Ulaanbaatar, 28 May 2019
Mr. Deputy Speaker,
Ladies and gentlemen,
We come at the closing of the Regional Seminar on the SDGs for Asia-Pacific Parliaments. I am pleased that we had very lively debates all the way.
It was indeed two days of intense work on fundamental issues.
Development, gender equality, social equity, good governance, climate change and health are all issues on which we all, as parliamentarians have strong views and a strong commitment. It was very nice for me to see your commitment and I hope that you will be able to mainstream these issues into your work when you go back home.
I invite you now to move from words to action, let’s walk the talk! I know most of you are strongly engaged in your respective parliaments and countries on the SDGs. I invite you to step up the efforts.
First and foremost, you have just adopted a very good and action-oriented outcome document which I very much hope will help you and your colleagues in your future work on the SDGs.
I would like to highlight the following actions that I think are key to advancing the work on SDGs:
• First, take the lead in your parliament on the SDGs. Ask how the parliament includes the SDGs in its work and if the approach is effective. Advocate for the use of the IPU/UNDP Self-Assessment Toolkit.
• Second, be the champion for those left behind, a defender of their rights in the media, in parliament and in your constituency.
• Third, call for and take part in the review of your country’s legal framework to empty it from any discriminatory legal provision. Removing barriers is key to achieving sustainable development for all.
• Fourth, include a gender equality perspective in all your work – on any topic. Ask the question, how this will impact women and men differently?
• Fifth, use your oversight power, hold government to account on development plans, laws and policies, on budgets, on programmes and projects.
• And finally, create coalition, stir action and be the force of change and transformation among multiple stakeholders for sustainable development.
As you make plans to carry out a SDG self-assessment in your parliament, I can assure you of IPU’s readiness to stand by you in this effort.
Last but not least, let us work together. Each and everyone of us becomes stronger with the cooperation with others. Work together in your region and let us work together at the global level through the IPU.
I look forward to this and to more parliamentary cooperation and action for the SDGs.