27 September 2006

Eastern European Leaders to Share Experiences on Transition to Market-Oriented Economies at High-Level Meeting in Saint Petersburg, Russia, 28-30 September

To Discuss Building Trust in Government through Leadership, Capacity-Building in Preparation for Seventh Global Forum on Reinventing Government

SAINT PETERSBURG, 26 September -- Senior Government/Parliamentary officials representing 20 transitional economies will meet in Saint Petersburg from 28 to 30 September to share their experiences in managing the ongoing economic transformation in Eastern Europe.  They will prepare recommendations on leadership which they will present at the Global Forum in Vienna from 26 to 29 June 2007.

The Regional Forum on "Building Trust in Government through Leadership Capacity-Building" is expected to attract high-level participation including ministers, senior Government representatives, parliamentarians, mayors, academics, members of civil society and the private sector from Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), South-East Europe and the Baltics.  The Regional Forum will contribute to the improvement of public trust and capacity of the participants to initiate, promote and manage Government and parliament systems with special focus on leadership capacity development in conditions of transition to market-oriented structures.

"Trust comes into play every time a new policy is announced," said José Antonio Ocampo, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs.  "Policy credibility, sustainability, institutional credibility, the coordination and commitment of Government authorities, and the eventual impact on citizens are several of the factors that will determine whether the policy will be successfully implemented and whether it will receive support."

The Regional Forum is organized by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs in collaboration with the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly for the Commonwealth of Independent States and other international and national organizations.  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.

Efforts to transform the economies of Eastern Europe, including the Commonwealth of Independent States, have significantly impacted the role of Governments and their private sector and civil society partners.  In specific terms, the Governments are placing increasing reliance on private sector and civil society participation in the development planning and management process.  Among the measures adopted in support of the transition to market economies are deregulation, liberalization, privatization and decentralization.  A growing number of non-governmental bodies (that is, business and civil society sectors) are also emerging, and playing vital roles in decision-making and in the overall development process.

The formation and maintenance of successful and effective partnership between the Government and other institutions depend on trust, mutually agreed-upon objectives, and a governance framework that establishes the rules and guidelines for each partner.

The outcome 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 determine the overall tone of the discussions at the meeting.

The Seventh Global Forum on Reinventing Government will take place at the United Nations Office at Vienna from 26 to 29 June 2007 on the theme of "Building Trust in Government".

The Global Forum on Reinventing Government 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:  "Building Trust in Government" visit: .

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

For media accreditation or to attend the Regional Forum, contact:  Alexei Tikhomirov, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, tel.:  1 212 963 1070, e-mail: .

For information on the meeting or to arrange interviews with United Nations officials, contact:  Newton Kanhema, Department of Public Information, tel.:  1 212 963 5602 or e-mail: .

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