IPU, UNDP Report Showcases Parliamentary Oversight of SDG Implementation
UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe
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The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognizes the role of parliaments in holding government accountable for commitments to eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable development.

The ‘Global Parliamentary Report 2017’ focuses on the role of parliaments in providing oversight and holding governments accountable, including on the SDGs.

The report features examples and lessons learned, such as how IPU worked with the Fiji parliament to mainstream the SDGs.

15 October 2017: The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) have released the second ‘Global Parliamentary Report.’ The report highlights the role of parliaments around the world in contributing to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

‘Global Parliamentary Report 2017’ focuses on parliament’s role in providing oversight of government and parliament’s power to hold government to account and makes recommendations for strengthening oversight. Over 150 parliaments around the world contributed to the report, which shares examples and lessons learned on how parliaments and Members of Parliament (MPs) carry out oversight functions in their countries.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognizes the role of parliaments in holding government accountable for commitments to eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable development. According to the report, this mandate offers an opportunity for parliaments and MPs to increase their engagement in national development and monitoring progress towards the SDGs, therefore ensuring better development outcomes for their citizens. The report provides a list of illustrative questions for assessing parliamentary involvement with the SDGs, ranging from the extent of parliamentary review and debate on documents related to national SDG implementation to parliaments’ ability to ensure government follow-up on recommendations on SDG implementation, such as from the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). Parliaments can also advance the SDGs by translating the SDGs into enforceable national laws and monitoring implementation of these laws, among other actions.

The report underscores the role of increased policy coherence, arguing it is not “sufficient simply to parcel out each Goal to a specific ministry or parliamentary committee.”

On policy coherence, the report calls for promoting increased policy coherence, arguing that it is not “sufficient simply to parcel out each Goal to a specific ministry or parliamentary committee, given that the Goals are all interlinked in one way or another.” Within this context, the report recommends that parliaments use a coordinated approach to sectoral oversight while ensuring that SDG oversight as a whole is monitored and communicated.

The report shares how IPU worked with the Fiji parliament to mainstream the SDGs. For example, an IPU assessment of the Fiji parliament recommended that each standing committee conduct an annual review of government outcomes in each portfolio area against the SDGs and relevant targets, with a group of committee chairs and deputy chairs established to ensure a coordinated approach to oversight. The report further showcases examples of parliamentary engagement with the SDGs in Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Trinidad and Tobago and Zambia.

In addition to parliaments’ role in providing oversight on the SDGs as a whole, SDG 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions) includes a number of targets relevant to parliaments, including targets on promoting the rule of law (target 16.4), reducing corruption and bribery (target 16.5), developing effective, accountable and transparent institutions (target 16.6), and ensuring responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels (target 16.7).

UNDP works in over 70 countries to strengthen parliaments to make them fit for purpose in delivering the 2030 Agenda. UNDP will implement the lessons learned from the report in its parliamentary strengthening activities. UNDP and IPU launched the report at the IPU’s 137th Assembly, which is taking place in St. Petersburg, the Russian Federation. [UNDP Press Release] [IPU Report Webpage] [UNDP Report Webpage]

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