International Public Service Day

The United Nations Public Service Day takes place Annually on June 23 To celebrate the value and virtue of public service to the community”. A Public Service is described as a service which is provided by government to people living within its jurisdiction, either directly (through the public sector) or by financing provision of services. The term is associated with a social consensus such as democratic elections, that certain services should be available to all, regardless of income. Even where public services are neither publicly provided nor publicly financed, for social and political reasons they are usually subject to regulation going beyond that applying to most economic sectors. Public service is also a course that can be studied at a college and/or university. Examples of public services are the fire brigade, police, army, and paramedics.

The UN Economic and Social Council established that the United Nations Public Service Awards be bestowed on Public Service Day for contributions made to the cause of enhancing the role, prestige and visibility of public service. Experience demonstrates that without good governance, nationally or internationally, and an efficient, competent, professional, responsive and highly dedicated public service, sustainable development and livelihood are jeopardized.

The United Nations Millennium Declaration emphasized the role of democratic and participatory governance in assuring the rights of men and women to “live their lives and raise their children in dignity, free from hunger and from the fear of violence, oppression, or injustice”. It also noted that good governance within each country is a prerequisite to “making development a reality for everyone and to freeing the entire human race from want”.

The United Nations (UN) Public Service Award is the most prestigious international recognition of excellence in public service. It rewards the creative achievements and contributions of public service institutions that lead to a more effective and responsive public administration in countries worldwide. Through an annual competition, the UN Public Service Awards promotes the role, professionalism and visibility of public service. The overall purpose of the United Nations Public Service Awards is to recognize the institutional contribution made by public servants to enhance the role, professionalism, image and visibility of the public service in the following categories: Preventing and combating corruption, Improving the delivery of services, Fostering participation in policy-making decisions. Advancing knowledge management in government and Promoting gender responsive delivery of public services.

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