Press Releases

    12 December 2002


    NEW YORK, 11 December (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the message of Secretary-General Kofi Annan to the Fourth Global Forum on Reinventing Government: "Citizens, Businesses, and Governments: Dialogue and Partnerships for the Promotion of Democracy and Development", delivered by Mervat Tallawy, Executive Director, UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), Marrakesh, Morocco, 11-13 December 2002:

    The agenda of this forum addresses issues of vital importance to the work of the United Nations in the twenty-first century. If the world is to achieve the goals set out in the United Nations Millennium Declaration, if we as a single human community are to make better progress in building a world in which people are free from want, from fear and from the threat of living on a planet irredeemably spoilt by human activities, we will need to pay much more attention to democracy, public administration and sound systems of governance.

    Leaders and policy-makers need the tools and institutions that will translate the Declaration’s broad goals into nationally owned strategies and actions. Citizens need the transparent, responsive mechanisms through which they can voice their demands and participate in all stages of policy-making, implementation and evaluation. And other actors -- most notably the private sector and civil society organizations -- need avenues that will promote their involvement in activities, such as the delivery of public services, that have traditionally been incumbent solely on the State. Such partnerships are critically important: while the State has a crucial role to play in development, it cannot accomplish its tasks on its own.

    The United Nations is deeply engaged in the global effort to "reinvent government", particularly in developing countries and countries with economies in transition. Activities include policy research and analysis, training programmes and advisory services. The United Nations Online Network in Public Administration and Finance, known as UNPAN, facilitates access to information, disseminates knowledge about "good practices" and provides an international forum for the exchange of experiences.

    This Fourth Global Forum on Reinventing Government builds on previous gatherings in this series, which have produced new policy strategies, generated innovative solutions for public sector reform, helped leaders to improve the use of information technology in government operations, and spawned wide-ranging partnerships -- between governments and international institutions as well as South-South and North-South cooperation.

    The United Nations will continue to support this essential work. I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the Kingdom of Morocco for hosting and organizing this event, which can make an important contribution to the world’s quest for democracy and development. Please accept my best wishes for a successful forum.

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