I am delighted to launch the nominations for the 2021 United Nations Public Service Awards. The Awards, supported by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), are an international recognition of excellence in public service. They recognize the innovation, creative achievements and contributions of public sector institutions that lead to a more effective and responsive public administration in countries worldwide.
Effective public service delivery and transparent, accountable, and inclusive institutions form the backbone of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Strengthening public institutions is essential to advancing progress in the Decade of Action to deliver the SDGs by 2030.

As the world continues to grapple with the wide-ranging impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the innovation, accountability and effectiveness of public administrations to respond to the crisis and to ensure a green, inclusive and sustainable recovery is more crucial than ever.

The pandemic has further underscored the need for governments and institutions to be better prepared for a crisis in all its forms. Whether a health pandemic, natural disaster, climate change, or economic shocks, governments at national and local levels and public institutions in all sectors must be prepared and ready for all such events, to ensure the continuation of efficient, inclusive and accountable public service delivery.

Throughout the pandemic, public servants in every realm have continued to work in innovative ways to ensure the delivery of services. Through these Awards, we wish to recognize the ongoing work of public institutions in continuing to work towards the SDGs.

We are delighted to continue our collaboration with UN Women for the 2021 process, cognizant of the fact that throughout the world, women have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, threatening hard-won advances in closing gaps between women and men across all areas of development.

Mindful of the current context, four categories have been identified for nominations for the UNPSA 2021:

Fostering innovation to deliver inclusive and equitable services for all including through digital transformation.
Enhancing the effectiveness of public institutions to reach the SDGs.
Promoting gender-responsive public services to achieve the SDGs.
Institutional preparedness and response in times of crisis.
We look forward to your nominations.

~ Liu Zhenmin, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs


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