Press Releases

UNIS/VIC/151
 20 June 2007

More than 2,000 Leaders Gather in Vienna to Examine "Trust"

VIENNA, 20 June (UN Information Service) -- More than 2,000 delegates including heads of state, prime ministers, ministers, parliamentarians, mayors, government officials, experts, CEOs and representatives of international organizations, civil society organizations and NGOs will converge in the Austrian capital, Vienna, for the 7th Global Forum on Reinventing Government, which starts on Tuesday, 26 June.

The four-day conference hosted by the United Nations will examine best practices and alternative strategies for "Building Trust in Government." It will offer plenary sessions and a series of parallel capacity development workshops on different aspects of revitalizing governance and public administration to build trust in government.

Delegates will exchange innovations in government reinvention, share perspectives with international colleagues and discuss different methods to strengthen public confidence in Government.

This year, the Global Forum will be held at the Austria Centre Vienna. The Global Forum is held every two years and offers public officials an opportunity to meet experts, receive training and exchange strategies for improving public administration and governance. The theme of the 2007 forum is "Building Trust in Government".

"Governments must have the capacity to effectively implement the policies they choose, whether the policies aim to promote development, provide security for their citizens or meet other domestic objectives. This capacity depends on the quality of public administration and governance, and on the ability of governments to garner support," said José Antonio Ocampo, United Nations Under-Secretary General for Economic and Social Affairs.

Since 1999, the Global Forum on Reinventing Government has addressed the need for improvements in governance and public administration. Previous conferences have been held in Washington D.C., United States; Brasilia, Brazil; Naples, Italy; Marrakech, Morocco; Mexico City, Mexico; and Seoul, Republic of Korea. Each has examined a different theme related to government reinvention.

This year, for the first time, the forum will be hosted by the United Nations. The event is being organized as part of a UN-wide partnership led by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA). The conference will be organized in cooperation with the Government of Austria. The plenary sessions, workshops and meetings are designed to contribute directly to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by strengthening state capacity and improving the quality of governance.

At the 7th Global Forum, "trust" will be examined in terms of its relationship with public sector capacities and the costs of its absence.

As the world population increases and becomes more interconnected, the need to strengthen understanding, ensure mutually beneficial interdependence and promote cooperation have become the challenges of the twenty-first century. A related challenge is how to incorporate marginalized groups, including the poor, into the policy process to ensure that governance is truly representative, participatory and beneficial to all members of society.

How to build trust in government, as well as trust between socio-economic actors, has emerged as an increasingly relevant issue in both developed and developing economies. The need to provide strategies that help to develop and strengthen trust, as the basis for social cooperation and mutual advantage, has therefore become critical.

The ability of the global community to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), ensure security and promote adherence to basic standards of human rights depends on the confidence people have in their governments. Governments must therefore earn that trust by strengthening popular participation in the policy process, promoting cohesion between communities and practicing transparent, accountable and effective governance.

The 7th Global Forum will provide participants with the opportunity to discuss key issues in strengthening sound governance and public administration to promote trust in government and achieve the MDGs. The forum will also provide a platform for introducing various countries' experiences in government reinvention and seek a framework and strategy for future innovations in governance and public administration. It will also promote cooperation among government, the private sector and civil society.

Prior to the 7th Global Forum in Vienna, eight Regional Forums on Reinventing Government identified issues, challenges and responses. The conclusions that emerged from these meetings will be presented to participants in Vienna.

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Note for the media:

Opening Ceremony:

The opening ceremony will be held on Tuesday, 26 June, at 0900 hours in Hall A, on the second floor (O2 level) of the Austria Centre Vienna. Speakers include: Antonio Maria Costa, Director-General, United Nations Office at Vienna; Asha-Rose Migiro, Deputy Secretary General, United Nations; Heinz Fischer, President of Austria; Ursula Plassnik, Austrian Minister for European and International Affairs; Festus Gontebanye Mogae, President of Botswana, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, President of the Maldives, Driss Jettou, Prime Minister of Morocco and Tariq Ahmed Baker Al-Hashimi, Vice President of Iraq.

Journalists and photographers are kindly requested to be seated in the media-designated area in Hall A at the latest by 0845 hours.

Accreditation:

Accreditation is required to attend the forum. Media representatives who have not already applied for accreditation should contact Veronika Crowe-Mayerhofer at veronika.crowe-mayerhofer@unvienna.org . Prior accreditation is strongly recommended to avoid delays at the Forum venue, especially on the opening day.

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For further information, contact:

Jaya Mohan
UN Information Service, Vienna
Tel: (+43-1) 26060 4448
Mobile: (+43) (0) 6991 459 4448
Email: jaya.mohan@unvienna.org

For more information and background, visit www.7thglobalforum.org