Tuitubou Presents Ipu Regional Seminar Report

At the 136th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly held in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Minister for Youth and Sports, Hon. Laisenia Tuitubou presented a report on the IPU Regional Seminar that was held in Nadi on 16-18 Nov, 2016 on ‘Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals through a human rights perspective (for Parliaments of the Pacific region)’.

The meeting focused on the SDGs that were particularly relevant to the Pacific region, such as those on climate change, gender equality and social equity. Participants also examined international human rights norms and mechanisms, particularly the UN Human Rights Council, to help ensure that the implementation of the SDGs fully respects human rights.

Amongst others, the recommendations from members of Parliament from the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu were as follows:

  • Parliamentarians should work across party lines to build political will and implement the SDGs in their own countries.
  • Parliaments should discharge their functions to help translate the international SDGs into a national reality.
  • The national development strategy should be gender sensitive.
  • Parliaments should make sure that legislation supports the implementation of the national sustainable development strategy.
  • Parliaments should consider integrating the SDG agenda into established national strategies through cooperation between the legislature and the executive.
  • Each parliament should find effective ways to hold their government to account for the implementation of the national sustainable development strategy.
  • Budget allocations for the sustainable development strategy.
  • Considering the critical impact of climate change on the countries of the region, we call for the creation of specific parliamentary bodies to oversee this issue.

In implementing the SDGs, it is important to stay up to date on what is happening and where the agenda is heading. Therefore, Parliaments should be part of the international SDG network by participating in organisations that provide support on the SDG agenda such as the IPU and the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.