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During its 16th session, held on 24-28 April 2017, the United Nations Committee of Experts on Public Administration (UN CEPA) emphasized the critical role of governments and public institutions for implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Its final report underscores the importance of

  • leadership;
  • people’s trust in government, to be strengthened by fighting corruption, ensuring a merit-based civil service, and showing the impact of public service on citizens’ life;
  • strong local governments, with responsibilities and commensurate resources and capacities;
  • mobilizing civil servants for the SDGs.

It further recognized that context-specific improvements may be needed and is developing principles of effective governance for the SDGs to take stock thereof.

As a NGO with general consultative status vis-à-vis the UN Economic and Social Council, the IIAS is contributing to the UN CEPA and the SDGs. In its statement submitted to the 16th UN CEPA session, it reported the main lessons learned at the 2016 IIAS-IASIA Joint Congress, held in Chengdu, China on 20-23 September on the theme of “Building Capacities for Sustainable Governance”:

  • the SDGs show the way to the humanity;
  • governance is an enabler of all SDGs;
  • implementing the SDGs will require a paradigm shift towards sustainable governance, involving interdisciplinarity, multi-level governance and participative governance;
  • factors enabling sustainable governance include: complex and systemic thinking, committed and enabling leadership, innovation and experimentation and trust;
  • local governments are best positioned to realize sustainable governance;
  • barriers to sustainable governance need to be overcome

The full Congress report is available here.

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