United Nations Public Service Awards

Rewarding Those Who Work For The Greater Good

The United Nations recognizes the best work in raising up the most lives

More often than not they go unmentioned, but there are thousands of men and women around the world who spend their days doing good turns for the rest of us. And though these deeds are part of their job, it’s worth honoring them as well.

June 23 is the United Nations’ Public Service Day for 2018. For 15 years now, the United Nations has honored excellence in public services, and the principle to “leave no one behind.” The UN Public Service Awards celebrate the contribution of public service in the development process, recognize the work of public servants, and encourage young people to pursue careers in the public sector.

“Public service should be dedicated to effectively serving people and improving the lives of the poorest and most vulnerable”

The list of this year’s winners encompasses organizations from all over the world that are doing the good work of helping society meet the needs of all people. A few of the more notable organizations include ones such as the following:

  • The Citizen Participation Project of the Madrid City Council, which gave the city’s residents the power to engage in “democracy from the bottom up,” and even produced open-source software to support it, now in use in a handful of cities around the world
  • The Cambia Tu Mente, Construye Pax initiative (Change Your Mind, Build Peace), in Manizales, Colombia, a city wracked by gang violence, but where new techniques of mediation have managed to turn the tide, and “drive peace through dialogue and understanding.”
  • Talents for Austria, a boarding school that takes in Unaccompanied Minor Asylum-seekers, and provides job training and placement, giving them a productive role in a society that badly needs apprentices and many different kinds of skilled workers.
  • and a handful of other organizations doing good work around the world

This year’s Public Service Awards will be given at the United Nations Public Service Forum in Marrakesh, Morocco.

As UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said, public service needs to be “diverse and ethical,” and needs to be “dedicated to effectively serving people and improving the lives of the poorest and most vulnerable.” Good Turns joins the United Nations in honoring those who serve, around the world, to improve the lives of all of us. And if you’re looking for guidance in thinking about how to approach your next good turn, you could do worse than use the Secretary-General’s words as a model.

(Photo courtesy of Flickr user Matt Janicki)

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