United Nations Public Service Day 2022 ‘Building back better from COVID-19

Distinguished Speakers,
Ladies and Gentlemen, 

It gives me great pleasure to address you today on United Nations Public Service Day. 

I again wish to thank Her Excellency Ms. Ohood Khalfan Al Roumi, Minister of State for Government Development and the Future ofUnited Arab Emirates and His Excellency Mr. David Sengeh, Minister of Basic Education and Secondary Education of Sierra Leone for joining us today.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Over the past two years the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc, throwing our development goals into jeopardy. 
Lives and livelihoods have been lost, and economic recovery is facing immense hurdles, with global growth slowing and poverty rising.

The stark reality of inequality has been exposed. As some countries begin to recover, others are still struggling to battle the pandemic and its fallout. 

On top of this, the ongoing climate crisis and geopolitical tensions have intensified the situation.  The conflict in Ukraine, has, like the pandemic, highlighted to us just how inter-dependent we are, as those both near and far deal with the ongoing consequences. 

These realities have made our progress toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals harder but not impossible.

We must remember that in the darkest days of the pandemic the world came together in unity and partnership.

At the local level civil society groups rallied for protective gear for medical workers and provided support to the most vulnerable.  At the global level, partnerships, such as COVAX, to develop vaccines and share information and resources, were developed across countries. Scientific information and data were shared, misinformation confronted, early warning systems utilized and innovations were developed in partnership so that we could learn from each other and work together to find solutions to our common challenge.

And it is through sustaining and fostering this spirit of partnership that we will re-build better and stronger as we recover from the impacts of COVID-19. 

Now is not the time to turn inward, but to continue to work together in global solidarity. 

Ladies and gentlemen,

Public Administrations have a critical role to play in forming and sustaining partnerships. Over the past decades how governments establish and utilize partnerships has evolved dramatically. 

No longer considered an ad-hoc response to a specific problem or issue, partnerships are increasingly leveraged across all of government as a key part of process.

From participatory decision-making mechanisms to collaborative initiatives delivering public services, partnerships not only enhance the efficiency, responsiveness, and effectiveness of public administrations, but can foster transparency, inclusiveness and increase trust.

The UN Committee of Experts on Public Administration recognizes this. Of its 11 principles for effective governance, two, participation and collaboration sit at the heart of innovative partnerships.   Transformative institutions foster innovation through partnerships and recognize their value in enhancing public service delivery.

Through the United Nations Public Service Awards, we have the honour to learn about the innovative partnerships public institutions develop each year. From the local to the national level, from online to offline, these partnerships have helped government be more responsive, inclusive and effective.

Later in today’s event, I will share with you the winners of the 2022 UN Public Service Awards, where the fundamental role of participation and partnerships is evident.

Ladies and gentlemen,    
The power of partnerships is undeniable. From helping us to generate and multiply resources, to ensuring shared ownership and legitimacy, to broadening and enhancing ideas and knowledge, partnerships sit at the heart of transformation, prosperity for all and inclusive sustainable development.

Over the years, UN DESA has relied on partnerships to inform and better its work. Working with Member States, civil society, academia, the private sector, and many other stakeholders has been essential to driving forward our efforts towards the Sustainable Development Goals. 

The 2030 Agenda itself was the result of partnerships and broad multistakeholder participation at all levels. A standalone Goal, Goal 17, on partnerships for development, underscores the necessity of these partnerships for the achievement of all of the Goals.

That is why UN DESA, jointly with the Partnering Initiative, established the 2030 Agenda Partnership Accelerator. Together with the United Nations Office for Partnerships (UNOP), the UN Global Compact, and the UN Development Coordination Office the Accelerator aims to support and accelerate effective partnerships in support of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Ladies and gentlemen;

As we work towards transformative change, I call on public administrations everywhere to foster and sustain multi-stakeholder partnerships so that we can give ourselves the best chance possible of meeting our Sustainable Development Goals.

I wish you all a happy United Nations Public Service Day.


File date: 
Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Mr. Liu