About 70 parliaments across the world attended the ‘First Global Parliamentary Meeting on Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs), organized by the Inter-Parliamentary Union and Indonesian House of Reps.
Some 70 parliaments, representing all the regions of the world attended the First Global Parliamentary Meeting on Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Turning the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic into opportunities for parliaments to achieve the SDGs.
The IPU and the House of Representatives of Indonesia organized the three-day virtual event from 28-30 September.
SDGs as universal roadmap
The SDGs or the Global Goals are the universal roadmap to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity.
Parliaments have engaged in multiple ways to implement the SDGs, including through the IPU. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has often stalled or reversed progress on the 17 goals.
The First Global Parliamentary Meeting brought together dozens of parliamentarians virtually to share experiences and benefit from a wider group of stakeholders, including experts from the United Nations, academia, international advocacy groups, development banks and Supreme Audit Institutions.
Progress on SDG implementation
The debates focused on some of the key issues that determine progress on SDG implementation: the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, inequalities, universal health coverage and health emergency preparedness, economic transformation and SDG financing.
Dr. Puan Maharani, Speaker of the Indonesian House of Representatives, said: “We are a unified world. A common problem … can not be addressed only by one country. The world has the knowledge, technology and various other resources… but there is a lack of commitment to cooperate and help each other. Parliaments therefore play important roles… to encourage their respective governments and society to continue to strengthen international cooperation, global solidarity and mutual respect.”
A case for green, blue economies
Keynote speaker, Ms. Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, said: “COVID-19 has been a tragic illustration of the vital importance of the 2030 agenda as a holistic vision for a just, prosperous and healthy society.
“We need green and blue economies that create decent jobs, especially for women and young people. I count on the continued engagement of parliaments in this joint endeavour towards more inclusive, fair and sustainable societies.”
Parliamentarians key to SDGs actualization
IPU President, Duarte Pacheco, said: “Parliamentarians are instrumental in the realization of the SDGs through their ability to turn the voluntary commitment to the SDGs into enforceable laws, to hold governments to account on development policy choices and strategies, and the adoption of national budgets.
“At the IPU, we commend the efforts and commitment made by parliaments, especially during this period that dramatically shook our lives, but at the same time we are convinced that only if the SDGs are firmly embedded in the work of parliaments, we could start seeing effective progress and results.”
SDGs, people at centre of action
Mr. Martin Chungong, IPU Secretary General, said: “This Conference was an important message that parliaments and parliamentarians worldwide are putting the SDGs and people at the centre of their action.
“This is the only way to ensure that we are not improving well-being and prosperity for a privileged few, but for each and every one; that we are not just pursuing economic growth, but that we are finding ways to achieve green economies; that we are not just taking short-term measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, but that we are thinking of future generations and the future of our planet.”
This report was first published by IPU.