Parliament’s role on SDGs highlighted in World Parliamentary Forum

Over the recent years, the Fijian Parliament has expanded its role and initiated activities to strengthen its support towards the promotion, implementation and monitoring of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

These were comments made by the Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relation Hon. Jone Usamate at the 2nd World Parliamentary Forum on Sustainable Development in Denpasar, Indonesia, which was attended by more than 200 Members of Parliament from over 40 nations.

“As legislators, we all have an essential role in representing our citizens, enacting laws and adopting budgets as well as ensuring accountability of the effectiveness for its action, including its capacity to implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”

“In 2016, the Fijian Parliament, through UNDP’s Fiji Parliament Support Project and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), has undertaken initiatives to promote and ensure the progress of the implementation of the SDGs.”

“This included, amongst other activities, capacity building exercises for Members to strengthen their role of oversight of the Executive in the implementation of the goals, development of a gender analysis toolkit and the promotion of the SDGs with the public through the organisation of ‘Speakers Debates’,” Hon. Usamate said.

The gender analysis  toolkit is a practical guide for Members of Parliament on how to scrutinize legislation from a gender perspective and state of preparedness for engagement with the SDGs.

“The self-assessment exercise provides a good opportunity for the Parliament to review this engagement, identify gaps or challenges and identify prospects for strengthening its commitment to the 2030 Agenda.”

“In 2017, UNDP, GOPAC and the Islamic Bank published a manual for Members and Parliamentary secretariat staff on ‘Parliament’s role in implementing the SDGs’. It introduces the Agenda 2030 and lists good practices and tools from around the world that can be adapted as needed, depending on the national context.”

In November 2017, the Fijian Government also launched the National Development Plan (NDP) with a vision of “Transforming Fiji”, which maps out the way forward for Fiji and all Fijians to realise its full potential as a nation.

“For the first time, Fiji has both a 20-Year Development Plan (2017-2036) and a comprehensive 5-Year Development Plan (2017-2021). These plans work together, as the 5-Year Development Plan provides a detailed action agenda with specific targets and policies that are aligned to the long-term transformational 20-Year Development Plan.”

“The NDP is aligned with global commitments including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Consistent with the goal of the Paris Agreement to achieve climate neutrality and a low-emission world – to develop a 2050 Pathway to decarbonise the Fijian economy,” Hon. Usamate added.

The two-day Forum was officially opened yesterday by the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Indonesia, Hon Bambang Soesatyo.

Hon. Usamate was accompanied by the Assistant Minister for Agriculture, Hon. Viam Pillay.