22 June 2009
Press Release

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York




In recognition of the impact that public services can have on the day-to-day lives of citizens, the United Nations will present its annual Public Service Awards to a dozen innovative public programmes on 23 June, United Nations Public Service Day.

Among the winners of the 2009 United Nations Public Service Awards are an electronic water quality service that allows citizens of Seoul (Republic of Korea) to access up-to-date information on the quality of water supplied to their homes; a mobile community clinic in Zambia providing counselling, training and essential basic health services at the district level; and an initiative in Slovenia that reduced the registration time for companies from 60 days to just three.  Nine other programmes from Canada, Egypt, India, Oman, Poland, South Africa, Sweden and Thailand will also be recognized.

The awards are in recognition of the winning programmes’ use of novel approaches to improve service delivery, transparency, accountability and responsiveness in public service.  They are also being honoured for advancing citizens’ participation in policymaking decisions and for effective knowledge management in Government.

The Centre for Public Service Innovation in South Africa, the Shanghai-based Regional Cooperation Office for City Informatization and the Institute of Public Administration in Central America will also be recognized with the Special Award for the United Nations Public Administration Network (UNPAN) Member Excellence for Knowledge Sharing.  The award celebrates the achievements of network members in advancing knowledge-sharing through the use of information and communications technology to advance the Millennium Development Goals and other internationally agreed development targets.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Sha Zukang will participate in the annual ceremony and make welcoming remarks.  More than 400 participants will share highlights of the Public Service Day celebrations around the world.  The event will be held in Conference Room 4, United Nations New York Headquarters, from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Established in 2003, the United Nations Public Service Awards programme aims to reward excellence and promote professionalism in the public sector around the world.  The competition is open to public organizations and agencies at the national or subnational levels, as well as public-private partnerships.  Its four categories are:  improving transparency, accountability and responsiveness in the public service; improving the delivery of services; fostering participation in policymaking decisions through innovative mechanisms; and advancing knowledge management in Government.

For background information on Public Service Day and the Awards Ceremony, please visit:  http://www.unpan.org/unpsa.

For further information, please contact:  Haiyan Qian, Director, Division for Public Administration and Development Management (DPADM), Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), Tel.:  +1 212 963 3393, e-mail:  qianh@un.org; Adriana Alberti, UNDESA, Tel.:  +1 212 963 2299, e-mail:  alberti@un.org; Vyatcheslav Cherkasov, UNDESA, Tel.:  +1 212 963 5097, e-mail:  cherkasov@un.org; Olivier Munyaneza, UNDESA, Tel.:  +1 212 963 8801, e-mail:  munyaneza@un.org.

To arrange interviews with award winners and UN officials, please contact: Franck Kuwonu, Tel:  +1 212 963 8264, e-mail:  kuwonu@un.org.

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For information media • not an official record