Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the UN, United States

UN Public Service Day 2016

Speech by H.E. Mr. Stef Blok, Minister for Housing and the Central Government Sector, UN Public Service Day New York, 23 june 2016

It is an honour for me to attend this celebration of the United Nations Public Service Day.

Each year, as an international community, the United Nations offers and takes the opportunity to reflect on the quality of public service. This is a tradition and an opportunity that enjoys my fullest support. It further underlines the importance of public service for the entire international community.

Having adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the highest level last September, now is the time for implementation and delivering on our collective promise to Leave No One Behind. An important part of the 2030 Agenda is SDG 16, which includes a commitment to building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. Clearly our public servants have a crucial role to play in this. In fact, an effective, accountable and inclusive public service is key to the delivery of all the SDGs.

I am personally convinced that the quality of public service is an essential precondition for the economic and social wellbeing of a country. Public service stands or falls with the quality of the people who work in it, flexibility of the organisations that form the public service and the way in which the public service succeeds in tackling today’s technological developments.

For individual citizens, the possibilities of digitisation are infinite, while that same digitisation can promote the transparency and performance of government. Transparency and performance in turn have a direct influence on the confidence of individual citizens in government.

In the Netherlands we are working to maintain and further improve the quality of our government. Good government, after all, cannot rest on its laurels.

We are keen to learn from other countries about the opportunities for continuously improving our public service. At the same time, we are willing to share our experiences with others, which dilemmas we have faced up to and which are still to be overcome.

Therefore, I am honoured to announce today that the Netherlands will be hosting the United Nations Public Service Day in 2017. In a two-day event, we will take the time to learn and discuss public service around the world and share best practices and lessons learned. I look forward to welcoming many of those present here today, during next year’s UN Public Service Day in the Netherlands.

The Kingdom of the Netherlands is a candidate for the UN Security Council 2017-2018. As your partner for peace, justice and development we strongly believe that a innovative and transparant government is key for implementing the SDGs.

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your attention.