Action Today, Impact Tomorrow
Innovating and Transforming Public Services and Institutions to Realize the SDGs
Briefing Session on the
2020 United Nations Public Service Forum and Awards
11 February 2020
Conference Room 6
The 2020 United Nations Public Service Forum (UNPSF) will take place in Busan, Republic of Korea from 23 to 26 June 2020 in observance of the United Nations Public Service Day, under the theme ‘Action Today, Impact Tomorrow: Innovating and Transforming Public Services and Institutions to Realize the Sustainable Development Goals".
The Forum is co-organized by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) through its Division for Public Institutions and Digital Government (DPIDG) and the Ministry of the Interior and Safety of the Republic of Korea together with the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women).
About the United Nations Public Service Forum and Awards Programme
The UN Public Service Forum is an annual event to mark UN Public Service Day, which was designated as 23 June in United Nations General Assembly Resolution A/RES/57/277. The Day aims to celebrate the value and virtue of public service to the community and highlights the contribution of public service in the development process.
To bolster recognition of the Day and the value of public service, the United Nations established the UN Public Service Awards (UNPSA) programme in 2003 which was reviewed in 2016 to align with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The UNPSA aims to promote and reward innovation and excellence in public services by recognizing the creative achievements and contributions of public institutions that lead to a more effective and responsive public administration in countries worldwide in support of sustainable development. You can learn more about the UNPSA here.
Each year UN DESA organizes the Forum with a host country, using the event to host capacity development workshops, the UN Public Service Awards ceremony and a Ministerial Roundtable. Drawing together roughly 800 to 1000 participants, the Forum is a space for world leaders, Ministers, and other senior decision-makers to debate emerging issues and trends, discuss good practices, strategies, accelerated actions, and innovative approaches for effective service delivery and transforming institutions.
Through the UNPSA Ceremony and exhibition space, the Forum also works to inspire further action and the scaling up of innovations at all levels to meet the Goals. From providing access to free sanitary pads in the Republic of Korea (UNPSA Winner 2019) and Up-scaling Basic Sanitation for the Urban Poor in Kenya (UNPSA Winner 2019) to Reducing Malaria Cases through Early Detection in Indonesia (UNPSA Winner 2018) and providing enhanced one-stop-shop delivery of public services through the Azerbaijan Service and Assessment Network (ASAN) (UNPSA Winner 2015) to name a few, the UNPSA offers practical insights into the work being carried out at local and national levels to innovate and enhance public service delivery. (Read more about all UNPSA winning initiatives here.
Background to the 2020 UN Public Service Forum Theme
The 2019 SDG Summit held on 24-25 September in United Nations Headquarters in New York to review progress in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) resulted in world leaders adopting a Political Declaration calling for a ‘Decade of Action’ to deliver the SDGs by 2030 entitled ‘Gearing up for a decade of action and delivery for sustainable development’. The Declaration sets out an “ambitious and accelerated response” to reach the Goals and pledges “to make the coming decade one of action and delivery”.
With this impetus in mind, the 2020 United Nations Public Service Forum will be held under the theme ‘Action Today, Impact Tomorrow: Innovating and Transforming Public Services and Institutions to Realize the Sustainable Development Goals". The Forum will leverage the commitments set out in the Declaration to discuss the critical role of innovating and transforming public service delivery and institutions so as to strengthen their effectiveness and equip them with the capacities necessary to accelerate both action and delivery on the Goals.
On 11 February the UN Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea, the Ministry of Interior and Safety and the Division for Public Institutions and Digital Government (DPIDG) of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) will organize a briefing session to Member States on the 2020 United Nations Public Service Forum and the Awards Ceremony.
The briefing will draw together current and past UN Public Service Forum hosts and substantive experts to discuss the Forum and to shine a spotlight on the role of innovating and transforming public services and institutions to realize the SDGs.