Serbian MPs used the self-assessment toolkit produced by the IPU and UNDP to evaluate their capacity to contribute effectively to the implementation of the SDGs. Parliamentary oversight was a major focus of this exercise.
The self-assessment exercise, which took place on 3 and 4 November, was attended by members of the cross-party parliamentary Focus Group on the SDGs as well as clerks from four parliamentary committees. The IPU and UNDP supported the exercise, which took place ahead of a public hearing on the SDGs and the role of parliament on 8 November.
Parliamentary committees agreed to include SDG implementation in their oversight work and pledged to pay special attention to the work of the Inter-Ministerial Working Group for the Implementation of Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. As part of these efforts, a public hearing on the draft voluntary national review to the 2018 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development will be held at the National Assembly.
MPs committed to supporting laws directly linked to the SDGs. The Inter-Ministerial Working Group will be asked to provide a list of forthcoming bills to the National Assembly, detailing how they support the implementation of SDGs.
MPs said they would propose a change of the Rules of Procedure of the National Assembly to make the SDGs and oversight of their implementation an obligation of the parliament. MPs would also intensify outreach to young people and marginalized groups so as to better understand their needs and incorporate them into work on the SDGs.
The findings of the self-assessment will be presented to the Regional Seminar for Eastern and Central Europe and Central Asia, co-organized by the National Assembly and the IPU, in May 2018. The goal is to prompt other parliaments to undertake the self-assessment and advance further towards the implementation of the SDGs.