Commonwealth ministers for public service agreed to strengthen governance systems in their countries, as a critical step towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The 7th Biennial Commonwealth Public Service Ministers’ Forum, held on Sunday 21 October, focused on the essential role of good governance in implementing national development goals, including the SDGs.
Under the theme ‘Goal to Action: Strengthening public sector governance for more efficient and effective implementation’, delegates discussed innovative strategies and tools that would improve public service delivery, while smoothing the path for SDG progress.
They noted the need to raise appropriate budgets to carry out SDG-related programmes, as well as sensitise the public on key issues.
Opening the event, Guyana’s Vice-President and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl B. Greenidge said: “The United Nations set out 17 Sustainable Development Goals, with a complement of 169 specific targets… to be accomplished in only 15 years. Those ambitions make it especially urgent that the mechanisms for implementation be as effective and efficient as possible.”
To achieve the SDGs, he said governments must be able to work across sectors, measure SDG progress and raise awareness of SDGs amongst a wider audience. The successful management of these processes is hinged on good governance.
Commonwealth’s Senior Director for Governance and Peace, Katalaina Sapolu added: “Good governance enables the development of public value through institutions and processes that are accountable, transparent, predictable, capable and open to participation. It is an essential condition for the advancement of sustainable development and democracy, and as a fundamental right of all people.”
Ministers recognised the Commonwealth as a strategic partner in strengthening public sector governance in member countries to enhance development and democracy. Their full outcome statement highlighted agreed points for action by Commonwealth member states.
The ministers' forum preceded the 12th Biennial Commonwealth Association for Public Administration and Management (CAPAM) conference, which takes place in Guyana from 22-24 October, 2018.