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Strengthening co-operation with the United Nations in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Resolution 2271 (2019)

Author(s):
Parliamentary Assembly
Origin
Assembly debate on 9 April 2019 (12th Sitting) (see Doc. 14848, report of the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy, rapporteur: Mr Adão Silva; Doc. 14861, opinion of the Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination, rapporteur: Ms Petra Bayr). Text adopted by the Assembly on 9 April 2019 (12th Sitting).See also Recommendation 2150 (2019).
1 The Parliamentary Assembly reiterates its commitment to international order based on effective multilateralism, with the United Nations and its charter as its cornerstone. As universal values such as human rights are increasingly being challenged, it is essential to strengthen mutual support between the United Nations, as a global organisation, and regional partners based on these values, such as the Council of Europe.
2 The Assembly greatly values the fruitful and multifaceted co-operation between the Council of Europe and the United Nations founded on the complementarity of their action to protect peace based on respect for human rights. It strongly believes that the Council of Europe, as an important multilateral player at the European level, must contribute more actively to the United Nations’ efforts to address key global challenges.
3 In this context, the Assembly attaches great importance to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted at the global summit in September 2015 and to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set out to achieve this ambitious and comprehensive agenda by 2030. The Assembly welcomes the fact that the SDGs are accompanied by targets and that indicators enable the progress in achieving them to be measured.
4 The Assembly particularly welcomes the emphasis which the 2030 Agenda places on human rights, the rule of law and good governance through democratic institutions, thereby closely linking it with the core values on which the Council of Europe is founded.
5 The Assembly also welcomes the importance given to gender equality as a transversal objective throughout the 2030 Agenda and fully supports this approach. It commends the United Nations for making the fight against violence against women and domestic violence a priority.
6 The implementation of the 2030 Agenda will require full mobilisation of all stakeholders. While the primary responsibility for achieving the SDGs lies with the national authorities of United Nations member States, regional organisations such as the Council of Europe can facilitate the effective translation of global sustainable development policies into concrete action at national level.
7 In this respect, the Assembly refers to United Nations General Assembly Resolution A/RES/73/15 on co-operation between the United Nations and the Council of Europe, which welcomes the contribution of the Council of Europe to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in Europe and beyond. It notes that our Organisation is already contributing to 13 of the 17 SDGs, in particular to SDGs 5, 10 and 16 which focus respectively on achieving gender equality and empowering all girls and women, reducing inequalities and ensuring social protection for all, and guaranteeing unimpeded access to justice.
8 In order to maximise its contribution, the Council of Europe should make full use of strengths such as its unique and widely recognised standard-setting role, which has resulted in a number of groundbreaking conventions, its multi-stakeholder structure, its monitoring and reporting mechanisms, the support it provides to its member States, its position as a platform for exchanging information and sharing experience and good practice, and its global outreach.
9 The main force of the Council of Europe is its convention system. Its effectiveness is ensured by unique monitoring and follow-up bodies and processes which assess member States’ compliance with conventions on the basis of measurable benchmarks and indicators. This produces unique and vital data for identifying where progress has been achieved, and where challenges remain; this data is in several cases applicable also to certain SDGs. Since many SDGs and specific targets correlate with obligations under relevant Council of Europe conventions, the Organisation’s member States are legally bound to comply with 2030 Agenda goals and targets.
10 In line with United Nations General Assembly Resolution A/RES/73/15, the Parliamentary Assembly recognises the need for the United Nations and the Council of Europe to continue to work together, within their respective mandates, to accelerate the pace of the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals towards fulfilling the 2030 Agenda.
11 The Assembly calls on the Council of Europe member States and, where relevant, observer States and States whose parliaments enjoy observer or partner for democracy status with the Assembly to:
11.1 fully honour their commitments to the SDGs;
11.2 sign, ratify and efficiently implement the Council of Europe legal instruments, in particular those which directly contribute to the achievement of SDGs;
11.3 when reporting to Council of Europe monitoring bodies, make reference, where applicable, to relevant SDGs;
11.4 make reference systematically to relevant obligations under the Council of Europe legal instruments to which they are a party and make full use of the reporting they are carrying out in the process of monitoring their compliance, in the context of assessing progress in the implementation of SDGs, including when presenting voluntary national reviews;
11.5 include parliamentarians in their national structures and delegations at the various stages of reviewing SDGs, including at the sessions of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development and the United Nations General Assembly, as well as at thematic events, and provide them with the possibility to participate actively in the work of these processes and events;
11.6 involve civil society organisations during the review of the implementation of SDGs, including during the preparation of voluntary national reviews;
11.7 suggest impact assessments of national legislation by considering whether laws foster or hinder the meeting of the targets described in the SDGs.
12 With reference to Resolution 2272 (2019) “Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals: synergy needed on the part of all stakeholders, from parliaments to local authorities”, the Assembly further calls on the parliaments of Council of Europe member and observer States, as well as parliaments enjoying observer or partner for democracy status with the Assembly, to:
12.1 play an active role in the implementation of the SDGs, in setting priorities, ensuring progress and playing a role in monitoring and evaluating national efforts to implement the SDGs;
12.2 encourage its members to join their country’s delegation to the General Assembly of the United Nations;
12.3 ensure that voluntary national reviews, including the budgetary aspects, are first presented to, and discussed in, national parliaments;
12.4 hold debates on the activities of the United Nations in order to increase public awareness of its role as a cornerstone of multilateralism and with the aim of increasing knowledge of the benefits that the United Nations 2030 Agenda can bring to every person’s daily life.
13 The Assembly calls on the Secretary General of the Council of Europe to:
13.1 continue highlighting the mutual relevance of the Council of Europe activities and the 2030 Agenda process, notably by:
13.1.1 inviting the different intergovernmental committees and structures to regularly include the item of the United Nations 2030 Agenda on their agendas, with a reference to relevant Council of Europe conventions, and by stimulating the exchange of experience and good practice, with the aim of making progress in achieving the SDGs;
13.1.2 identifying the various activities, including those in neighbouring regions, which contribute to relevant SDGs;
13.1.3 bringing up issues relating to the 2030 Agenda on the occasion of country visits, and by inviting other Council of Europe interlocutors to do so;
13.2 ensure that the Council of Europe is duly represented, and its contribution made available, at the various stages of reviewing SDGs, including at the sessions of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development and the United Nations General Assembly, as well as at thematic events;
13.3 find a way for the Council of Europe to be represented, in a visible and co-ordinated way, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York;
13.4 explore the feasibility of the Council of Europe organising, in co-operation with relevant United Nations bodies, a multi-day regional European conference in 2022 on selected SDGs the Council of Europe is contributing to;
13.5 consider ways to engage with the business community in order to promote sustainable and responsible business, in line with the United Nations 2030 Agenda.
14 The Assembly calls on the United Nations to:
14.1 draw greater benefit from the Council of Europe’s unique experience in human rights, parliamentary democracy and the relevant standards, notably the useful benchmarks that they provide, and their monitoring reports;
14.2 acknowledge, make visible and fully use the Council of Europe’s contribution to the implementation of SDGs;
14.3 further promote Council of Europe legal instruments open to non-member States.
15 For its part, the Assembly resolves to:
15.1 regularly review the implementation of SDGs and fully play its role as a platform for exchanging national experience and good practice;
15.2 strengthen the parliamentary contribution to, and dialogue with the United Nations, focusing on the implementation of SDGs and the complementarity between the Council of Europe and the United Nations, including with its agencies based in Geneva and Vienna;
15.3 label its activities, including those in neighbouring regions, as those contributing to relevant SDGs.
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