06/11/2003
Press Release
ECO/44



GOVERNMENTS AT MEXICO CITY CONFERENCE AGREE ON STEPS


TO BOLSTER ADMINISTRATION AND MAKE DEMOCRACY WORK


(Received from a UN Information Officer.)


MÉXICO CITY, 6 November -- Governments in all corners of the world and at all stages of development have at least one characteristic in common:  major difficulty in maintaining and upgrading their capacity for public administration, to deal with increasingly complex national and global environments.


The public sector is expected to modernize infrastructure and to ensure delivery of education and health services that will make possible the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals for improving standards of living.  But governments also are under pressure from financial markets and electorates to slash deficits and eschew tax increases.


“The public sector must challenge itself continuously to improve the way it does business”, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said in a message delivered to over 100 national delegations at the opening of the Fifth Global Forum on Re-inventing Government, held in Mexico City from 3 to 6 November.


The Final Declaration of the Forum, issued today, looks to innovation, accountability, government partnerships with civil society and business, and the rapidly evolving tool of e-government to contend with twenty-first century challenges.


The Declaration preamble recognizes globalization as a dominant force of the new century, and states that “improved governance and public administration are necessary preconditions for sustainable development”.


Also stressed in the Declaration are the importance of decentralizing all aspects of governance, fiscal transparency and sound fiscal management and anti-corruption measures.


The offer of Prime Minister Goh Kun of the Republic of Korea for his country to host the upcoming Sixth Global Forum, in 2005, was accepted.


Discussion at the Forum this week benefited from the Presidential Agenda for Good Governance of the President of the host country of Mexico, the Declaration states.


Working closely with Mexico in the organization of the Global Forum is the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations.  The final two days of the forum are devoted to United Nations-run workshops and training sessions.  Through its Department of Economic and Social Affairs and other United Nations agencies, such as the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations is the largest multilateral provider of technical assistance for governance and democracy.


For more information, contact Tim Wall of the United Nations Department of Public Information, tel.: 1-646-479-4593; or Angel Escudero de Paz or Juan Miguel Diez at the United Nations Information Centre in Mexico City, tel.: 52-55-5263-9718, e-mail: jmdiez@un.org.mx.


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