Volume 19, No.03 - March 2015

Trends and analysis

Focusing on importance of audit institutions for post-2015 agenda

The 23rd UN/INTOSAI Symposium will be held in Vienna, Austria from 2 to 4 March. The participants of the Symposium will deliberate on the topic “UN Post-2015 Development Agenda: the Role of Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) and Means of Implementation for Sustainable Development”.

This topic reflects a growing recognition of the necessity of involving SAIs in the national implementation of the post-2015 development agenda. Given their independence, professionalism and reliability, SAIs are uniquely positioned to serve the public by promoting effective public governance, increasing the efficiency of public administration, improving development outcomes and promoting trust in government. In terms of national implementation, SAIs have a very important oversight role to play.

The overarching goal of the Symposium is to strengthen the oversight capacities of the SAIs — particularly focusing on audits in the context of sustainable development and engaging with key stakeholders while maintaining independence.

UN DESA’s Under-Secretary-General, Mr. Wu Hongbo, will make an opening statement on the current status of intergovernmental deliberations on UN post-2015 development agenda. Under-Secretary-General for Internal Oversight Services, Ms. Carman Lapointe, is due to make a statement on what lessons learned and advice SAIs can share from reviewing the implementation of the MDGs for the SDGs. The President of ECOSOC and the Permanent Representative of Austria, Mr. Martin Sajdik, will also address the opening.

In addition, the Chair of the United Nations Committee of Experts on Public Administration, Ms. Margaret Saner, will focus her presentation on the expectations of SAIs by the international public administration community. An audit and citizen engagement expert, Mr. Amitabh Mukhopadhyay, will also address the expectations of citizens in SAIs. The Chair of the United Nations Internal Audit Advisory Committee, Mr. Christopher Mihm, from the US Government Accountability Office will also be in attendance.

From INTOSAI, the Secretary-General, Mr. Josef Moser, who is also the President of the Austrian Court of Audit will make opening remarks. He will be joined by the Deputy Auditor General of China and the representative of the INTOSAI Chair, Mr. Zhang Tong.

The Symposium will be a good occasion to highlight the recent GA resolution A/RES/69/228, which acknowledges the important role of supreme audit institutions in promoting the efficiency, accountability, effectiveness and transparency of public administration. The resolution “encourages Member States to give due consideration to the independence and capacity building of SAIs, as well as to the improvement of public accounting systems in the context of the post-2015 development agenda.” It follows the previous GA resolution 66/209 on the same theme.

For more information:

International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI)


Advancing e-government for sustainable development

Experts will meet at UN Headquarters on 16 to 17 March to discuss critical issues related to e-government for sustainable development in support of the UN E-Government Survey 2016.

The Expert Group Meeting (EGM) entitled “United Nations E-Government Survey 2016: E-Government for Sustainable Development”, is organized by UN DESA’s Division for Public Administration and Development Management (DPADM).

The purpose of the meeting is to provide a platform for experts to (a) discuss and exchange views on emerging issues and trends related to e-government for sustainable development, (b) discuss the outline and issues for possible inclusion in the United Nations E-Government Survey 2016, with a view to aligning it to the overall United Nations post-2015 development agenda (c) review and examine the Survey’s methodology, as well as (d) review and update the Survey’s questionnaire.

The experts will provide advice and recommendations on how to integrate these issues into the next edition of the United Nations E-Government Survey and will take into account the feedback and suggestions received from Member States during consultative meetings organized by the Division prior to the EGM. It is the first time that these meetings are being organized by DPADM, in collaboration with a number of regional hosts, in order to allow for a more inclusive, open and participatory approach in the design of the Survey.

Consultative meetings already took place in Colombia (5 December 2014), Bahrain (29 January 2015), Kazakhstan (12 and 13 February 2015), the Republic of Korea (9-10 February), Belgium (17-18 February 2015) and Estonia (19-20 February 2015), while preparations are under way for meetings to be held in Morocco (4 March 2015). Through a participatory approach that includes discussions at round tables and in plenary sessions, participants are invited to respond to a set of questions, so as to provide concrete suggestions and feed-back on the theme and methodology of the UN E-Government Survey 2016.

For more information: United Nations Public Administration Network (UNPAN)


Celebrating forests’ role in combatting climate change

ForestDay21 March is the International Day of Forests, and the theme of this year’s observance of the Day is climate change. Forests and climate are inextricably linked, forests generate oxygen, store carbon, conserve soils, and build resilience to natural and man-made disasters.

An estimated 17 percent of global human-generated carbon dioxide emissions stem from loss of forests due to deforestation and land-use changes. At the same time, healthy forests can regulate climate and rainfall patterns, while also absorbing and storing carbon in their biomass, soils and products.

In its resolution 67/200 of 21 December 2012, the General Assembly proclaimed 21 March as the International Day of Forests to celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests and of trees outside forests and requested DESA’s UN Forum on Forests Secretariat in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, to facilitate the implementation of the International Day of Forests, in collaboration with Governments, the Collaborative Partnership on Forests and international, regional and subregional organizations and processes as well as relevant major groups.

At UN Headquarters, UN DESA’s UNFF Secretariat is holding a special event in celebration of the International Day of Forests on Friday, 20 March 2015 (10 a.m. to 1 p.m.) in the Economic and Social Council Chamber.  The event entitled “International Day of Forests: Create a Climate Smart Future” will focus on showcasing forest-based solutions to climate change mitigation and adaptation, and sustainable development more broadly.

The UNFF Secretariat will also engage in a 21 day social media campaign starting 1 March, which will showcase inspiring films and forest heroes, beautiful award winning forest photographs, as well as interesting forest factoids. In addition a range of multi-media products are being made available online to support International Day celebrations around the world – which include forest films, art and photo materials as well as design products such as banners, posters and postcards.

Discover and amplify the complete and highly visual campaign by following @UNDESA on Twitter – and the hashtag #IntlForestDay – or connect with us on

For more information: UN Forum on Forests Secretariat