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‘Parliaments vital to to carry out sustainable development’

Saber Chowdhury, president of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), on Monday underlined the importance of the parliaments of all countries in the global efforts to carry out the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are expected to be adopted by world leaders next month.

“We are meeting here to ensure that promises our governments make are in fact kept,” Chowdhury said at the opening of the Fourth World Conference of Speakers of Parliament here. “Parliaments will be critical to the success of the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals,” Xinhua reported.

SDGs are expected to replace the Millennium Development Goals, a set of eight anti-poverty targets, by the end of this year as the guide of the global sustainable development efforts for the next 15 years.

Chowdhury described the SDGs as “a vision of a brave new world by 2030 that will leave no one behind based on its 17 goals and 169 targets.”

The ambitious new sustainable development agenda gives parliamentarians a unique opportunity to contribute to peace and sustainable development, Chowdhury added.

“This gives us a unique once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to try and steer the world to a safer and more sustainable course,” he said. “We as parliamentarians want to be deeply involved.”

A total of 138 speakers of national parliaments and 39 deputy speakers from some 140 countries, including India, are participating in the ongoing conference, which will end on September 2, at UN Headquarters in New York.

Meanwhile, Chowdhury told speakers present at the conference that their key role would involve coming up with policy solutions to make the SDGs appropriate to their national context.

“People and planet have to come first as never before,” he said.

“Parliaments will have to debate and come up with their own policy solutions,” he said, adding that there would be no “one-size-fits-all solution.”