The aspirations for a fairer world set out in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development will only be met if there is more democracy worldwide, said the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) today.
Marking the International Day of Democracy (15 September) with the theme “Democracy 2030”, IPU called on political leaders everywhere to strengthen connections between the globally agreed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and citizens’ demands for greater transparency, accountability and inclusive decision-making.
Parliaments must ensure that the voice of the people is taken into account when countries establish priorities, targets and indicators for the SDGs at the national level.
Parliaments also have a crucial role to play in translating the sustainable development agenda into concrete national action – including by passing legislation, agreeing effective budgets and holding governments accountable for the commitments they have made.
Although 2030 seems distant, it is only three electoral cycles away in many countries. For the International Day of Democracy, IPU is also urging a broader strengthening of democracy, and is encouraging parliaments to use the Day for bringing diverse voices into politics and engaging the general public.
“We are inviting and challenging all parliaments to think innovatively about democracy’s future, including from the perspective of ensuring the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development succeeds,” said IPU President Saber Chowdhury.
Around the world, parliaments will mark the International Day of Democracy by engaging citizens in a debate on the future of democracy: Will people vote online in elections by 2030, or crowdsource laws? Will the existing political processes be sufficient to enable young people to express their aspirations, or do new processes need to be invented? Will the role of parliament be the same as it is today?
Political parties and parliaments continually adapt to changes in society. In particular, there is an urgent need to create political space for younger generations, to make more effective use of technology to foster inclusive debate, and to increase the proportion of women, young people and minorities in parliament and government worldwide.
“Parliaments have the opportunity for a symbiotic and historic win-win. More democracy could deliver real progress on sustainable development by 2030, which in turn could deliver more democracy – together with the huge benefits that offers,” said Saber Chowdhury.
All 193 UN Member States adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – a global commitment to end poverty and set the world on a sustainable path – in September 2015. The Agenda’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals call for action to end poverty, fight inequality and tackle climate change, while ensuring no one is left behind.
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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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