UAE to host 18th UN Public Service Forum in October 2021

Dubai - The event will coincide with the country's Golden Jubilee celebrations this year.

By Web Report

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Published: Thu 24 Jun 2021, 10:59 AM

Last updated: Thu 24 Jun 2021, 11:04 AM

The United Nations has selected the United Arab Emirates to host the 18th UN Public Service Forum in October, coinciding with celebrations of the UAE's Golden Jubilee. This global forum aims to support governments’ efforts around the world to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, as it explores opportunities for governments to deliver seamless digital services, embrace innovation, and find proactive solutions.

The Forum, which will be held in the UAE with the support of the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA), will feature high-level ministerial meetings and welcome over 1,000 government leaders, ministers, and officials from around the world as they work together to address global challenges and developments, highlighting innovative policies and initiatives that elevate the impact of government work.

Further, the Forum will honor the winners of the 2020 and 2021 UN Public Service Awards, a prestigious award in the field of public administration.

The announcement of hosting this event in the UAE was made during the participation of Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi, Minister of State for Government Development and the Future, in a virtual meeting organized by the United Nations as part of UN Public Service Day celebrations recognizing public servants worldwide, under the theme: “Innovating the Future Public Service: New Government Models for a New Era to Reach the SDGs”.

The high-level meeting focused on the importance of achieving resilience and government preparedness, as well as the ability of institutions to embrace innovation, and in turn deliver world-class services.

The UN Public Service Forum serves as a key global platform for exchanging knowledge and experience, where governments share best practices and benefit from global perspectives. Furthermore, the Forum will be held against the backdrop of Expo 2020 Dubai, where the focus is on ‘connecting minds, creating the future’.

According to the 2021 IMD World Competitiveness Report, the UAE ranked first globally in the “Absence of Bureaucracy” and “Adaptability of Government Policy” indicators. The UAE also ranked third on the “Government Responsiveness to Change” and fourth on the “Government Long-term Vision” indicators, in the 2019 World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report. The 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer ranked the UAE third globally as the most trusted government.

Al Roumi: UAE Government raised the standards of government work

Al Roumi stated that the selection of the UAE as host of the 2021 UN Public Service Forum reflects its leadership in creating a new model for future governments, having succeeded globally under the vision and leadership of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. In developing new approaches for government innovation and services delivery, the UAE raised standards of government work and topped global government development indicators.

She also said that the UAE is actively building partnerships with other governments to accelerate future readiness and resilience in the face of global challenges. The UAE’s collaborations with governments and international organizations will continue to focus on innovation for a better future.

Roumi added that governments must embrace technology and flexible work to strike the right balance for sustaining productivity whilst delivering on government objectives. She also noted the future of work will be shaped by the lessons learnt, where governments will need to provide convenient, fast, and reliable services that meet and exceed expectations.

Al Roumi expressed her appreciation to public servants for their indispensable role and tireless work, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, as they facilitated continuity and enabled remote working and learning.

The UN Public Service Day guest speakers list included Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori and Eng. Majed Sultan Al Mesmar from the UAE, in addition to Brendette Lewis, Secretary-General of Commonwealth Telecommunication Organization; Liu Zhenmin, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs; and Emma Theofelus, Deputy Information and Technology Minister of Namibia, Nele Leosk, Ambassador-at-Large for Digital Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Estonia, Dr. Julia Glidden, Microsoft Corporate Vice President for Worldwide Public Sector, as well as numerous government officials from the UAE and across the world.

Zhenmin: A unique platform to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals

Zhenmin, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations said: "The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) is looking forward to continued collaboration with the government of the United Arab Emirates as it prepares to host the 2021 United Nations Public Service Forum in Dubai in October."

"The Forum provides a unique space for government officials to enhance their capacity to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals. The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a spotlight on the vast inequalities that exist both within and between countries. As we work together in this Decade of Action to implement the SDGs, let us ensure that tackling these inequalities is at the fore, so that no one is left behind.”

Al Mansoori: UAE Government has successfully countered the negative impact of the pandemic

Al Mansoori said: “We are proud of our successful efforts in managing the pandemic and mitigating its negative impacts. The UAE quickly adopted effective online tools such as telemedicine to provide non-emergency medical services and enable healthcare workers to provide services to those who need urgent medical care. The UAE also succeeded in shifting to distance learning and government entities continued to provide seamless, thanks to our telecommunication and information technology robust infrastructure”.

Hew also added: “Today, we see a light at the end of the tunnel, but we understand that this will not be the last pandemic. We must ensure that our civil servants are prepared and ready to face any future crisis. This requires international cooperation, sharing experiences, and developing the necessary plans to ensure business continuity and services delivery during emergencies.”

Honoring Excellence and Innovation in Public Service

Since its launch in 2003, the United Nations Public Service Awards has served as a prestigious international recognition of excellence in public service. The UN Public Service Awards promotes the role, professionalism, and visibility of public service and inspires young people to pursue careers in the public service.

The editions from 2015 to 2019 honored 53 winners worldwide who developed new government services and initiatives that reflected positively on their communities.

In 2020, the United Nations hosted a virtual event with the Government of South Korea. The Forum recognized seven winners for developing and delivering some of the most innovative initiatives in their regions.

The Forum was also hosted by Azerbaijan in 2019, Morocco in 2018, the Netherlands in 2017, and Colombia in 2015.

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