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Latest News

Briefing on the 2022 United Nations Public Service Awards

A virtual briefing session on the 2022 United Nations Public Service Awards (UNPSA) programme will be held to provide an overview of the programme and share past winners’ insight on the impact of the Award and how it has helped to promote innovation in their local and national governments. The briefing will be held 14 October at 12:00 PM EDT. Registration is available here.


2022 UN Public Service Awards is open to receive nominations

The annual programme is now open for applications at and UN DESA is calling for nominations. The award aims to promote and recognize transformative initiatives that fosters creativity and innovation in public services. It is open to all public organizations, including local, regional and national governments, and public institutions engaged in public-private partnerships working towards the achieve the SDGs. Apply online by 3 December 2021. Nominations are accepted in all six UN official languages. The submission rules and guidelines are available at in all six official languages. More information is available here.


Advancing SMART Cities and Urban Digital Transformation to achieve Sustainable Development Goals

The future of sustainable development will be determined in part in urban areas. Despite various challenges, urbanization can be a driving force for sustainability when anchored on the principles of sustainable development. Rapid advancement of digital technologies and applications has created also enormous opportunities and expectations for cities to harness digital tools to advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Increasingly, digital technologies are integrated into the lives and livelihoods of people, often considered an essential part of the SMART city toolbox. Deploying digital technologies in urban areas has proven useful in addressing a myriad of issues. SMART cities promise to transform sustainable urban development. To strengthen capacities of national policymakers and local authorities responsible for digital transformation and building SMART cities, a capacity building webinar will be held on 9 September 2021 from 8 to 10:30 am EDT via Zoom. More information is available here and registration is available here.


The World Public Sector Report 2021, entitled “National institutional arrangements for implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals: A five-year stocktaking”, is now available here

Five years after the start of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, governance issues remain at the forefront. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted even more the importance of national institutions for the achievement of the SDGs. The World Public Sector Report 2021 focuses on three dimensions of institutional change at the national level. First, it documents changes in institutional arrangements for SDG implementation since 2015. Second, it assesses the development, performance, strengths and weaknesses of follow-up and review systems for the SDGs. Third, it examines efforts made by governments and other stakeholders to enhance the capacity of public servants to implement the SDGs. Based on in-depth examination of institutional arrangements for SDG implementation in a sample of 24 countries in all regions, the report aims to draw attention to the institutional dimension of SDG implementation and provide lessons for national policymakers in this regard. The report also takes stock of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on national institutions and their implications for delivering on the 2030 Agenda.


Peer-to-Peer Learning International Workshop on One-Door-Service Centers back-to-back with the National Workshop on Implementing the One-Door-Service Centers in Lao People's Democratic Republic (PDR)

The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), through its Division for Public Institutions and Digital Government (DPIDG) and with the support of its project office on governance (UNPOG), and in collaboration with the Resident Coordinators Office in Lao PDR and UNDP, is organizing a peer-to-peer learning international workshop on One-Door-Service Centers (ODCSs) back-to-back with a national workshop on lessons learned and next steps in implementing the ODCSs in Lao PDR. The overarching objective of the workshops is to strengthen government capacity for the design and implementation of sustainable ODSCs for public services in Lao PDR. The international and national workshops on ODCSs are supported by UN DESA’s Development Account Project 1819G on “Institutional arrangements for policy integration, coordination and stakeholder engagement in SDG implementation and reviews in Asia & the Pacific”. Both events will be conducted virtually and are by invitation only. More information is available here


UN ECOSOC approves new members of the Committee of Experts on Public Administration

On 22 July 2021, the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) approved  24 experts nominated by the UN Secretary-General to serve on the Committee of Experts on Public Administration for a four-year term, beginning on 1 August 2021. Click here for more information.


VNR Lab - Governance and Policy Integration in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Success in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and building back better depends on mobilizing and effectively coordinating efforts of multiple policy sectors and all levels of government.  A VNR Lab on Governance and Policy Integration in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic, organized by UN DESA/DPIDG, will provide a platform for governments to share experiences in tackling COVID-19. Countries will be invited in particular to consider the challenges and opportunities that the pandemic has presented in terms of multi-level governance and integrated policymaking. It will also consider policy actions that can strengthen effective governance for sustainable development. The virtual VNR Lab will be held on 14 July 2021 from 8 to 9 am EDT via Zoom. More information is available here and registration is available here.


CEPA 20th session findings and recommendations move forward

The report of the 20th session of the Committee of Experts on Public Administration (CEPA), held in April 2021, is now available in the six official UN languages. A key message of the session was that recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals should not be seen as sequential or separate. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development provides a roadmap to recover from the pandemic and build resilience to future shocks. Achieving sustainable development and strengthening resilience required a long-term perspective in policymaking together with institution-building at all levels, based on effective governance for sustainable development, and a steadfast commitment to promoting peaceful, just and inclusive societies. Azerbaijan, Colombia and Indonesia made presentations on various institutional issues as part of an interactive dialogue with the experts. These and other matters are reflected in a resolution adopted by the Economic and Social Council at its management segment meeting on 8 June 2021, as well as in the Committee’s input to the 2021 High-Level Political Forum. More information is available here.


The 25th UN/INTOSAI Symposium on Working During and After the Pandemic: Building on the Experience of Supreme Audit Institutions for Strengthening Effective Institutions and Achieving Sustainable Societies 

UN DESA/DPIDG and the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) are organizing the 25th UN/INTOSAI Symposium on the theme of Working During and After the Pandemic: Building on the Experience of Supreme Audit Institutions for Strengthening Effective Institutions and Achieving Sustainable Societies. The symposium brings together over 400 participants, including representatives from Supreme Audit Institutions, the United Nations and other international organizations, resource experts, and relevant stakeholders to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the working methods, processes and audit work of Supreme Audit Institutions. The discussions will consider how this experience may contribute to building more resilient accountability systems and institutions and sustainable societies in the aftermath of the pandemic. The Symposium will be held virtually from 28 to 30 June 2021 (8.00 AM-12.00 PM EDT). More information is available here


Report of the SDG 16 Conference now available

The report of the Conference on Transforming Governance for a more Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Future: SDG 16 as the Roadmap to Respond to COVID-19 and Build Back Better is now available on the event website. The Conference, co-organized by DESA through DPIDG and the International Development Law Organization (IDLO), with the Government of Italy, took place in a virtual format from 20 to 30 April 2021. More information on the conference is available at


Virtual Celebration of United Nations Public Service Day: Innovating the Future Public Service: New Government Models for a New Era to Reach the SDGs 

United Nations Public Service Day, celebrated on 23 June each year, highlights the work of public servants and recognizes the value and virtue of public service to the community and development processes. To celebrate the 2021 United Nations Public Service Day, DESA/DPIDG in collaboration with the government of the United Arab Emirates will organize a virtual event under the theme of Innovating the Future Public Service: New Government Models for a New Era to Reach the SDGs. The event will highlight the centric role that innovation and technology play in the delivery of public services and examines how to better prepare the future public service for a new era, so as to reach the Sustainable Development Goals. It will examine the approaches countries are taking to equip public servants with the skills necessary to be effective, responsive and relevant in the digital age. It will also highlight lessons learned from the past year, as many countries and public servants have been thrust into the digital era, quickly adopting, innovating and using online mechanisms to continue their work during the pandemic. The virtual event will be held on 23 June from 9 to 10.30am EDT. The event will be livestreamed on UN WebTV. More information and livestream of the event is available here.



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