Montag, 15.07.2019 20:28 Uhr

The Role of Parliaments in Sustainable Development

Verantwortlicher Autor: Carlo Marino Rome/Luxembourg , 07.07.2019, 22:11 Uhr
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Rome/Luxembourg [ENA] High-level officials addressed the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly on 7th July , urging effective multilateralism and better alignment of regional organizations in advancing sustainable development. The OSCE PA is meeting in Luxembourg for its 28th Annual Session under the theme “Advancing Sustainable Development to Promote Security: The Role of Parliaments.”  Parliamentarians have an important role to play including by

increasing funding to schools and boosting the participation of women in local governments. Speeches by the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, the OSCE Secretary General and President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) emphasized the important role that parliamentarians play in implementing international commitments, including those found in the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals. OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Slovak Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak linked the approach of the UN’s SDGs to the comprehensive security model developed by the OSCE, arguing that the 1975 Helsinki Final Act laid the groundwork for the sustainable development agenda.

“Today, the OSCE through its field operations, autonomous institutions and secretariat – continues to be active in both stable countries and conflict settings. It has its own expertise, its own prevention toolbox, its own local knowledge,” Miroslav Lajcak said. “And, it can, I believe, uniquely contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.” “You are the link between the OSCE and the people it serves,” Lajcak said. “You inform and inspire the work of our Organization.”  OSCE Secretary General Thomas Greminger urged greater momentum on the sustainable development agenda, including by systematically mapping SDG-related activities in OSCE countries.

Parliamentarians can contribute in a concrete way to this process by passing laws, allocating financial resources and holding governments to account, as well as by raising awareness and exercising leadership, he said. “I see your manifest interest in today’s topic as encouragement to conduct a more systematic assessment of how the OSCE contributes to SDG implementation,” Greminger said. “So let us build further momentum on this issue.” The Secretary General discussed other main priorities of the OSCE, including the crisis in and around Ukraine, cyber security and climate change. His biggest challenge as Secretary General is building a stronger sense of common purpose among participating States, he said.

The OSCE has the potential to be the forum for meaningful diplomatic dialogue between the East and the West, Greminger noted, urging support from the PA in this regard. PACE President Liliane Maury Pasquier discussed issues of common concern between the OSCE and Council of Europe, noting that both organizations are based on values found in the European Convention on Human Rights and the Helsinki Final Act and both are dedicated to establishing the rule of law.

In an age in which multilateralism is increasingly challenged, she said, we should not underestimate the importance of the role that the assemblies of the Council of Europe and OSCE play in promoting international norms and sustainable development. Implementing SDGs is a multi-stakeholder process, she pointed out, in which parliamentarians must play a central role. In plenary, OSCE PA Members agreed to a resolution authored by Belgian parliamentarian Nahima Lanjri, “Effective Migration Governance Based on Promoting Inclusive Societies and Dignified Returns,” which urges OSCE countries to adopt humane return policies.

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