Mr. Liu Zhenmin Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs

17th Session of the Committee of Experts on Public Administration

Madame Chair,
Distinguished Members of CEPA,
Vice President of ECOSOC,
Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I join Ambassador Jerry Matjila, Vice President of ECOSOC in warmly welcoming you to the seventeenth session of the Committee of Experts on Public Administration, and in congratulating the 24 new members of the Committee on your appointment by the Economic and Social Council. I have every confidence that you are going to have an exciting and productive term.

I also want to express appreciation to the many observers who have joined us, whether in the room or following online. CEPA is a place where the world’s experts in public administration come together to address our common institutional challenges in implementing the 2030 Agenda, so that no one will be left behind.

Dear Colleagues, during this session, the Committee will continue its discussion of policy and institutional coherence in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Indeed, it is a complex governance challenge. All countries are struggling with its intricacies. This year, you will broaden and deepen your study of approaches for promoting policy and institutional coherence. And you will consider this from the perspective of the SDGs to be reviewed by the HLPF in July.

You will delve into issues at the heart of government and its core functions in the context of achieving the SDGs. In this regard, you will also consider what is needed to build a forward-looking, accountable civil service committed to leaving no one behind.

I commend your work on elaborating principles of effective governance for sustainable development. I encourage you to take this initiative to the next level, so that the principles become an important reference point in building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions in support of the SDGs.

Ambassador Matjila referred to the 2018 theme of ECOSOC with its emphasis on urban and rural communities. I hope you can take a broad view of a country’s administrative system, while also considering the past CEPA discussions related to local government and intergovernmental relations. Also, given the critical role that subnational governments have in implementing the SDGs, follow-up to the New Urban Agenda should remain in our sights.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development follow-up is being held here at UN Headquarters as we speak, and is also supported by my Department. As you know, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda is an integral part of the 2030 Agenda. It would therefore be helpful if the work of the Forum, and your own work, were to enrich and inform one another.

Some of you may also be aware that our strategy for development in the United Nations is now also being aligned with the SDGs across the entire United Nations system – just as the 2030 Agenda has been placed at the centre of the work of CEPA. The Secretary-General has asked me to be ambitious in our efforts to evolve alongside the rest of the United Nations development system.

This has signaled the need to strengthen the functions and capacities of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Where public administration is concerned, the Division for Public Administration and Development Management will be renamed. The work of the Division is being streamlined with a focus on supporting efforts to ready public institutions for the SDGs, promote public sector innovation and expand digital government.

I am also creating a dedicated CEPA Secretariat within the Division. I attach great importance to the work of this Committee and am committed to enhancing its visibility and strengthening the impact and follow-up of its important work.

It is encouraging that so many of you have been involved in preparations for the seventeenth session. My sincere thanks for your hard work, time and dedication. I count on your continued engagement with the United Nations throughout the year.

I wish you a fruitful session and look forward to your analysis and advice.

Thank you.

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