The United Nations Public Service Day is observed on 23 June annually. The day draws attention to the value and virtue of public service to communities. It also recognises the work of public servants and encourages people to pursue a career in the public sector.
What is the history?
On 20 December 2002, the General Assembly decided to observe 23 June as Public Service Day under the resolution 57/277. In a push to recognise the occasion and the value of public service, the United Nations launched the UN Public Service Awards (UNPSA) programme in 2003.
The programme was reviewed in 2016 to align it with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The aim here was to promote and reward innovation and excellence in public services. The awards also highlight the creative achievements and contributions of public institutions. These institutions, through their efforts, create effective and responsive public administration that promotes sustainable development.
What is the significance?
The day highlights the central role that innovation and technology play in the delivery of public services. Public service plays an essential role for citizens as it helps bring about modernisation and achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It also assists countries adapt to the changing world and brings about a more equitable distribution of resources.
What is the theme?
The theme for this year is “Building back better from COVID-19: Enhancing innovative partnerships to meet the Sustainable Development Goal.” The day this year will focus on the role of public institutions and public servants in building back better from COVID-19 as they aim to meet the 2030 deadline for implementing the Sustainable Development Goals.
In particular, the event will focus on one of the Goals i.e. Partnerships for the Goals, which works to strengthen the means of implementation of SDGs and focuses on global partnerships for sustainable development.