The role of public service and people engaged in it gain even more significance when a pandemic is raging across the globe, killing over 9.9 lakh people worldwide. Every year the United Nations Public Service Day is observed on June 23 as a mark of respect and gratitude to people in public service, sometimes endangering their lives, in countries across the world.
"Today, as we honour these essential workers and so many more, we must also reflect on how to better protect, recognize and invest in their well-being as we build back better, together. And I say directly to these inspiring public servants: We are all deeply indebted to you for your remarkable acts of service to humankind," Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations said.
Theme of United Nations Public Service Day 2020
"Honouring the public servants who have been working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic" is this year's focus for UN Public Service Day. Whether working in the healthcare sector or reaching essential items to homes in COVID-19 hit areas, social workers and policemen have made our lives easy amid the pandemic. Special mention needs to be made about the sanitation workers, most of whom come from the lowest rung of the society in India.
Origin of the United Nations Public Service Day 2020
The UN General Assembly, on 20 December 2002, designated June 23 as Public Service Day by adopting resolution 57/277. The purpose was mainly to value and spread awareness about public service in the community. The UN has also started a recognition programme - the UN Public Service Awards (UNPSA) in 2003, to reward the excellent work done by public servants.
This year the UN is holding a virtual event to engage public servants from across the world and discuss the stiff challenges the pandemic is throwing at frontline workers and citizens virtually every day.