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Young MPs commit to accelerating SDGs at Hanoi Conference

Dan Carden

Dan Carden, UK MP and President of the IPU Forum of Young MPs

Close to 300 young parliamentarians from some 70 countries have committed to accelerating the achievements of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially through digital transformation and innovation.

The young MPs were in Hanoi, Viet Nam, for the Ninth IPU Global Conference of Young Parliamentarians, jointly organized by the IPU and the National Assembly of Viet Nam. The theme of the Conference was The role of youth in accelerating the achievement of the SDGs through digital transformation and innovation. 

The Conference marked the eigth anniversary of  the Hanoi Declaration on the SDGs, adopted by the IPU in 2015, and which set out the commitment of parliamentarians to address global development priorities.

In their final conference statement, the young MPs sounded the alarm on the lack of progress towards achieving the SDGs. With 7 years left, only 12% of SDG targets are being well implemented according to the United Nations.

The MPs drew attention to gaps in achieving the goals related to education, gender equality, decent work, economic growth, climate action, peace, justice and strong institutions, which are of vital concern to youth. The young MPs also called for equity when it comes to representation of women and young people in politics. According to the latest IPU data, less than 27% of MPs around the world are women, and only 2.8% of MPs are 30 years of age or under.  

President of the Forum of Young MPs and Member of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, Dan Carden, said that the young MPs represented the voice of a vibrant generation passionate about making a difference in societies and contributing to the achievement of the SDGs. Young MPs should harness the power of digitilization and technology, which have demonstrated their ability to break barriers and connect people worldwide.

The Conference provided an opportunity for young parliamentarians from around the world to network and exchange good practices.

The IPU has been organizing the Global Conference for Young Parliamentarians since 2014, addressing topical issues linked to youth empowerment and providing policy orientation.

More recently, in 2021, the IPU launched a campaign I Say Yes to Youth in Parliament! designed to rejuvenate parliaments worldwide.