Press Note

Essential role of parliaments stressed in landmark global development agenda

Geneva, 10 August 2015
©Reuters/S. Modola

IPU has welcomed the inclusion of parliaments’ essential role in translating into action a new sustainable development agenda to eradicate poverty, reduce inequalities and secure our planet for future generations.

A wide-ranging draft agreement due to be adopted at a UN summit in September sets out 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their individual targets along with a Declaration on how they will be achieved. The Declaration provides a set of core principles and responsibilities to inspire action in all countries at all levels of government and with all sectors of society involved.

Following lengthy negotiations, the agreement highlights the critical part parliaments will play in ensuring the success of the SDGs through the passing of laws, the adoption of budgets and the holding of governments to account in implementing the commitments they have made and in ensuring efficient use of limited resources.

This is the successful outcome of a campaign by IPU and its Members over the past three years for the role of parliaments to be acknowledged and supported. SDG 16 also sets out important targets IPU has advocated, such as developing effective, accountable institutions and ensuring inclusive decision-making.

As representatives of the world’s citizens, parliaments will work alongside governments, the United Nations and other international entities to realize the SDGs, with complementary input from civil society and the private sector. Parliaments are also encouraged to engage in national reviews on progress made on the SDGs over the next 15 years.

“We are delighted that this landmark global agenda recognizes the crucial role of parliaments in translating the new goals into action,” says IPU President Saber Chowdhury.  “I call on all parliaments to take up the challenge, engage actively to turn goals into concrete policies, and above all, ensure that all people are included and their voices heard. Parliaments must make a tangible difference to the lives of people and the planet.”

The new SDGs, which replace the eight Millennium Development Goals, touch on policy areas considered critical to the well-being of people everywhere, from climate change to gender equality, sustainable consumption and production patterns, health, education, and much more.  All of the goals must be realized by 2030 in what is by far the most ambitious global agenda ever agreed to by governments at the United Nations.

The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) is the global organization of national parliaments. It works to safeguard peace and drives positive democratic change through political dialogue and concrete action.

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