MPs from Ethiopia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Tanzania met to discuss how parliaments can effectively facilitate the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at a seminar that took place from 10-12 September in Beijing, China.
The IPU and the National People’s Congress (NPC) of the People’s Republic of China hosted the event, the third in a series of interregional annual seminars. These interregional exchanges allow Asian and African parliaments to share good practices and discuss ways that South-South parliamentary cooperation can drive the SDG agenda.
The role of legislative bodies in achieving the SDGs, cooperation on the Beltand Road initiative, innovative development as well as issues closer to people’s well-being - such as clean drinking water, sanitary facilities and sustainable clean energy - were key topics at the seminar.
“Parliaments are key to helping the world meet the 2030 Global Goals”, said IPU Secretary General, Martin Chungong, in his opening address. “Not only do they hold the power of the purse but they can also provide the political will to guarantee adequate living standards for all, including better nutrition, water and sanitation.”
Parliaments can help push the SDGs to the top of national agendas to tackle inequalities, strengthen national food systems, improve access to basic services and ensure that vulnerable populations are not left behind. Through parliament’s oversight function, MPs can control whether national and international commitments are turned into action through coherent, comprehensive and coordinated policies, programs and plans.
Each SDG is dependent on many factors that can fall outside of its own specific sector. This means that the SDGs provide a strong framework for parliaments to promote multi-sectoral coordination and ensure that the achievement of one goal can contribute to the realization of all of the others.
The IPU is firmly committed to mobilizing parliaments to take action on the SDGs, and to providing MPs with the tools to carry out their work more effectively. In partnership with the UN Development Programme, the IPU has produced a dedicated tool kit on Parliaments and the Sustainable Development Goals which helps MPs identify good practices, opportunities and lessons learned on how to institutionalize the SDGs.