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CLOSING SPEECH UN AND AU FORUM 2011

CLOSING SPEECH BY DR. MOHAMMED GHARIB BILAL,  VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED REPUBLIC OF TANZANIA,  AT THE CLOSING CEREMONY OF THE 2011 UNITED NATIONS AND AFRICA PUBLIC SERVICE FORUM HELD  AT MLIMANI CITY CONFERENCE CENTRE, DAR ES SALAAM, UNITED REPUBLIC OF TANZANIA 23RD JUNE, 2011

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Honorable Mr. Haiyan Qian
United Nations Under Secretary General,
Economic and Social Affairs;

Honorable Mrs. Julia Dolly Joiner
Commissioner for Political Affairs-African Union;

Honorable Dalmas Otieno Anyango (MP),
Chairperson of the Pan Africa Conference of Ministers of Public Service;

Honorable Hawa Ghasia (MP),
Minister of State, President’s Office, Public Service Management, United Republic of Tanzania;

Honorable Ministers of Public Service and
Other Ministers Present;

Honorable Members of Parliament;

Heads of Public/Civil Service present;

Permanent Secretaries present;

Your Excellencies Ambassadors and High
Commissioners;

Distinguished Representatives of
International Organizations;

Distinguished Guests;

Distinguished Public Servants;

Resource Persons and Members of the Media;

Ladies and Gentlemen.


First and foremost I would like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to address this august gathering of distinguished citizens of the United Nations family in Tanzania.

Honourable Chairperson, Africa and Tanzania is proud of being accorded the opportunity to host the joint event namely the Annual Public Service Day and Africa Public Service Day. This event is very significant on the continent of Africa because it has been held soon after the adoption of the African Charter on Values and Principles of Public Service and Administration, whose objective is to transform and modernize African public administration and governance. I therefore, from the outset, take this opportunity to commend the African Union’s initiative to adopt this important Charter.

Honourable Chairperson, as you are aware, last year’s (2010) United Nations Public Service Day was held in Barcelona, Spain. This time the Annual event has crossed over the international waters and has landed in Tanzania and Africa and Tanzania feel greatly honoured and proud to host the Forum.  For Tanzanians in particular, the event has come on the eve of the fiftieth anniversary of our independence that we will officially celebrate on 9th December, 2011. Much as we are proud of various strides that we have made so far in terms of development, we are still categorized as a developing country. It is in this context that I appreciate the theme under which this year’s event has been celebrated, which in my opinion, will energize us as we move to the second half of our centennial as a nation.  It also resonates well with the motto of our fiftieth anniversary celebrations: “Tumethubutu, Tumeweza na Tunazidi kusonga mbele” which translates as “We have dared, we have done it, and we keep on moving forward”.

Honourable Chairperson, the theme for the joint United Nations and Africa Public Service Day is particularly relevant given the formidable Public Administration, governance and leadership challenges which the world and Africa in particular face today.

Some of our countries on the continent have made significant progress in the areas of democracy, political and economic governance, but others have stalled or even regressed regarding democratic governance. Yet others have been plunged into ethnic conflicts or have not made substantial progress towards institutionalization of democratic governance. A few others have ended up in violent conflicts that have cost lives of innocent citizens. Africa needs to redress this back slide especially the one that costs lives or causes misery to innocent citizens.

Honourable Chairperson, in the context of the formidable challenges the world and Africa face today, it was indeed appropriate to select the theme of this year’s Forum to be “Transformative Leadership in Public Administration and Innovation in Governance: Creating a Better Life for All”.


Honourable Chairperson, I salute the theme because it recognizes the role of leadership towards successful public administration and democratic governance reforms, which are being implemented the world over. Significantly though, I commend the emphasis on ‘transformative leadership’. because what is needed in today’s world is not leadership for its own sake but leadership that can make a difference to our countries and to the lives of our people. I am quite sure that the Keynote Speech which was presented on the 1st day of the Forum quite eloquently addressed what transformative leadership is all about and therefore I need not dwell on it any further.

Honourable Chairperson, let me now take this opportunity to also talk about the sub-themes and, in general, on the organization of the proceedings of the Forum. I am glad to note that the sub-themes which constituted the mainstream presentations and discussions in the form of parallel capacity development workshops, were not only relevant but also timely. I am sure they have, among other things, served as mind sharing sessions. The sub-theme “Leading with Integrity and Inventiveness in Public Governance” provided opportunity to look on ways and strategies that could be forged to reinforce leadership in the public sector which is characterised by a high degree of integrity and innovativeness as vehicles of addressing development and leadership challenges of today.

Honourable Chairperson, the second parallel workshop on “Leading Innovations in Gender-Responsive Service Delivery”. was an important component towards transformative leadership in Public Administration and Government because managing diversities, including gender equality is part and parcel of contemporary Public Administration and governance reforms.

Honourable Chairperson, the third parallel workshop entitled “Engaging Citizens and Civil Society Organizations in Reconstruction and Recovery Strategies after natural disasters to promote effectiveness, accountability and transparency” was indeed very relevant given the prevalence of natural disasters that are occurring in several parts of the world and in quick succession perhaps due to inexorable climate change. I am sure participants have benefited from experts and from various experiences on natural disasters management. I wish to underscore that disaster management is something that needs serious, strategic, ethical and joint interventions.

Honourable Chairperson, the last but not least parallel workshop sessions was guided by a sub-theme on “e-Leadership Capacity-Building in Africa”. I would like to underline that E-Government, and by extension e-leadership, has become an important reform component which is imperative in running contemporary Public Administration. Many governments are at different stages of introducing ICT interventions aimed at improvement of Public Service delivery and in general increasing efficiency. I am optimistic that the Forum has provided an opportunity for sharing experiences in this area which points to the modern way of conducting business.  We must embrace the use of ICT to give further impetus to socio-economic development.

 

Honourable Chairperson, I would also like to acknowledge the overall organization of the Forum. The format of the Forum was comprehensive and has given participants varieties of avenues of sharing knowledge and experiences from theoretical to practical points of view. As I noted earlier on, I commend the inclusion of the Keynote Speech which basically set the scene of the Forum by articulating theoretical issues related to the main theme of the Forum.  I would also like to echo my appreciation of other components in the programme, such as the UN Public Service Day Awards Ceremony and Africa Public Service Day Exhibition Awards. Awards are inherently motivational and this is something that needs to be upheld. In this spirit, I would like to congratulate all award winners and encourage others to aspire to achieve future awards.

Honourable Chairperson, let me turn to those who have been behind the noble idea of undertaking this annual event and those who worked day and night to make the 2011 joint United Nations Public Service Day and the African Public Service Day a reality. First I wish to recognize the United Nations and the African Union for conceiving and endorsing the idea of the United Nations Public Service Day and the African Public Service Day which is annually celebrated on 23rd June, to celebrate and recognize the institutional and individual contribution made by public servants to enhance the role, professionalism, image and visibility of the public service, and to recognize the value and virtue of service to the community.

In the same spirit, I would like to extend special thanks to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), Division for Public Administration and Development Management (DPADM) which has been occupying a front seat in organizing every year the United Nations Public Service Day and Awards Ceremony, a global event where innovators from the entire world meet to present and discuss their initiatives to improve the quality of life of citizens.

Honourable Chairperson, my heartfelt thanks are also extended to the organizers and sponsors of this event who include, among others:

1. The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), Division for Public Administration and Development Management (DPADM) in collaboration with the African Union Commission (AUC),

2. The President’s Office of the United Republic of Tanzania, which hosted the event,

3.  The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women), and

4. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other relevant UN agencies.

 

 

 

Honourable Chairperson, I would be remiss if I forgot to thank all the resource persons who either presented papers and/or facilitated discussions and other planned sessions of the Forum. In this category I also want to thank you distinguished guests and participants for your time and participation in all the four wonderful days of your stay in  Dar es Salaam. To you all I say ASANTE SANA.

Honourable Chairperson, before I wind up my speech I wish to reiterate that ideas that have been shared, experiences and strategies that have cropped up from all corners of the world should act as a new inspiration for the better future of Public Administration and governance and consequently for the betterment of our countries and the lives our people as a whole.

Honourable Chairperson, at this juncture, I can not resist to quote few words by James Clavelle in his famous work titled ‘the Art of War’ that was published in 1983 where he said ‘’to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting’’.  Put in the context of this event we can proudly say that by adopting resolutions that promote transformative leadership, we have broken the enemy without fighting, and I believe, we will be able to address the challenges that the world faces, and enable our citizens to live a better life.

It is in this vein that I appeal to all stakeholders to reinvigorate and reenergize themselves in the context of the resolutions and recommendations that have come forward as a result of this Forum. In particular, I wish to underline that transformative leadership in Public Administration and governance is one of the key links that have been missing and thus this Forum will have created a legacy if this missing link is nurtured where it did not exist and cemented where it pragmatically existed. 

Honourable Chairperson, without  concerted effort and joint strategy the ultimate goal of the 2011 United Nations and Africa Public Service Forum with a focus on “Transformative Leadership in Public Administration and Innovation in Governance: Creating a Better Life for All” would only be a chimera. I am optimistic that this Forum has laid a good foundation for building a shared understanding among all governance actors, of what policies and strategies, practices and tools Member States can adopt to build leadership capacities to promote a more effective, transparent, accountable, participatory and citizen-centric public administration, with a view to fostering greater social and economic development.


This common understanding needs to be genuinely implemented. It can be done; and Yes we can all do it; what is important is that everyone should play his/her part.

Honourable Chairperson, let me take this opportunity to wish everyone safe travel back home. I hope some of you will spare some more time to visit various interesting areas in Dar Es Salaam and other parts of the country.   We thank God we are abundantly blessed with such areas.

Honourable Chairperson, “Long Live the United Nations, Long Live the African Union, Long Live Public Service Day, and Long Live Public Service which is dedicated to Creating a Better Life the for All”. Having said all what I have said, it is now my singular honour and pleasure to declare the 2011 United Nations and Africa Public Service Forum officially closed.


THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR KIND ATTENTION!


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