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South Asian Speakers call for more financing to fight climate change

Flooding in the Philippines

Flooding in the Philippines © Reuters/ Romeo Ranoco

Speakers of Parliament from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka assembled in Malé, Maldives, on 1 and 2 September 2019, for the fourth South Asian Speakers’ Summit on Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As representatives of a region particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, with increased severe flooding and landslides as a consequence of sea-level rise and extreme rainfall, the Speakers called on parliaments to use their budgetary and legislative powers to deliver on the Paris Climate Agreement.

The Speakers also called on developed nations to honour their commitments to mobilize US$ 100 billion annually for disaster risk and climate change financing, as well as contributing to the Green Climate Fund. 

Organized jointly by the People’s Majlis of the Maldives and the IPU, represented by Secretary General Martin Chungong, this was the fourth annual Speakers’ summit for the region designed to promote parliamentary cooperation on achieving the SDGs. 

The summit built on the conclusions of the previous summits that took place in Bangladesh in 2016, India in 2017 and Sri Lanka in 2018. The outcome was a series of actionable and goal-oriented recommendations to advance parliamentary engagement with the SDGs.

The Speakers committed to strengthening the work of parliaments on SDG implementation, including monitoring government action; designing appropriate strategies; promoting equality at work and equal pay; scaling up nutrition and food security as drivers of maternal, child and adolescent health; and taking action to enhance gender equality and women’s participation in politics.