UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres gives a speech during the opening ceremony of the R20 Regions of Climate Action Austrian World Summit in Vienna, Austria, on May 28, 2019. (AFP PHOTO)
BAKU, June 24 (Xinhua) -- The 2019 United Nations Public Service Forum kicked off here on Monday, with participants discussing how to advance progress in realizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), according to the state-run news agency AZERTAC.
Themed "Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals through effective Delivery of Services, Innovative Transformation, and Accountable Institutions," the event has attracted more than 500 delegates from over 190 countries in the Azerbaijani capital.
Addressing the opening ceremony, Azerbaijan's First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva said the forum created a good platform for sharing experience and exploring ways of coping with challenges and achieving the SDGs.
UN Undersecretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Liu Zhenmin said that promoting responsive, effective and accountable institutions lies at the heart of the work of the United Nations and sits at the core of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
"Transparent and accountable institutions, free from corruption, ensure that public service delivery is both accessible and equitable so that no one is left behind," he said.
According to Chairman of the State Agency for Public Service and Social Innovations under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan (ASAN) Ulvi Mehdiyev, the Baku forum will offer a genuine platform for drawing up a new strategic view on SDGs.
"The UN Public Service forum is the first one in its kind to take place in the Eastern European region. Thus, it will reflect on the valuable contribution made by Azerbaijan and other regional countries to the attainment of the common agenda and encourage them to further strengthen their exceptional role," he said.
Participants will have the opportunity to debate emerging issues and trends, discuss good practices, strategies and innovative approaches for effective service delivery and innovative transformation in delivering on the SDGs, according to the forum's website.
The forum also featured a ceremony to award this year's winners of the UN Public Services Award in 5 categories, with Azerbaijan winning the award for ensuring excellence in public service delivery through applying digital governance.