Parliamentarians of critical importance to success of new development goals

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Saber Chowdhury, President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), addresses a press conference on the upcoming Fourth World Conference of Speakers of Parliament. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Parliamentary leaders will play a "critical" role in the global push for creating a sustainable future for all people and the planet.

That's according to Saber Chowdhury, president of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) which is meeting this week at UN Headquarters in New York.

Heads of State are expected to adopt 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) when they meet at the UN next month.

Dianne Penn reports.

Mr Chowdury said the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) address what's being called "the five 'p's'": people, planet, peace, prosperity and partnership.

As the global organization of national parliaments, the Inter-parliamentary Union (IPU) knows a lot about partnerships, he pointed out.

Furthermore, he added, it is parliamentarians who will hold governments accountable for meeting the SDGs.

"Now, if you're going to implement an agenda of that ambition level, then, as I said, you need partnerships.  And the role of parliaments in holding governments to account to make sure that they deliver on the pledges that they make here in the UN, the pledges need funding so appropriation of resources is going to be very, very important. So oversight funding, facilitating legislation, making sure there is policy coherence  in terms of what we agree to nationally and so that it is at synch with what is agreed to internationally; these are always going to be very, very important, and I think this is the role of the parliamentarians. So, if you really want to see success on the SDGs — as we all desperately want to — I think the role of parliamentarians is going to be of critical importance."

Nearly 140 speakers of national parliaments, 30 of whom are women, will participate in the Fourth World Conference of Speakers of Parliament which meets at the UN beginning on Monday.

Academy Award-winning actor Forest Whitaker—a Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation with the UN cultural agency, UNESCO — will deliver the keynote address.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1’37″

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