The Parliament of Fiji in conjunction with the Inter-Parliamentary Union and UNDP organised a workshop for some Members of Parliament (MPs) today in a bid to further enhance their knowledge on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
While delivering her opening remarks at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva, Speaker Hon. Dr Jiko Luveni told the MPs that the engagement with the SDGs was an initiative that began in early 2016.
“This, as our Parliament recognised the importance of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development not simply as an international consensus, but a move that has real and practical relevance for the development of our country and improvement of life for all Fijians,” Hon. Dr Luveni said.
“The SDGs are not simply Goals of governments, policy-makers or international organisations, but are Goals that affect us all as individuals and communities thus, we need to take greater interest in them and express some ownership.”
Hon. Dr Luveni added that Parliament should be a key player in this endeavour.
“The SDGs and targets require action by governments and stakeholders which often require legislative and policy reform and Parliament is a key institution in these processes because it actually reviews and passes laws for the country,” she said.
“The IPU notes that to be successful, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development requires engaged and committed parliaments in order to enable governments to act, while holding them accountable to their commitments.
“It adds that Parliaments are at the heart of the SDGs. As SDG 16 suggests, strong, transparent, accountable and inclusive institutions are key for the achievement of all of the goals. This is why the Fiji Parliament needs to take an active part in the progressing of the SDGs.”
Also delivering his keynote address at the workshop, Minister for Agriculture, Rural & Maritime Development and National Disaster Management, Hon. Inia Seruiratu said; “The SDGs represent a universal, ambitious, sustainable development agenda that requires immediate action and long-term engagement from all state actors and segments of society”.
Meanwhile, some Parliament staff were also part of the workshop.