Symposium on “Strengthening the Capacities of Public Institutions & Developing Effective Partnerships to Realize the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”

Excellency Kim Boo Kyum, Minister of the Interior and Safety of the Republic of Korea,Distinguished Delegates,Ladies and Gentlemen,

On behalf of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the UNDESA, it is my great pleasure to welcome you to the Second Regional Symposium on Strengthening Capacities of Public Institutions and Developing Effective Partnerships to Realize the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

I wish to express my deep appreciation to the Ministry of the Interior and Safety of the Republic of Korea, and to the Incheon Metropolitan City for their great support to this important event. I also want to thank my colleagues of UNPOG (United Nations Project Office on Governance) for their hard work in preparing the symposium.

Distinguished participants,Distinguished delegates,

Many governments have made good progress in implementing the SDGs since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda in 2015. Forty-six countries presented their Voluntary National Reviews during the 2018 High Level Political Forum (HLPF). These Reviews proved to be central element of the HLPF, where Member States could highlight their progress – including challenges and lessons learned – on SDG implementation.

2019 will be an important year for the HLPF. It will convene both under the auspices of the ECOSOC in July, and under the auspices of the General Assembly at the Summit level in September.

One of the Goals that will be reviewed at the July HLPF will be SDG 16 on effective, inclusive and accountable institutions. And the theme – “Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality” – provides an important opportunity to strengthen the social dimension of sustainable development.

The 2030 Agenda recognizes the importance of building inclusive institutions to ensuring ownership and participation in decision making, especially of the most vulnerable. To build resilient, peaceful and inclusive societies, principles such as justice, effectiveness, transparency, accountability, and participation should embed new government programmes and policies. It is also important to strengthen the capacity of public institutions and mobilize public servants.

I am pleased to note that there will be a parallel workshop on “Mobilizing and equipping public servants to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals”. I understand that the workshop will engage a dozen schools of public administration from Asia and the Pacific to develop and update curricula to reflect the SDGs. This important exercise will help design training programmes aimed at transforming mindsets of public officials.

The Symposium will also highlight the challenges of simultaneous proliferation of frontier technologies and the quickened pace of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The latter, characterized by robotics, Artificial Intelligence, and the Internet of Things, will have a far-reaching impact on the way institutions, organizations and people interact and collaborate. The Digital Revolution can forge a positive way forward and make service delivery more inclusive and participatory, especially for vulnerable groups. However, it will also pose many challenges and risks that will need to be addressed, including loss of jobs and cyber-security related issues.

UNDESA has recently launched the 2018 E-Government Survey on “Gearing E-Government to Support Transformation Towards Sustainable And Resilient Societies”; and the 2018 World Economic and Social Survey on “Frontier Technologies for Sustainable Development”. These two publications address, among other things, both the positive and negative consequences of frontier technologies.

Distinguished participants,

Despite positive trends in SDG implementation, its progress is slow and uneven. The least developed countries, small island developing states and landlocked developing countries continue to lag on many SDG targets.

Finite borders and finite resources require Island States to address sustainable development and resilience strategies in tandem. SIDS are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change and the increasing intensity and frequency of natural disasters.

The disparity within and between countries calls for greater demand for partnerships. Goal 17 of the 2030 Agenda underscores the importance of partnerships as a means of implementation. Indeed, new models of partnerships for SDG implementation among governments, civil society and the private sector should continue to be explored.

This Regional Symposium provides an important opportunity to share good examples of how to strengthen capacities of public institutions and develop more effective partnerships for achieving the 2030 Agenda.

Distinguished colleagues,

UNDESA will continue to support Member States to build effective, inclusive and accountable institutions in support of Agenda 2030.

I wish you a successful outcome and fruitful discussions during this important event.

Thank you.
File date: 
Thursday, October 25, 2018
Mr. Liu