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UN Public Service Forum to be held in Incheon next month

By Lee Jung-joo

Published : May 26, 2024 - 15:29

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Vice Interior Minister Ko Ki-dong (fourth from left), Park Yung-suh, head of the UN Public Service Forum task force (left) and ambassadors in South Korea pose for a photo during Friday's policy briefing for the 2024 UN Public Service Forum, scheduled to be held from June 24 to 26. (Ministry of Interior and Safety) Vice Interior Minister Ko Ki-dong (fourth from left), Park Yung-suh, head of the UN Public Service Forum task force (left) and ambassadors in South Korea pose for a photo during Friday's policy briefing for the 2024 UN Public Service Forum, scheduled to be held from June 24 to 26. (Ministry of Interior and Safety)

South Korea will host the UN Public Service Forum next month to discuss ways to transform and innovate the public sector, focusing on digital transformation and artificial intelligence, the Ministry of Interior and Safety said Sunday.

This year’s UN Public Service Forum will be held for three days at Songdo, Incheon, from June 24 to 26. It will be jointly organized by the Interior Ministry and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

The UN Public Service Forum is an annual international forum that provides a platform for ministers, senior-level policymakers, public workers and experts to come together to learn and discuss the challenges, issues and trends in public governance. The forum first emerged after the UN General Assembly designated June 23 as the UN Public Service Day in 2003.

“This forum is particularly meaningful because it marks the first forum to be organized offline since the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Park Yung-suh, head of the ministry’s 2024 UN Public Service Forum task force. According to Park, Korea is the first UN member nation to host an offline forum twice since its first run in 2014. Korea was also the host in 2020, but the forum was hosted entirely online due to the pandemic.

Under the theme “Fostering Innovation amid Global Challenges: a Public Sector Perspective,” this year’s forum will allow the forum’s participants to explore policy options for governments to leverage digital transformation and artificial intelligence to drive innovation in the public sector.

The three-day forum will see plenary sessions, roundtable discussions among ministers and workshops featuring around 1,000 guests from 100 different countries. Interior Minister Lee Sang-min and the Secretary General of UN DESA Li Junhua will also be present at the forum.

Additionally, on the final day of the forum, 15 awards will be given during the UN Public Service Awards Ceremony in three categories -- innovation in public institutions, gender-responsive public services and tackling climate change. Korea previously received an award for its clean marine environment initiative during the UN Public Service Forum held in 2022.

Vice Minister Ko Ki-dong delivers welcoming remarks during Friday’s policy briefing for the 2024 UN Public Service Forum, scheduled to be held from June 24 to 26. (Ministry of Interior and Safety) Vice Minister Ko Ki-dong delivers welcoming remarks during Friday’s policy briefing for the 2024 UN Public Service Forum, scheduled to be held from June 24 to 26. (Ministry of Interior and Safety)