- The 68th session of the General Assembly approached its conclusion with a high-level event on 11-12 September to take stock of contributions to the post-2015 development agenda. Remarking on the past year's work with Member States, the President of the 68th General Assembly, H.E. John Ashe highlighted, inter alia, the need for a focused and action-oriented agenda enabled by policy coherence, participation, accountable institutions and partnerships. The text of the statement can be found at
1. 9th Annual Internet Governance Forum (IGF) and High-Level Leaders Meeting
On 2 September 2014, Mr. Thomas Gass, ASG for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs, reaffirmed the United Nations’ support for an accessible, open, secure and trustworthy Internet, values which are embodied by the IGF. He noted that development practitioners and experts have recognized the power and impact of ICTs in promoting knowledge exchange, technical cooperation and capacity building for sustainable development and emphasized that successful capacity building for sustainable development is about empowering and enabling people through the transfer of knowledge and skills to make progress for future generations. Mr. Gass spoke on behalf of the USG, Mr. Wu at the opening ceremony of the 9th Annual IGF Meeting in Istanbul, Turkey (2 -5 September 2014). The Forum was held under the general theme of “Connecting Continents for Enhanced Multi-stakeholder Internet Governance” and was attended by more than 3,300 delegates from more than 140 nationalities and many more who participated remotely. The ASG was supported by the Chief of DPADM’s Development Management Branch (DMB) and staff on a number of high-level events, substantive workshops and bilateral meetings. Prior to the opening, a High-Level Leaders’ Meeting was officially opened by Mr. Tayfun Acarer, Chairman of the Board and President of Information and Communications Technologies Authority for the Republic of Turkey on 1 September 2014.
2. Briefings on the United Nations Call for Nominations for Public Service Awards for 2015
On 3 September 2014, DPADM conducted two information sessions for the Member States, through their Permanent Missions to the United Nations, about the 2015 United Nations Public Service Awards (UNPSA). The sessions are intended to inform the Member States to increase the scope of the dissemination of the UNPSA call for nominations among public institutions in their respective countries. Permanent Missions who attended the sessions included: Germany, Slovenia, Palau, China, Armenia, Afghanistan, the Philippines, Sierra Leone, Bangladesh, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Portugal, Italy, Finland, Kazakhstan, Israel, Azerbaijan, Islamic Republic of Iran, Algeria, Kenya, and Togo. More briefing sessions will be conducted in the coming weeks.
In 2015, the awards, which are held annually on 23 June as part of the United Nations Public Service Forum, Day and Awards Ceremony, will mark the 13th Anniversary of the programme. It will recognize public service institutions whose activities are designed to promote and support innovations in public service delivery worldwide in four categories: i) Improving the Delivery of Public Services; ii) Fostering Participation in Policy making Decisions through Innovative Mechanisms; iii) Promoting Whole-of-Government Approaches in the Information Age; and iv) Promoting Gender-responsive Delivery of Public Services. Further details can be found at http://www.unpan.org/unpsa
and nominations can be made online at http://www.unpan.org/applyunpsa2015
3. Report of the 8th Internet Governance Forum (IGF)
The Report of the 8th Annual Internet Governance Forum (IGF) titled “Building Bridges: Enhancing Multi-stakeholder Cooperation for Growth and Sustainable Development” was launched on the United Nations Public Administration Network (UNPAN) this month and made available for download in the DPADM e-Library and the IGF website. It provides a comprehensive summary of the proceedings of the 8th Annual IGF, which was held in Bali, Indonesia from 22 to 25 October 2013.
In particular, it focuses on pressing Internet governance issues, while identifying possible solutions proposed during the main/focus sessions, workshops, dynamic coalitions, open forums and best practice sessions. The Bali meeting was attended by more than 2,000 participants representing 111 countries, including Internet governance experts, civil society, government and intergovernmental organizations, members of the academic and technical communities, private sector representatives and citizens.
4. Bench Marking Assessment of the Capacities of Public Administration Institutes in Brazil
DPADM’s Public Administration and Capacity Branch (PACB) participated in a bench marking assessment in collaboration with the Commission on International Accreditation of Public Administration Education and Training Programs (CIAPA).The exercise will deploy UNDESA/IASIA standards of excellence in public administration education and training and will take place from 8 – 12 September 2014.
5. Briefing Sessions Continue for Permanent Missions on the UN Public Service Awards Programme as an Outreach Activity
DPADM’s PACB held briefing sessions for Permanent Missions to the United Nations to inform, and generate interest among, the Member States on the United Nations Public Service awards programme which takes place every year on 23 June on the United Nations’ Public Service Day. The briefing combined substantive and process elements and emphasised the importance of innovative public programs, participation and effective governance to be built on a competent civil service. The briefing sessions covered countries from Asia, Europe and the Middle East with permanent missions from Brunei Darussalam, Thailand Belgium, Romania, and the United Arab Emirates among others. Further details can be found at http://www.unpan.org/unpsa
and nominations can be made online at http://www.unpan.org/applyunpsa2015
6. Uruguay President Praises 2014 United Nations E-Government Survey
The Office of President José Mujica of Uruguay hosted a special event on 5 September 2014 in recognition of the country’s e-government achievements in line with the results of the 2014 United Nations E-Government Survey. The President came as a panel member to a meeting with la Agencia de Gobierno electrónico y Sociedad de la Información y del Conocimiento de Uruguay (AGESIC), an agency within the Presidential Office for e-Government and State Modernization. The President indicated Uruguay’s use of the Survey to access global e-government practices and to obtain concrete policy guidance. The President further noted that e-government is indeed irreversible and has become a key agent for State transformation. DPADM’s IRA, Mr. Rabinovitch had sessions with various units of AGESIC to discuss economic and social initiatives towards enhanced sustainability through e-government development. DESA obtained technical inputs on problem-solving approaches, mistakes and lessons learned, and evidence-based policy solutions on e-government to be shared with other countries regionally and globally at the meetings.
7. ECLAC Invites UNDESA to Deliver Keynote Address on E-Government at Regional Capacity-Building Event in Uruguay
On 1-5 September 2014, the Economic Commission for Latin American and the Caribbean (ECLAC), in partnership with the Spanish Cooperation, Agencia Espanola de Cooperacion Internacional (AECI), organized "Digital Government in the Era of Open Government", a capacity-building event attended by senior officials from 14 Latin American countries held in Montevideo. DPADM’s E-Government Branch’s (EGB) Inter-Regional Advisor Mr. Jonas Rabinovitch was invited to deliver the keynote address on “E Government for the Future We Want”. Aside from technology experts, the event’s participants included Directors from a cross-section of government agencies in Latin America working in communication, accountability, statistics, planning, legal frameworks, finance and policy implementation. Mr. Rabinovitch also presented the methodology and main findings of the 2014 United Nations E-Government Survey, with emphasis on global trends and lessons learned for improving efficiency, effectiveness, engagement and overall public service delivery. The presentation was followed by an open forum where discussions included possible improvements in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay.
8. 8th Seoul ODA International Conference
The Head of DPADM’s Project Office on Governance’s (UNPOG), Mr. Jae-hong Lim, participated in the “8th Seoul ODA International Conference: Good Governance and Effective Institutions” held on 2 September 2014. At the conference, Mr. Lim also took the opportunity to network with other international organizations based in Seoul.
9. Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) for Southern Eastern Europe (SEE) and DPADM Discuss Potential Avenues of Collaboration on E-Government
The Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) Secretariat (an institution that promotes regional cooperation amongst the Southern Eastern European (SEE Countries) based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina and e-GB/DPADM had a conference call on 8 September 2014 to discuss possible cooperation in the area of e-government. RCC representatives expressed their appreciation for DPADM's work in promoting e-government readiness through the United Nations’ E-Government Survey, as well as for building leadership and institutional capacities for e-government development across the globe. RCC shared their strategy and work programme for 2014-2016, highlighting the e-government strategy for South Eastern Europe, which plays an important role. The Council asked for the assistance of DPADM in advancing the e-government development agenda in the SEE region by promoting the exchange of ideas and knowledge, and seeking avenues to jointly organize capacity building events.
10. Debrief Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) Multi-stakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) on 5 September 2014
After the IGF 2014, DESA issued a public request for nominations for the renewal of the Multi-stakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) with a deadline of 20 October 2014. The MAG will advise the Secretary-General on the programme and schedule of the IGF 2015 meeting. As a follow up to the IGF 2014, a MAG meeting is to be convened in early December, preceded by open consultations to engage all stakeholders in the stock taking of the Ninth annual meeting. This MAG meeting will look at what worked well during the IGF 2014 and what needs to be improved for the continued and increasing success of the Internet Governance Forums.
11. Meeting of the donor Community and IGF Secretariat
On 4 September 2014, current and prospective donors were briefed on the current progress of the IGF project and the status of the IGF Trust Fund. The participants continued discussions on strengthening the current fundraising mechanism for the various activities of the IGF and the importance of the extension of the IGF mandate beyond 2015 to ensure an adequate and sustained long-term funding for the project in future.
12. Mission to Brazil to Assess Master’s Degree Programmes in Public Administration
The Chief of PACB travelled to Brazil on mission from 8 to 13 September 2014 to assess the Fundacao Getulio Vargas Master’s degree programmes in Public Administration. This is the first time, since DESA and the International Association of Schools and Institutes of Administration (IASIA) designed the Standards of Excellence in Public Administration Education and Training, that the standards are used for the purpose of accrediting a programme and an institute. The assessment provided an opportunity to bench mark the academic programme as well as the institution, while DPADM continues to support Member States in their efforts to develop capacities in public administration education using the DESA/IASIA Standards of Education and Training. It is projected that a number of additional capacity assessment missions will be conducted in other countries in the near future
13. DPADM Present at the Young Professionals’ Conference in Kenya
“e-Government – a driving force for innovation and efficiency in public administration – a DPADM/UNDESA approach” was presented at the Kenya School of Government in Nairobi on 16 September 2014, and a DPADM staff member participated as a panel member via Skype at the Young Professionals’ Conference “Leadership, Game Changes: The future of Africa’s Public Administration Sector. The Conference, held on 15-17 September 2014, was organized and hosted by the Ministry of Devolution and Planning of the Republic of Kenya and the African Association for Public Administration and Management. It brought together young professionals from across the continent to discuss challenges of the public administration and current developments in Africa.
14. In-House Seminar with the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA)
A delegation from the IDA Singapore gave a presentation on the country’s latest e-Government initiatives on 22 September 2014. The delegation gave an outline of the country’s plan in becoming a smart nation. The plan focuses on the delivery of e-Government initiatives, empowerment of its citizens, and more opportunities for collaboration between government, private sector industry and academia. Simplifying services for citizens is also a priority as public services should be convenient, responsive and seamless. The aim is to achieve an integrated system to facilitate joint solutions and cross-agencies analytics to better coordinate among government agencies handling municipal services. The presentation concluded by highlighting the use of smart technological solutions to improve urban living in the future, as well as an anticipatory government that is able to plan ahead and that takes into account the views of its citizens. DPADM encouraged Singapore to play a bigger role in the region in knowledge sharing and good practices, as well as conveyed the desire to have feedback from Member States about the way forward in future E-Government Surveys so they are better tailored to the ever changing innovation in e-Government.
15. Support to Under Secretary General for Bilateral Meeting with Ms. Catherine A. Novelli
On 22 September 2014, DPADM supported Mr. Wu Hongbo, Under-Secretary General (USG), in his bilateral meeting with Ms. Catherine A. Novelli, Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment, U.S. Department of State. At the meeting, Ms. Novelli and Mr. Wu discussed the post-2015 process, particularly referencing Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in the draft goals and targets, as well as the recently completed 9th Internet Governance Forum (IGF) annual meeting that took place on 2-5 September 2014. Mr. Wu thanked Ms. Novelli for the support and active engagement of the U.S. during the 9th IGF and requested the ongoing support of the US Government for extension of the IGF beyond 2015.
16. International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Breakfast Meeting
On 22 September, DPADM supported Assistant Secretary General Mr. Thomas Gass who attended an (ITU) hosted breakfast meeting on the Deputy Secretary General’s (DSG) and USG's behalf. The purpose of the meeting was for those Chief Executives Board (CEB) principals or their designates to informally review and finalize a draft document on an internal UN-system wide implementation strategy on Cybersecurity, Cybercrime and Policies on Information. The document is slotted for discussion at the 28th Session of the High-Level Committee on Programmes (HLCP) and High-Level Committee on Management (HLCM) in October 2014 and subsequently at the (CEB) Second Regular Session of 2014 in November. The meeting was chaired by the Secretary General of ITU and attended by the 5 author agencies: UN Secretariat, UNDP, UNESCO, UNODC, UNCTAD as well as an HLCM representative, an HLCP representative, and CEB Secretariat. The CEB Secretariat will coordinate incorporating changes based on the discussion at the breakfast meeting, prior to transmission to HLCM.
17. DPADM Meeting with the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC)
DPADM met on 24 September 2014, with Mr. Gazmend Turdiu former Ambassador of Albania to Switzerland and Germany and current Deputy Secretary General Head of Programme Department of RCC in order to find ways of cooperation with the Division. Mr. Turdiu gave an overview about the Council’s work which focuses mainly on the promotion and enhancement of regional cooperation in South East Europe and supports European and Euro-Atlantic integration of the aspiring countries. The RCC also provides operational capacities to and works under the political guidance of the South-East European Cooperation Process. The Officer in Charge of DPADM, Mr. Aquaro, briefed Mr. Turdiu about the work of the Division and expressed an interest to work in the region of South-East Europe. An EGB capacity development workshop will be planned in the region in partnership with RCC for next year in March, as well as future partnership in the area of e-government and innovation for sustainable development.
18. Meeting with Department of Political Affairs of the African Union to Strengthen Collaboration
DPADM and the Department of Political Affairs of the African Union met on 24 September to discuss the Division’s activities with focus on work Africa. During the meeting it was agreed to strengthen collaboration in specific areas of governance and public administration capacity in Africa, including e-government, reconstructing public administration after conflict, public sector human resource management, e-participation, citizen engagement, public accountability and strengthening the capacity of parliaments. Two project proposals, one on strengthening the capacity of parliaments and the other on strengthening the capacity to deliver public services, were shared with the Department of Political Affairs of the African Union for the purpose of joint resource mobilization and their implementation. The Chief of PACB will follow-up by visiting the African Union during a mission to Addis Ababa in November 2014.