105th Plenary Meeting of General Assembly: 50th Session - Part 2

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15-Apr-1996 00:46:35
Assembly begins resumed fiftieth session to consider public administration and development at 105th meeting.

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The General Assembly would recognize the need to optimize the United Nations role as a global centre of excellence for public administration and development and make it more responsive to public management issues relating to sustainable development, under a draft resolution introduced this morning, as the Assembly began its resumed session on the role of public administration in development.

The Assembly's resumed session, which ends on 19 April, has been called to consider the role of public administration in development, particularly in developing countries and countries with economies in transition. It represents the first time the Assembly has met specifically to consider this issue.

By other terms of the draft resolution, which was introduced by the Minister for Administrative Affairs of Morocco, the Assembly would recommend that machinery be established to ensure maximum coordination among activities of the United Nations programme in public administration and finance, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Bretton Woods institutions. Governments would be invited to enhance productivity, accountability and responsiveness of public institutions.

Addressing the opening session, Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali said that in the 1990s all nations were having to rethink critical issues of governance. States had received United Nations assistance for activities to enhance public institutions and administration. In many sectors, only the United Nations could demonstrate both the impartiality and the expertise necessary to help Member States achieve results.

Citing the importance of the United Nations efforts in the field of democratization, he stressed that creation of a truly responsive and effective public service required participatory decision-making. Democratization was often the single most important factor for improved public administration. It increased accountability and encouraged development of a professional, rather than a political, public administration. An enemy of corruption, inefficiency and poor management, it also provided incentives for maximum effectiveness in the delivery of goods and services.

Opening the session on behalf of Diogo Freitas Do Amaral (Portugal), Assembly President, the Permanent Representative of Lebanon said the 1990s had brought demanding challenges to public administration worldwide, and the phrase "doing more with less" had become a conviction. The United Nations, too, was undergoing reform, but remained committed to its founding principles. Part of the Organization's strength lay in its capacity to support the human and institutional environments within which the public sector, financial institutions and the private sector operate, while preserving a commitment to humanity.

Statements were also made by the Minister for Public Service, Regional and Institutional Affairs of Italy (for the European Union); Minister for State Reform, the Civil Service and Decentralization of France; Permanent Representative of the Netherlands; Chairman of the Civil Service Commission of the Philippines; Senior Policy Adviser to the Vice-President of the United States; and Director of the Civil Service of Bolivia.

The General Assembly will meet again at 3 p.m. today to continue its consideration of the role of public administration in development.

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