29 June 2007
7th Global Forum: Vienna Declaration
A prescription to boost peoples' confidence in their Government
Vienna, 29 June 2007 (UN Information Service) -- The 7th Global Forum on Reinventing Government, via the Vienna Declaration on Building Trust in Government, draws the world's attention to a global cancer of low trust in governments and prescribes measures that can help enhance confidence in governments of the day.
The 7th Global Forum, which concluded today in Vienna, brought together more than 2,000 delegates from over 160 countries including heads of state and government, ministers, parliamentarians, senior officials, civil society representatives and the private sector. The theme of their four-day discussion was "Building Trust in Government."
The Forum participants agreed that immediate actions must be taken by Member States to broaden areas of social consensus and improve governance and public administration. Acknowledging that there is no single recipe to build trust in government, the Declaration says that while principles of democratic governance such as transparency, accountability and citizens' engagement are universal, there is a need to recognize that there is no one size fits all approach.
Key recommendations of the Vienna Declaration include:
Securing legitimacy of government
Prioritizing service delivery and access
Enabling public-private partnerships
Increasing transparency and accountability to combat corruption
Improving the access of developing countries to ICTs
Supporting effective civil society engagement
Focusing on making women's concerns central to implementation
Bringing government closer to people
Promoting innovations in public sector reform
Rebuilding trust in crisis and post conflict countries
As a follow-up measure, Forum participants urged international development partners, including bilateral donors and the United Nations, to increase support to developing countries to strengthen their capacity in public administration and governance.
They also demanded concrete follow-up to the 7th Global Forum including the establishment of a global network of innovators to share information and give support to regional and global governance centres. The key to the information to be shared will include good practices and regional cooperation strategies to improve public administration. The Declaration calls for stronger North-South and South-South cooperation and dialogue.
In addition to the global network of innovators, 7th Global Forum participants also urged for the organization of small panels of ministers per region to meet informally once or twice a year to review their experiences in dealing with selected issues of trust-building and to make recommendations. Participants also recommended the same organizations meet and share information for the local administrators of cities and towns in their given regions, especially those undergoing decentralization of authority. The participants recommended yearly regional and sub-regional round tables of parliamentarians so that peoples' representatives around the world can stay connected and aware of each other's innovative practices and institutional designs.
Since 1999, the Global Forum on Reinventing Government has addressed the need for improvements in governance and public administration. Previous conferences have been held in Washington D.C., United States; Brasilia, Brazil; Naples, Italy; Marrakech, Morocco; Mexico City, Mexico; and Seoul, Republic of Korea. Each has examined a different theme related to government reinvention.
This year, for the first time, the forum was hosted by the United Nations. The event is organized as part of a UN-wide partnership led by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA). The conference was organized in cooperation with the Government of Austria. The plenary sessions, workshops and meetings were designed to contribute directly to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by strengthening state capacity and improving the quality of governance.
For background information on 7th Global Forum on Reinventing Government, please visit the forum website at http://www.7thglobalforum.org
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