Ghulam Isaczai on the role of Parliament in the implementation of 2030 Agenda

Deputy PM and Chair of the NCCSD, Mr. Ali Ahmadov

Vice Speaker of the Parliament, Mr. Ziyafet Askerov

Honorable members of Parliament,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a pleasure to be here to speak on behalf of the United Nations about the role of Parliament in the implementation of 2030 Agenda. I would like to thank the NCCSD for organizing the discussion and the Mili Majlis for hosting today’s important event.

The NCCSD, despite its short life, has had considerable achievements in the promotion and nationalization of the SDGs agenda in Azerbaijan. Since its establishment, it has held several consultations with government, civil society, academia and now the parliament. In addition, it successfully submitted its first National Voluntary Report (VNR) to the HLPF in New York this year and has been closely working with the UN system to prioritize and nationalize the SDGs targets and indicators. The UN is very proud to be a close partner of the NCCSD in their efforts to promote the SDGs in Azerbaijan.

In Azerbaijan, we are not only witnessing high level of political commitment for the achievement of the SDGs but also active participation by all state institutions including the parliament. In September this year, the parliament in partnership with several United Nations agencies and the Euronest hosted the first conference on SDGs 3 and 5 on well-being and Gender equality.

We value our partnership with the Azerbaijan Milli Majlis and happy to provide it with whatever support it needs to adopt the SDGs in its activities. This year UNDP with support of NCCSD Secretariat translated the self-assessment toolkit for Parliamentarians in Azerbaijani language. The toolkit, produced by the Inter-Parliamentary Union and UNDP, provides parliaments with the framework to evaluate their readiness to engage on the SDGs. Also, I encourage the Parliament to take full use of the Parliamentary Handbook that was produced by UNDP, Islamic Development Bank and the Global Organization of the Parliamentarian Against Corruption.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

When the 2030 agenda was getting ready for adoption, many voices, including those of parliamentarians were heard and helped shape the development of the SDGs. It is therefore, incumbent upon parliaments around the world alongside other state institutions to play a central role towards achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Parliaments play an important roles in the localisation, implementation and monitoring of the SDGs. Parliamentarians, are close to the people and can serve as advocates, mobilisers and first-line ‘ambassadors’ for the SDGs. In representing those who elected them, and offering a platform for communication, parliaments can ensure an ongoing dialogue with civil society over the SDGs.

Parliaments are powerful agents of change and they drive this change by translating the SDGs into national laws, monitoring their implementation and ensuring the government is accountable to the people for national progress on the SDGs.

Parliaments can ensure that the process of developing a national development vision is inclusive and participatory. Parliament can also ensure that adequate financial resources are allocated to the achievement of the post- 2015 objectives and that sustainable development priorities are reflected in national and local budgets.

Around the world, parliaments have taken notable action to advance the SDGs. Let me provide a few examples:

  1. The Parliament of Kazakhstan adopted a statement committing itself to promotion of the SDGs in parliamentary affairs.
  2. The National Assembly of Pakistan established an SDG Task Force to promote debates, engage, and increase awareness of MPs on the SDGs.
  3. In Trinidad and Tobago, the Parliament established a new Joint Select Committee on the Environment and Sustainable Development.

We equally encourage the Milli Majlis of Azerbaijan to adopt a parliamentary statement in order to demonstrate its full ownership and commitment for the promotion of the SDGs in Azerbaijan.

We applaud our ongoing collaboration with the Milli Majlis on specific legislations, which will contribute to the attainment of the SDGs. The United Nations looks forward to working with Parliament in 2018 to review, amend and pass a number of important legislations   currently under Parliament’s consideration: Let me name a few:

  • The draft legislation on mandatory flour fortification essential to reduce anaemia especially amongst women and children.
  • Review of current legislation on inclusive education in order to build enabling environment to achieve the SDGs goals on quality Education for All.
  • The adoption of the new Law on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is important, as it would help to accelerate reforms in this field;
  • Adoption of the revised law on youth policy that will bring current legislation in line with best international practices.

Let me once again assure you that the United Nations stands ready to support Azerbaijan, including the Government, Parliament and its people in implementation of the 2030 Agenda, and I believe that regular discussions and exchange of ideas, as it happens today, will have a positive impact on this process.

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