“Parliament is the one that actually reviews and passes law for the country. 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.”
Those were the words of Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Dr Jiko Luveni while opening a Fiji Multi Stakeholder Dialogue on Sustainable Development Goal 4 on Education.
“The Inter-Parliament Union 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.”
“Parliaments are at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals. As SDG 16 suggests, strong, transparent, accountable and inclusive institutions are key for the achievement of all of the goals. So this is why the Fiji Parliament needs to take an active part in the progressing of the SDGs,” Hon. Dr Luveni said.
The Speaker also outlined the activities of Parliament to mainstream the SDGs into its work such as legislative scrutiny, civic education and capacity-building for Members of Parliament and the secretariat, Speakers Debate on the SDGs and key development issues, Parliament Diary dedicated to the SDGs and a tool that is readily available to MPs and gender mainstreaming to ensure MPs work includes gender-based analysis as mandated through the Standing Orders.
“The SDGs are not simply goals of Governments, policymakers or of international organisations but are goals that affect all of us as individuals and communities; thus we need to take greater interest in them and express some ownership.”
“Thus I would therefore encourage more of these forums where we should not only be looking at SDG implementation and monitoring, but also get people like social workers, teachers, educators and ordinary citizens to understand what the SDGs are and the principles behind the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” Hon. Dr Luveni added.
High officials from the Ministry of Education, USP, UNDP, PIFS, development partners, selected CSOs and observers from New Zealand, Pacific Island countries namely Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Samoa and Solomon Islands were part of the dialogue.
The event was organised by the Fiji Council of Social Services (FCOSS) and the Asia South Pacific Association for Basic and Adult Education (ASPBAE).