United Nations Public Service Day

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Apr 22, 2022, 10:32

The United Nations Public Service Day is observed on June 23 every year to recognise the importance of government service in the development cycle of the region and honour the efforts of all public servants around the world. It recognises the importance of government service to the general population.

History of the United Nations Public Service Day

The United Nations General Assembly declared June 23 as United Nations Public Service Day on December 20, 2002, after adopting Resolution 57/277.

To commemorate the day, the United Nations developed the UN Public Service Awards programme in 2003, later revised in 2016 to line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Various ceremonies are held to recognise the contributions made by public officials.

Significance of the United Nations Public Service Day

United Nations Public Service Day recognises public servants' labour and commitment to the cause and inspires young people to participate in public service or take government office positions.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) enacted the Treaty on Labour Relations (Public Service), 1978 (ILO convention no. 151), to govern the working conditions of all civil servants worldwide. As a result, United Nations Public Service Day is commemorated to honour the worth and virtue of communal service.

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United Nations Public Service Day Theme

"Innovating the Future Public Service: New Government Models for a New Era to Reach the SDGs" was the theme for the United Nations Public Service Day in 2021.

Due to the continued pandemic and quarantine in many nations, the 2021 event was held virtually, with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and other stakeholders, public servants and UN officials from worldwide coming together to respect and honour the work of public servants.

The event's focus was on the critical role of innovation and technology in providing government services. It looked at preparing the future public sector for a new period to meet the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

It mainly focused on how countries and government employees quickly adapted and utilised online tools to continue working throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Awards for Public Service by the United Nations (UNPSA)

  1. In 2003, the United Nations Economic and Social Council launched the United Nations Public Service Awards in honour of UN Public Service Day.
  2. In 2016, the award programme was revised to reflect the 2030 Agenda.
  3. These honours are given to recognise those who have made significant contributions to the cause of improving the dignity and exposure of public service.
  4. The UNPSA strives to recognise and reward public service innovation and excellence that results in a much more efficient and effective government in countries worldwide.
  5. Without public service or public administration, democracy and successful governance are impossible to attain.

The UNPSA encourages and prizes advancement and reliability in public services by identifying and rewarding public entities' innovative, outstanding achievements and services and more efficient and accommodative public administration in countries around the world in the interest of sustainable development.

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FAQs on United Nations Public Service Day

Q.1. When do we observe the United Nations Public Service Day?

The United Nations Public Service Day is observed on June 23 every year.

Q.2. What is the significance of the United Nations Public Service Day?

The United Nations Public Service Day recognises the importance of government service in the development cycle of the region and honours the efforts of all public servants around the world.

Q.3. When did United Nations General Assembly declare June 23 as Public Service Day?

The United Nations General Assembly declared June 23 as United Nations Public Service Day on December 20, 2002, after adopting Resolution 57/277.

Q.4. What was the theme of United Nations Public Service Day 2021?

"Innovating the Future Public Service: New Government Models for a New Era to Reach the SDGs" was the theme of the United Nations Public Service Day 2021.

Q.5. What did the United Nations Public Service Day 2021 event focus on?

United Nations Public Service Day 2021 focussed on the critical role of innovation and technology in providing government services. It looked at preparing the future public sector for a new period to meet the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.