The IPU brought together more than 140 parliamentarians from 50 parliaments to review progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the annual High-level Political Forum at the United Nations in New York this week. The main theme of the 2019 session, held under the aegis of the Economic and Social Council, was “Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality”. The IPU organized and supported several events, including a Parliamentary Forum, a workshop for parliamentarians to assess parliaments’ readiness to engage in SDG implementation, and side events on inclusive decision-making and effective institutions, and on the right to nationality and ending statelessness.
Parliaments have a key role to play in implementing the SDGs. They can drive sustainable development by translating the SDGs into laws, monitoring implementation of those laws, adopting national budgets, and ensuring that their governments are accountable for progress towards achieving the SDGs by 2030. New IPU data paints a mixed picture of the role of parliaments in implementing the SDGs. While examples of good practice have emerged, with some parliaments playing a very active role, the data also shows that implementation of the SDGs and involvement in the voluntary national review process remain primarily government-led. There is therefore scope for parliaments to go much further in terms of oversight.
On 30 June, International Day of Parliamentarism, the IPU celebrated its 130th anniversary in a ‘Quintet’ consisting of the Presidents of the most recent and future IPU Assemblies. On 30 June, International Day of Parliamentarism, the IPU celebrated its 130th anniversary in a ‘Quintet’ consisting of the Presidents of the most recent and future IPU Assemblies, the Speakers of Russia, Qatar and Serbia who joined IPU President, Gabriela Cuevas-Barron and IPU Secretary General, Mr. Martin Chungong at the IPU’s Geneva Headquarters, the House of Parliaments. The Speakers and IPU leadership discussed the ongoing relevance of the founding values and principles of the IPU 130 years on, results achieved at the previous Assemblies, and actions ahead.