UAE wins special UN award for government modernization

Dubai: In a new achievement for the UAE, the United Nations on Monday honored the UAE government with a special award in recognition of its role in modernizing government.

The recognition came during the United Nations Public Service Awards (UNPSA) ceremony in Dubai.

The award was given in recognition of the UAE’s achievements in modernizing government, building new models of future governments, and its global knowledge exchange efforts in the area of ​​modernizing government with countries in the region and around the world.

The ceremony was attended by Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs, and Catherine Pollard, Under-Secretary-General for Management Strategy, Policy and Compliance of the United Nations.

Al Gergawi said the UN award reflects the leadership status that the UAE government has achieved as directed by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s vision , Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates. and Ruler of Dubai, and under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces.

Agile government

Al Gergawi said, “The award reflects the UAE’s outstanding achievements in developing an agile model of government based on proactive service design, promoting efficiency and improving competitiveness. The award came as yet another international testament to the development of the UAE, led by a futuristic, pioneering and innovative government, and demonstrating its leadership’s vision to develop proactive future services.

Pollard praised the experiences of the UAE government and the advanced models it has developed in the field of public service.

Pollard said: “As we gather at the first UNPSA ceremony since the start of the pandemic, we take the opportunity to thank public servants around the world for their continued dedication and to celebrate the service’s inspiring initiatives. that have resulted from their innovations and commitment to improving public service delivery to achieve sustainable development.

Global Competitiveness Indicators

Over the past few years, the Government of the United Arab Emirates has launched strategic partnerships in the area of ​​government modernization under the umbrella of the Government Knowledge Exchange Program, with nine countries around the world. Partnerships have resulted in 241 successful initiatives in more than 55 areas of work and have developed 290,000 employees and trainees through 3 million hours of training and 565 workshops.

The UAE ranked first regionally and 21st globally in the 2020 e-government survey conducted by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. According to the Global Competitiveness Report published by the World Economic Forum (WEF), it ranked third globally on the indicator of responsiveness to government change and fourth on the indicator of long-term vision of government. The UAE also ranked third in the world as the most trusted government according to the 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer.

Additionally, the UAE Government Accelerators, the first of their kind in the world to embrace acceleration and innovation to develop proactive solutions to address challenges, have become a hub for knowledge partnerships worldwide.

Additionally, the UAE government has also launched the Global Government Summit, which serves as the largest global platform bringing together government officials and experts from around the world to shape the future. Since its launch, the Summit has organized up to 1,000 sessions and welcomed more than 25,000 participants and 40 international organizations. It has also signed over 80 agreements and published over 100 reports.


On Monday, UNPSA honored various national officials for their contribution to public services in their communities in 2020 and 2021. The winning officials were honored in the presence of UAE and UN officials. They were selected as winners in eight award categories.

The award was presented by Ohood Khalfan Al Roumi, Minister of State for Government Development and Future, and Pollard.

Al Roumi told Gulf News: “Today we had 17 winners from 13 countries and they were recognized for their outstanding efforts in providing services to people around the world. Over the past two years, we have gone through a very difficult period. But the civil servants, the public servants of their respective countries were carrying out their daily duties with the same spirit. They worked hard to provide and serve their nation.

Ohood Khalfan Al Roumi, Minister of State for State Development and Future, during the award ceremony
Image credit: Anjana Kumar/Gulf News

She added: “The United Arab Emirates also received a special award for the role our nation has played in supporting other nations by sharing best practices through the governments exchange program. [Sheikh Mohammed] asked us to work with nine countries over the past two years.

“We have developed capacities for over 300 government employees and supported 100 joint initiatives. Recognition also came for the role played by the UAE in hosting global government officials across the world.

Pollard said: “First of all, let me say it’s really wonderful to be here in the United Arab Emirates. We are all focused on managing to get beyond COVID. No one really wants to go back to the days of last year with the lockdown. We are all struggling to see how we can build back better knowing that we are at different stages of the pandemic. I am personally very impressed with the UAE innovations that have taken place. »

The winners

The countries that won the prize on Monday are the Republic of Korea, Brazil, Bangladesh, Portugal, Mexico, Botswana, Spain, Ghana, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Romania, Italy and Thailand.

The four 2020 award categories included “Delivering Inclusive and Equitable Services for All; promote integrated mechanisms for sustainable development; developing transparent and accountable public institutions; and promote digital transformation in the public sector”.

There were seven winners for the four categories. Countries that made the cut included the Seondong District Office in the Republic of Korea for providing greater access to healthcare services through partnerships with private clinics, social services and healthcare providers. The ROK Consul General in Dubai received a trophy and certificate on behalf of Seondong District.

The Prefeitura do Jaboatao dos Guararapes of Brazil won the following award for promoting the preparatory course for the admission of students to reference technical schools. The initiative has dramatically increased the number of low-income college students admitted to highly competitive high school technical schools.

The Portuguese Administrative Modernization Agency and the General Directorate of Energy and Geology were the next recipients of this prestigious award. The Consejo Nuevo Leon para la Planeacion Estragia of Mexico won the following award. The Bangladesh Land Ministry of Bangladesh was the next recipient of the award.

The Ministry of Basic Education of the North East Region of Botswana was the next recipient of the award for the 2020 category. So was the Direccion General de Transformacion Digital de La Administracion de Justicia in Spain.

Categories 2021

The 2021 award categories included “fostering innovation to deliver inclusive and equitable services for all, including through digital transformation”.

The second category included improving the effectiveness of public institutions to achieve the SDGs. The third category was promoting gender-responsive public services to achieve the SDGs and the fourth category was for institutional preparedness and response in times of crisis. There were 10 winners in the four categories.

The Library Authority of Ghana has won an award for its mobile ICT hands-on project. The Government of Kazakhstan for Citizens was awarded for fostering innovation to provide inclusive and equal services to all. In Kenya, the Water Sector Trust Fund was honored for its results-based aid program initiative. The Republic of Korea won its second award of the day for its clean marine initiative. The Romanian Department of Sustainable Development was awarded for its initiatives to strengthen the effectiveness of Romanian institutions and the PCSD to achieve the SDGs.

Mexico’s Municipio de Coatzacoalcos won an award for its integral open government and smart city strategy. Italy is also a recipient of the award. The country’s Automobile Club d’Italia won the ACI Mobility Information System.

Bangladesh’s Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief has been recognized for its efforts to empower women through the Cyclone Preparedness Program (CPP). Brazil was the next winner. The country’s sports superintendence in the state of Bahia has won a trophy for the promotion of sport at the initiative of the city.

The last country to return home with an award was Thailand. The country’s Department of Disease Control won the award for its smart and sustainable public health emergency system.

About Tammy N. McFarlane

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