The starting point for this reflection piece is the proposition articulated by Mark Moore that ‘public servants are explorers commissioned by society to search for public value’.
The paper explores the underlying principles of international public service as articulated in articles 97-101 of the UN Charter, as well as the interpretation of these articles by Dag Hammarskjöld in his May 1961 Oxford Speech. Together these provide insights into the political space which can influence the scope for initiative and leadership.
The paper also explores how Mark Moore’s strategic triangle serves to identify the scope of the political space that lies at the heart of the art of leadership. The paper discusses a number of the instruments available to create, as well as to invest in, political space.
The paper concludes by highlighting that our reflections on the 100th anniversary of the creation of the international civil service come at a unique moment.