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

Briefing to Member States
on the 2020 United Nations Public Service Forum

Dr. In-jae Lee, Deputy Minister for Planning and Coordination,
His Excellency Mr. Yashar T. Aliyev, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the United Nations,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you for joining us at this briefing session on the United Nations Public Service Forum. I extend sincere thanks to Deputy Minister In-jae Lee and the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea to the UN, for organizing this briefing today. I also extend appreciation to Ambassador Yashar Aliyev for his participation.

Azerbaijan successfully hosted the 2019 UN Public Service Forum in Baku. I thank Ambassador Aliyev for joining us here today to share his experience.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The 2020 UN Public Service Forum is co-organized by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) and the Ministry of Interior and Safety of the Republic of Korea, together with the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women).

The Republic of Korea has been a long-time supporter of the UN Public Service Forum. It hosted for the first time in 2014 in Seoul, and has won numerous UN Public Service Awards over the years for excellence and innovation in public service delivery.

We are therefore delighted to work with the government in hosting the 2020 Forum in Busan. And I am delighted to have Ms. Zohra Khan from UN WOMEN here with us today. Over the past seven years we have worked together to mainstream gender issues into both the Forum and the UN Public Service Awards. Making institutions and public service delivery more gender responsive is critical, and our partnership with UN WOMEN has been vital to these efforts.


The theme of the 2020 Forum in Busan will be ‘Action Today, Impact Tomorrow: Innovating and Transforming Public Services and Institutions to Realize the Sustainable Development Goals’.

This is a theme that resonates strongly with the Decade of Action for the SDGs. The Secretary-General launched the Decade as part of the call for an ambitious and accelerated response to reach the Goals, and to make the coming decade one of action and delivery.

Central to the Decade of Action is the pledge to proactively develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels. And ensure more responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making processes.

Indeed, innovative and transformative public institutions are vital to achieving the Goals. That is why urgent efforts are needed today, if we are to see any meaningful impact over the coming decade.

The 2020 United Nations Public Service Forum aims to shine a spotlight on the critical role of innovating and transforming institutions, and public service delivery. It will provide a platform for Ministers and other senior decision-makers to discuss new strategies to realize the SDGs over the coming decade.

The Forum will also provide the opportunity to highlight the key findings of the 2020 United Nations E-Government Survey, a biennial flagship publication prepared by UN DESA, now in its 11th edition.

And, the Forum will host the UN Public Service Awards Ceremony, which recognizes innovation in public service delivery and demonstrates that actions are taking place in an impactful way.

Held annually since 2003, the United Nations Public Service Awards were reviewed in 2016 to align with the 2030 Agenda. They offer a unique insight into how governments at all levels are innovating and transforming service delivery and institutions to advance the Goals.

For 2020, initiatives are being awarded in five categories, all of which work to accelerate action towards the SDGs:

1) delivering inclusive and equitable services for all;
2) promoting integrated mechanisms for sustainable development;
3) developing transparent and accountable public institutions;
4) promoting digital transformation in the public sector, and
5) promoting gender responsive public services to achieve the SDGs.

The Republic of Korea has been at the forefront when it comes to innovation in public service delivery. They have demonstrated multiple winning initiatives in such areas as digital government and inclusive public services for all.

We look forward to the 2020 Forum in Busan to help inspire us to renewed action to enhance and innovate public service delivery.

I thank you all for your ongoing commitment to enhancing public service delivery and institutions. And I look forward to continuing our work with the Ministry of Interior and Safety in the coming months, and to seeing many of you in Busan for the 2020 Forum.

Thank you.

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