20 June 2023. Geneva, Switzerland— “The world is changing, and the expectations of our citizens are changing even faster. Governments these days have to make a topmost priority of meeting these expectations.” These are the words with which United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and UNITAR Executive Director, Mr Nikhil Seth, inaugurated the long-awaited signing ceremony between UNITAR and SAPSSI, the state agency which spearheaded the digitalization of all government services through its “ASAN Services” platform—a one-stop-shop for the efficient and citizen-centric delivery of public services.
Following the successes of the ASAN service model, which have been recognized internationally, including through the awarding of the prestigious “United Nations Public Service Awards”, UNITAR will join forces with the State Agency to echo the achievements that led to this recognition, namely through the addition of a jointly developed training and capacity-building element for all international stakeholders who wish to benefit from leveraging SAPSSI’s expertise on service provision excellence. UNITAR and SAPSSI’s combined efforts will permit governments, organizations, institutions, and companies to “use and promote digital services for the exercise of human and social rights”, as stated by H.E. Amb. Galib Israfilov, who was present at the ceremony.
Under this agreement, UNITAR will collaborate closely with the State Agency to develop and implement training programmmes, capacity-building initiatives, and research projects tailored to the specific needs and priorities of SAPSSI and UNITAR’s international beneficiaries, to enhance the skills and knowledge of public servants and public service users, foster innovation in public service delivery, and promote best practices that align with the global sustainable development agenda, all within the framework of, in the words of SAPSSI Chairman H.E. Ulvi Mehdiyev, “promoting transparency, efficiency, and accountability in public service delivery”.
Before signing the document, Mr Seth stated that “MoUs are statements of good intention, but we need more than good intentions—we need prompt action. I hope that both of our excellent teams, which have brought us to this point, will work jointly to implement the promises given in this MoU, not only for the citizens of Azerbaijan but for all other countries in need”