"We still have a long way to go to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals contained in the UN’s 2030 Agenda," said PACE President Liliane Maury Pasquier, speaking at the opening of the 25th Lisbon Forum. “We must stay fully engaged to make the 2030 Agenda a success," she added, underlining the importance of tackling climate change, inequalities between countries, and between women and men, as well as all forms of discrimination, "to make sure that nobody is left behind".
The President recalled that national parliaments have a key role to play in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. "Parliaments are under an obligation to provide the necessary political impetus," she said, deeming their contribution "essential to transforming these goals into tangible and measurable national policies". Parliaments should integrate these objectives into their legislative work, as well as their budgetary and oversight functions, but should also raise awareness in society about the challenges of sustainable development by generating an inclusive public debate on these issues, she suggested.
In this context, “gender equality and the rights of the child are fundamental issues for both human rights and sustainable development," said the President, reaffirming her political support for the Council's five-year strategies on Equality between Women and Men (2018-2023) and on the Rights of the Child (2016-2021), "at a time when both women's rights and children’s rights are in retreat".
Speaking on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, 25 November, Mrs Maury Pasquier concluded by inviting participants in the Forum to support her #NotInMyParliament initiative, launched at the end of 2018 to sexism and harassment, as well as violence against women, in parliaments.