will be held in from 20-23 June in Tanzania.

For this year’s round, the region with the highest participation continues to be Asia and the Pacific. Latin America and the Caribbean doubled its share of the nominations submitted to 12 per cent from 2010.

With two new categories “Promoting gender responsive delivery of public services” and “Preventing and combating corruption in the public service” added in association with UN- Women and UNODC respectively, the UNPSA becomes even more relevant to addressing important public sector issues in its role of identifying and showcasing innovations and best practices. The Division is looking forward to growing levels of participation in these categories and will continue working together with the other UN organizations in outreach programmes to address this.

Early February, DESA’s Division for Public Administration and Development Management (DPADM) completed the first two phases in the nomination evaluation process for identifying award winners. In the first phase 82 per cent of the cases were approved and 65 per cent in the second. The Division is preparing for the final evaluation by a Sub-group of the Committee of Experts in Public Administration in April and will continue to provide updates on this in the future.

For more information: www.unpan.org/unpsa

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Measuring the impact of international migration

Ninth coordination meeting on international migration was held in New York from 17-18 February

DESA’s Population Division convened the Ninth Coordination Meeting on International Migration in New York from 17 to 18 February 2011. The meeting had the following objectives: (a) to examine the development of indicators that measure the contribution of international migration to countries of origin and destination; (b) to exchange information on recent initiatives to build capacities on international migration and development, and (c) to discuss the contribution of United Nations agencies, funds and programmes and other relevant organizations to the Global Forum on Migration and Development as well as to the informal thematic debate on international migration and development which will be organized by the President of the General Assembly on 19 May 2011.

The meeting, which is the only system-wide event where intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations share information in a systematic way on their activities related to the various aspects of international migration, was attended by some 100 participants, including representatives of agencies, funds and programmes of the United Nations system, other intergovernmental organizations, as well as representatives of Member States, academia, civil society and the private sector.

The Global Forum on Migration and Development

The 2010 and 2011 chairs of the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD), Mr. Julian Ventura Valero, Under-Secretary for North America of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico and Mr. Eduard Gnesa, Special Ambassador for International Cooperation in Migration of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland, gave presentations on the past and forthcoming Global Forum meetings.

The Global Forum is an informal, state-led, voluntary and non-binding process providing a platform for discussion among Governments and linked to the United Nations through the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on International Migration and Development. The theme of the 2010 Global Forum was “Partnership for Migration and Human Development-Shared Responsibility” and the 2011 Global Forum’s theme is “Taking action on Migration and Development”. For more information on the Global Forum, see http://gfmd.org/.

Report of the Secretary-General on international migration and development

Ms. Hania Zlotnik, Director of the Population Division/ DESA highlighted selected findings of the report of the Secretary-General, focusing on the impact of the recent financial and economic crisis on international migration. While countries of origin had been affected by the decline in remittances and in opportunities for labour migration, they had continued to pursue strategies to leverage the benefits of international migration for development. Another development had been the rise in activities on international migration and development undertaken by the United Nations system and other relevant international organizations. Crucially, the United Nations system had also increased its activities to ensure that the rights of all migrants were safeguarded.

The informal thematic debate on international migration and development, organized by the President of the General Assembly

The Head of Policy Issues in the Office of the President of the General Assembly, Ms. Heidi Schroderus-Fox, provided an overview of the preparatory activities for the Informal Thematic Debate on International Migration and Development, to be held in New York on 19 May 2011. The debate, convened at the request of the General Assembly (see A/RES/63/225), would advance States’ general understanding of the positive impact of migration on development for countries of origin, transit and destination. The discussion would also contribute to the wider, ongoing dialogue on international migration and development, including the General Assembly’s 2013 High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development.

Coordination in the area of international migration and development: capacity-building and training

Ms. Michele Klein-Solomon, Permanent Observer for the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to the United Nations presented some of the main features of the Global Migration Group’s (GMG) handbook Mainstreaming Migration into Development Planning: A Handbook for Policy-makers and Practitioners.

Mr. Laurent de Boeck, Director of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Observatory on Migration discussed the work-plan of the observatory for the following two years, which would centre on South-South migration and its impact on human development and on enhancing research capacities in the South.

Measuring the impact of international migration

Professor Delgado-Wise of the Autonomous University of Zacatecas and Laura Chappell of the Institute for Public Policy Research presented two different, but in many respects complementary, strategies for designing a system of indicators to examine migration and development. The discussion addressed the myths that often characterize the discourse on the linkages between migration and development and called for improved methods and theoretical models to bridge the gap between evidence and public opinions.

Mr. Patrick Simon, Director of Research at the Institut National d’Etudes Demographiques (INED) and Mr. David Khoudour-Castéras, Economist at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), delivered presentations on the complexity of developing measures and benchmarks for monitoring the integration of migrants. Among the key challenges identified were the lack of a harmonized definition and time frame for monitoring and evaluating integration processes, and the need to take into account country-specificities in identifying the target groups for integration policies.

For more information: www.unmigration.org

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