The principles of “solidarity”, “shared responsibility”, “tolerance for diversity” and of “respect for nature”, which form the basic premises on which this Group has built, are certainly not new. Highlighted in the Charter of the United Nations in 1945, they were reiterated in the landmark Declaration of the Millennium Assembly (September 2000). Although in six decades since the end of WWII, the world has been transformed in many significant ways, the challenges facing humanity have anything but vanished. Rather, they have increased in scale and in complexity but, more than anything else, migrated to a higher plane. Indeed, many such problems present themselves today as truly transborder in scope, requiring novel processes and different approaches for broader, global treatment and resolution. The structures and the culture to this effect were briefly touched upon in a previous publication of the IIAS entitled “The World We Could Win”. The focus of this Group has been the Human Factor; the profile of the leaders required for global governance; and the making of such leaders as public service professionals. Working under the auspices of the IIAS, the Group has advanced a number of recommendations, which are reproduced below in the hope of serving as framework for a truly global debate on these important issues.
That Global Governance be Recognised to Mean a Democratic System of Multilateral Governance
Many of the recent crises, which continue to bedevil the international community, have been due, in no small part, to failure of some governments to make effective use of an established machinery for the settlement of disputes, the preservation of peace and the promotion of policies which deal with critical issues of long-term strategic concern. There can be little doubt that multilateral processes and complex inter-governmental structures can be cumbersome and slow. They need to be streamlined and rendered more efficient. However, multilateralism is here to stay. Not only is it best suited to securing the broad consensus required for cooperation among concerned stakeholders on the international plane; it is also more in tune with salient long term trends in the direction of a multi-polar and highly diversified global community, in which it is increasingly essential for States, markets and civil society to interact collaboratively, in addressing global and regional issues and concerns.
That Democratic Global Governance must Exemplify Respect for the Rule of Law and Due Process
International law and the Comity of Nations constitute the essential basis for multilateral governance. Consonant with provisions in the Charter of the United Nations, strict observance of treaty obligations, respect for human rights, the rule of law and due process, should be the cornerstone of international relations on all levels, regional, sub-regional and global. Negotiation, conciliation, cooperation, consensus and compromise should be the ways and processes to global policy – making, conflict management and resolution.
That a Corps of Global Public Servants be Established
A corps of high-level professionals in the service of public affairs on the transnational level and the global common good be made available globally, regionally and sub-regionally, in order to facilitate the above mentioned processes. The concept is not new. It was first articulated in the International Secretariat, which was established to serve the League of Nations, when the latter was created after the First World War. The present recommendation brings the concept up-to-date but seeks to focus it rather on key priority areas representing major challenges for the whole community of nations. The mission of this corps and essential raison d'être would be to ascertain that, on issues of crucial importance, high-level professional inputs, in both the policy-making and implementation phases, would be routinely available to the decision-takers. Given the wide diversity of viewpoints and perspectives, it is considered necessary that this corps be recruited from all geographical regions and major cultural groups, on a widely representative basis. With the world as catchment area, it should not prove impossible to secure the very best of talent for global public service.
That the Organs of Corps Governance be placed under U.N. Auspices
The global public service should be placed under the auspices of the United Nations, which would exercise its guidance through the United Nations System Staff College in Turin. Oversight and supervision, through the College, would be entrusted to the UN Committee of Experts in Public Administration, which reports to the Economic and Social Council. Through the Council, the Committee will account to the World Body on the progress of the corps in fulfilling its mandate and in meeting its objectives. The direct supervision and management of the global public service will be vested in an Academy and an Office of Personnel Services, which ought to be created in order to instill and to maintain the needed degree of cohesion in the Corps.
An Office of Personnel Services will provide the necessary administrative support to the new corps and, guided by the Academy, will carry out the tasks of Human Resources Management and Development. These should include: the establishment of posts and determination of levels on the national, sub-regional, regional and global levels; prospection, selection and recruitment of members of the corps; deployment and mobility, with career paths ensuring uniform standards of personal growth and development for the men and women members of the corps, as well as congruent systems of rewards and remuneration for all.
That a Global Public Service Academy be Established
The Academy will be required to ensure the performance of functions, which are considered vital to the establishment and maintenance of the unity, cohesion and quality of performance to which the Corps should aspire. In essence, these tasks should include:
• Standard setting: determination of standards for entry into the corps in distinct fields of activity, where members of the corps will operate;
• Setting performance benchmarks that might serve both as guidelines for pre- and in-service training and the subsequent evaluation of members of the Corps;
• Accreditation: Affiliated institutes, which offer to take part in the pre- and inservice training of members of the corps, will be subject to periodic evaluation and accreditation with a view to creating and maintaining a consistently high performance standard among these schools and institutes. In this way, the preparation and training may be organised in a decentralised fashion, throughout the world, as well as in several languages, without sacrificing quality and unity of direction.
• R & D: research and training development for the purpose of promoting innovative curricula. Further to serving as an accreditation agency, the Academy will be intended to provide a centre of excellence and create a learning environment for global public servants. It should develop partnerships with all concerned stakeholders in the design and delivery of quality educational and training programmes. More than anything else, it should nurture and promote a healthy esprit de corps and public service professionalism among members of the Corps.
That Selection and Recruitment follow Best Tested Patterns
Selection and Recruitment may follow a pattern analogous to that already established for the National Professional Competitive Examination of the UN Secretariat. The range of areas covered in the recruitment process should be reviewed periodically and determined by the Academy in light of priority objectives, known challenges and needs in global and regional governance. The numbers may be small but the levels must be high and, as already stated, the catchment area global. Effectively, this means that all young women and men having the needed background, experience and qualifications at the appropriate level (Masters or Ph.D.) may apply. Contrary to the practice of the UN Secretariat, however, the exams should be conducted in broad geographical regions and all major language groups.
That Deployment and Mobility be accorded their due weight
Deployment and development of global public servants must focus on the needs of international agencies within the UN system and beyond, as well as those of key regional, sub-regional and even national organisations, but with priority attention accorded to critical areas of development policy-making, pressing challenges for global governance and administrative reform. The intention is that career progression should be through stints of service on the national, sub-regional, regional and global levels. Mobility is of the essence for sound career development and a critical requisite of creating the needed corps of versatile professionals to confront the major challenges, which face our Planet Earth and humanity as a whole.
That the National, Sub-regional and Regional Dimensions be Given Close Attention in an Attempt to Arrest and to Reverse the Braindrain
The Project's global scope should not obscure its important national, sub-regional and regional dimensions. They are all inter-related in the measure that sound progress in addressing world-wide problems begins on the national level, and on the ground. The need to share know-how and expertise, as well as technical competence in ICT and to provide support in planning and implementing national development strategies cannot be overestimated.
For Africa, in particular, recalling the MDGs in the Summit Declaration, training offerings and curricula must be reviewed periodically to cater for the needs brought about by globalisation and their interaction with the rest of the world. Such sharing of training experiences needs to be enhanced in order to make the training institutes themselves globally oriented. Staff exchanges among African MDIs, IPA and University faculties need to be intensified, but not only by bringing lecturers and consultants from the developed world to Africa, as was the case in the past, but also taking experts from African Institutes to those of developing countries (South to South cooperation).
The Human Resource, in the public sector especially, requires greater attention than has been paid to it in past public sector reforms. The function of Human Resource Management (especially in the Ministries) needs to be elevated to a higher strategic level, in order to ensure that development of human capacities is handled by competent managers, who are professionally apt to carry out the job. In order to advocate this and also increase opportunities for Human Resource Capacity-Building, Human Resource managers of the Public Sector in Africa need to be effectively encouraged to constitute an Africa-wide network. This will enable them to contribute to their own capacity- building through research, experience-sharing, dissemination of practices and training in various aspects of Human Resource Development and Management.
That Priority be Accorded to Regaining and Retaining Public Trust
This is a major pillar and purpose of this project. Global ethical values and standards, including meeting the need of the Corps to serve as custodian and steward of Another basic requisite is the quality and effectiveness of the work performed by the corps. In this context, it is recommended that an attempt be made to bridge, if not to close, the gaps existing between States, markets and civil society. This involves understanding the nature and significance of the various institutions that are active in these spheres, the legal instrumentalities adopted, the processes and patterns of decision-making, the ways in which people are categorised and responded to as “citizens”, “voters”, “customers”, “clients”, “members”, “beneficiaries”, and so on.
Building a better future: Attracting and retaining a fair share of the talent available world-wide
We need to reposition professional careers in the public service globally, as avenues of choice. Of course, we need to acknowledge that this can only happen if certain conditions are met. The first is selection by merit and a rigorous system of training – training as life-long learning - which meets the highest standards of professional excellence. These need to win recognition and to command respect. The institution of the Academy – Recommendation V – is intended to further this goal. The Academy, however will need to establish benchmarks and, looking to the future, create innovative programmes to meet emerging challenges. It has been recommended that such performance benchmarks and such innovative programmes become the target and focus of a new Working Group on the global public service.
Selection and Recruitment go in tandem with retention, development and motivation. Retention and development are contingent on rewards which, worldwide in the past twenty years, have not received the attention they undoubtedly deserve. Rewards are said to fall into two main categories:
• Extrinsic rewards, which stem from the decisions and actions of other people Examples of extrinsic rewards include salary increases, achievement awards, and promotion; and
• Intrinsic awards, which emanate from the nature of the work or the activity itself. Examples of intrinsic rewards include pride of accomplishment, enhanced self-esteem, satisfaction with a job well-done and the joy at seeing results from one's own hard work and effort.
Therefore, it is recommended that the new Working Group of the IIAS combine its study of benchmarks and of innovative programmes with a study and proposals on novel rewards systems, which would promote professionalism but also help retain well-trained and competent officers within the broad parameters of the global public service.
[1 ] Fraser-Moleketi, G. (2005) The World We Could Win, Amsterdam, IOS Press.
[2 ] United Nations (2006) Human Resources for Effective Public Administration in a Globalized World, New York, Foreword.
[3 ] United Nations (2008) “Improving the effective and efficient delivery of the mandates of the development related activities and the revised estimates relating to the programme budget for the biennium 2008–2009” Report of the Secretary-General, New York, A/62/25.2.2008.