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Poverty & SDGs

International Cooperation is Key to Effective Public Services

UNITED NATIONS, Jun 20 2015 (IPS) - “Civil service excellence can only be achieved if countries have access to an international forum where they can exchange innovative approaches and initiatives,” Patrick Keuleers, Director of the Governance and Peacebuilding Team of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), said Friday.

The event, “International cooperation on civil service excellence: A bridge to achieving sustainable development goals”, was co-organised by the Permanent Mission of Kazakhstan and the U.N. Development Programme (UNDP).

“There must be a senior level global exchange of knowledge and expertise not just following the traditional North-South schema, but also on South-South and triangular basis,” said Stephen Tull, U.N. Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Building strong public services, especially in developing countries, is more important than ever. As Tull stated, effective and responsive administrations are, according to the U.N., a key element to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to implement the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

Speakers at the conference put special emphasis on the 16th SDG, which promotes peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, aims to provide access to justice for all and builds effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.

Kairat Abdrakhmanov, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the United Nations, also said that civil service excellence cannot be achieved without a change in the structure of international governments and organisations.

“A long-term vision of reforms require a new generation of political leaders and policymakers,” he said.

Speakers also stressed the importance of institutionalising dialogue as a way to ensure political engagement and commitment to build new organisations and institutions.

Empowering dialogue would also encourage citizens to participate in the process of decision-making and facilitate the collection and dissemination of data.

Rolf Alter, Director of Governance and Territorial Governance of the OECD, explained that achieving civil service excellence also means creating inclusive administrations in terms of gender and ethnic backgrounds.

“Diversity, inclusiveness and equity are fundamental pillars here. High quality and inclusive public services do not have to be contradictory realities because they all converge in the same idea: achieving sustainable development,” he said.

Edited by Kitty Stapp

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