The Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development today highlighted the decisive role of parliaments, local and regional authorities, citizens and civil society – in particular young people – in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“In 2015, 193 countries adopted the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the implementation of which is first and foremost the responsibility of governments,” the committee said. Nevertheless, national parliaments, “as holders of legislative power, representatives of the people and bodies scrutinising what governments do”, have a key part to play in meeting the SDGs, the parliamentarians stressed. Local and regional authorities, too, can contribute to the economic, social and environmental transformations needed to achieve the SDGs, they added.
In adopting the report by Jennifer de Temmerman (France, NI), the committee asked parliaments to gear legislative work towards the SDGs, to set up a body to monitor their implementation, to ensure that government budgetary proposals be systematically justified with regard to the SDGs, and to use parliamentary oversight mechanisms – such as question time, written questions to government or committee hearings – to hold governments to account on SDGs implementation.
The committee also called on member States to involve parliamentarians and local and regional authority representatives in the SDGs implementation steering bodies and to include them in the High-Level Political Forum held every year.