PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED NATIONS
H.E. MR JULIAN R. HUNTE
THE OCCASION OF
NATIONS PUBLIC SERVICE
UNITED NATIONS HEADQUARTERS
23 JUNE 2004
Delegates, United Nations Public Service Awardees, Ladies
United Nations Public Service Day, we celebrate the men
and women worldwide who have answered their countries'
call to Public Service, and have taken up the significant
challenge that such service brings.
designating this day, 23 June annually, as United Nations
Public Service Day, the United Nations General Assembly
underscores the essential role of the Public Service in
implementing the policies and programmes government set
to meet their goals and objectives at the national, regional
and international levels. Undoubtedly this United Nations
initiative serves as a catalyst for the celebration of
Public Service Day around the world.
have given Public Service Day 2004 a specific context
- the landmark Millennium Declaration adopted by Heads
of State and Government at the 2000 Millennium Summit.
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) capture the essence
of the courses of action to which Heads of State and Government
agreed in the Declaration. Together with the commitments
made in more than a decade of United Nations summits and
conferences in the economic and social fields, the MDGs
address the myriad challenges that confront states, particularly
in the developing world, in this twenty-first century.
are, to be sure, turbulent times. Dramatic events in one
country or group of countries can have significant impact
in countries the world over. Globalisation and trade liberalization,
underpinned by rapid advances in technology and communications
have become the principal driving forces in the global
economy. But many countries, particularly in the developing
world, have not reaped a benefit. Indeed, some are worse
inequity in the global economic system - and some would
say exacerbated by it - poverty, degradation of the environment,
the ravages of diseases such as HIV/AIDS and other serious
global problems continue to command the attention of governments.
At the same time, the 0.7% official development assistance
target continues to be elusive for most, while energy
and resources seem more focused on conflict and war in
progress, than to development and other interventions
that might avoid them.
is countries, developed and developing that have a primary
responsibility for promoting their own development. This
includes implementing policies and programmes for the
alleviation of poverty and hunger, to achieve primary
education and equality of men and women, to combat deadly
diseases and to meet these and other objectives of the
MDGs. The MDGs do focus us, rightly, on the need to develop
partnerships for development. But it is a competent, knowledgeable
and experienced Public Service, I submit, that helps to
provide the policy and a strategic impetus and environment
in which all actors can play their essential role in delivering
the MDGs and other development strategies to improve the
lives of people around the world. In other words, nations
need their Public Services for the achievement of their
development goals, including those agreed in the Millennium
and change both rest in the hands of the Public Service.
Continuity may require that various procedures and processes
be kept in place, some in the short-term, and others in
the long term. Continuity, however, should never stands
as an impediment to the fresh perspectives, innovation
and creativity required to respond effectively to the
new demands of a rapidly changing world. The General Assembly
designating 23 June as United Nations Public Service Day,
the General Assembly spoke clearly to the need to revitalize
the Public Service. The Assembly's call to restore the
virtue and values of dedicated service to the public,
and for integrity, professionalism, sensitivity, transparency
and accountability is a call, I am sure, that we all support.
These attributes are our best hope that our efforts for
socio-economic development would succeed.
need to attract, develop, motivate and retain the best
talent, to promote integrity and pride in dedicated and
committed service, and to recognize that service, I am
certain, does have the strong support of Member States
and this United Nations. This is evident today in our
recognition of the best in the Public Service from countries,
developed and developing, around the world, as part of
our Public Service Day celebration.
Today, we recognize those who have progressively opened
doors, to make the Public Service more visible. Through
their efforts, the citizens of the world are better served;
equity is promoted by ensuring access to services, particularly
by vulnerable groups; emphasis has been placed on timeliness
and courtesy; transparency in decision-making, professionalism
and accountability have been forthcoming, to citizens,
clients and other stakeholders; methodologies and approaches
to work are now a radical departure from "business
as usual", producing good results, lowering costs
and enhancing the quality of service; new information
and communications technology has been embraced and have
improved service delivery; government operations have
been re-engineered; and interaction between public officials
and the public at all levels of society has been promoted
I commend you, the recipients of the United Nations Public
Service Awards, for your exemplary efforts to improve
the delivery of public services. I commend you for your
efforts that contribute to the achievements of the MDGs.
I encourage you to continue on the path of public service,
in the interest of the socio-economic development of your
countries and of international cooperation.
Let me also take this opportunity to recognize the United
Nations Secretariat for its cooperation, which has been
essential to ensuring that letter and spirit of the General
Assembly's decision to establish Public Service Awards
is effectively implemented.
I believe that our countries and societies owe much to
the men and women of the Public Service. On this day dedicated
to the Public Service, it is incumbent upon us all, Member
States, the United Nations system, other intergovernmental
organizations and civil society, to provide the cooperation
and support that would ensure that the service can deliver
on national development goals and agreed international
goals, including the MDGs.