4 September 2006

Regional Forum on Reinventing Government to Take Place in Seoul, 6-8 September

High-Level Meeting in Republic of Korea to Discuss Building Trust in Government Programme Includes Inauguration of First UN Project Office on Governance

NEW YORK, 1 September -- The Regional Forum on Reinventing Government in Asia next week is expected to attract high-level participation including ministers, senior Government representatives, academics, members of civil society and the private sector.  Public officials from throughout Asia will attend this meeting in Seoul from 6 to 8 September to strategize on region-specific means of improving governance.

The United Nations Department of Economic and Social (UNDESA) will organize the event in partnership with the Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs of the Republic of Korea, United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations Project Office on Governance.  It is one of six regional meetings taking place this year to provide policy recommendations for the seventh Global Forum on Reinventing Government in Vienna, which the United Nations will host in June 2007 on the central theme of Building Trust in Government.

"The theme for this year's event is an important one, which underlines a great many of the other objectives that we at the United Nations aim to achieve, in terms of development, security and the defense of human rights", said José Antonio Ocampo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations.

With increasing demands on Governments and a need to adapt effectively in today's globalized world, the focus will be on the sharing of innovations and best practices.  The meeting will assist Governments and stakeholders to strengthen their governance and public sector capacities, take greater advantage of the potential of globalization and achieve development objectives including the Millennium Development Goals.  Specifically the meeting will identify Asia-specific issues, challenges and responses within the sphere of public administration.  Key themes include: public sector capacity and innovations; service delivery and access; decentralization; transparency, accountability and e-Government.

The Regional Forum will also see the launch of the first-ever United Nations Project Office on Governance.  Based in Seoul, the office will act as a regional and international focal point for research, training and advocacy in improving governance.  "The new Office will act as a hub within Asia, where interested Governments and stakeholders can seek and exchange information on the experiences of other countries in selecting and implementing innovations in governance that improve conditions for citizens", said Guido Bertucci, Director, Division for Public Administration and Development Management, UNDESA.

The establishment of the United Nations Project Office on Governance represents one of several major follow-up activities to the sixth Global Forum in May 2005 in Seoul, which focused on participatory and transparent governance.  First announced in the Seoul Declaration, which was presented to the United Nations General Assembly in 2005, the Office emerged from the discussions and deliberations of the Forum and is specifically designed to support Government reinvention efforts.

The outcomes of this regional meeting along with those of the other regional meetings will be presented at the plenary of the Global Forum next year and will affect the overall discussions at the meeting.

The Global Forum on Reinventing Government first began in 1999 and is part of an ongoing effort by the United Nations and its members to improve the quality of governance and public administration worldwide.  The first Global Forum was held in Washington, D.C., and since then, the conference has become one of the leading international conferences promoting public sector development.

For background information on the Regional Forum in Asia, visit:

For information on the United Nations Project Office on Governance, visit:

For media accreditation or to attend the Regional Forum, contact: Jieho Choi, tel: +822 2100 4261 or

For information on the meeting or to arrange interviews with United Nations officials, contact: Meredith Rowen, UNDESA, tel: +1 212 963 8836 or , after 2 September in Seoul at +822 2100 4261.

Oisika Chakrabarti, UNDPI, tel: + 1.212.963.8264 or

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