The 2018 United Nations Public Service Forum took place in Marrakesh, in the Kingdom of Morocco from 21- 23 June 2018, under the overarching theme “Transforming governance to realize the Sustainable Development Goals”. The Forum was organized by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), the Ministry of Administration and Civil Service Reform of the Kingdom of Morocco alongside further organizing partners. The United Nations Public Service Awards, took place during the last day of the Forum and it was dedicated to promoting and rewarding innovation and excellence in public services towards realizing the SDGs.
Since 2013, UN Women has led the coordination of Category 3 of the awards on “Promoting gender responsive public services to achieve the SDGs.” This year’s award winners were: Kenya, Switzerland and Thailand. Kenya’s winning initiative, promoting gender responsive public service to achieve the SDGs, supports women and youth by facilitating the integration of gender policy and social inclusion in the agriculture value chain development. The country’s strategy also addresses gender-based violence in the agricultural sector and has contributed to gender mainstreaming in 47 counties. Switzerland's Advancing Gender Equal Pay (SAGE) helps close the gender pay gap through: a self-test tool, Logib, that compares companies practice compliance to equal pay requirements and a charter for equal pay in the public sector. An increasing number of companies are signing up for the charter and implementing its commitments. Thailand’s Integrated Approach of Comprehensive Cervical Cancer Control collaborates with partners to conduct visual inspection with acetic acid and cryotherapy in 4 districts and train nurses to be providers. This initiative reduces treatment steps and waiting time, links screening to treatment and addresses issues of access to control services, particularly in remote areas.
These initiatives showcase the importance of aligning public sector services and initiatives to global priorities to ensure the achievement of the SDGs. Success in these initiatives elevates the role of women in society and boosts their socio‑economic opportunities, which is fundamental to achieving sustainable and inclusive development.