The 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) constitute the most ambitious UN plan ever to counter poverty, inequality, environmental degradation, and conflict. To be successful, the plan implies sweeping policy reforms at all levels as well as massive public and private investment. Parliaments are key to delivering this and ensuring that national laws and budgets are aligned with the SDGs. This was the message that the IPU delivered at the World Investment Forum this week in Geneva.
Organized by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the World Investment Forum is the leading platform for sustainable development investment, gathering more than 4,000 political and business leaders from 160 countries.
Gabriela Cuevas, IPU President, speaking at the opening, encouraged governments, parliaments, civil society and the private sector to work together for the good of the people and the planet.
She underlined the importance of the private sector investing in labour and environmental standards, as well as innovative products such as solar panels or battery chargers that improve lives and the environment. However, she also highlighted the central role that governments and parliaments play - for example, in providing a strong institutional framework for the implementation of the SDGs and in setting rules that encourage sustainable investment rather than short-term profit, as well as corporate social responsibility.
At the Forum, the IPU organized a parliamentary workshop as part of its commitment to institutionalize the SDGs and mobilize parliaments around the global development agenda. The workshop focused on the resources that are needed to implement the SDGs, looking at private investment as well as taxation, aid, and the parliamentary budget process. Participants discussed the need to finance the SDGs with new resources but also how to make better use of resources that already exist. Those resources could be better mobilized by parliaments changing laws and regulations, beginning with those that underpin the global economy.
Read the IPU President’s full statements here.