The Parliament can play a significant role in supporting and monitoring implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Also known as the global goals, the SDGs are an opportunity for the Parliamentarians to demonstrate their commitment to improving people’s lives and health of the planet on which all human existence depends.
Led by the Honorable Speaker of the National Assembly of Bhutan, Lyonpo Wangchuk Namgyel, the Chairpersons and Deputy Chairpersons of the Parliamentary Standing Committees of both the Houses of Parliament attended the SDG Self-Assessment Workshop for Members of Parliament. The workshop, held from 6-9 April, was led by the Parliament of Bhutan in partnership with UNDP and UNICEF.
The assessment is was done using the Parliaments and the Sustainable Development Goals- a self-assessment toolkit developed jointly by UNDP and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). The toolkit provides national parliaments with a framework to evaluate their readiness to engage on the SDGs. It helps Parliamentarians identify good practices, opportunities and lessons learned on how to effectively institutionalize the SGDs and mainstream them into legislative process.
“The attainment of Agenda 2030 in a rapidly shrinking fiscal space worsened by the COVID-19 crisis requires a well-informed Parliament that understands data and interconnectedness of everything we do,” said UNDP Resident Representative Azusa Kubota.
“The role of the Parliament in the implementation of the SDGs has become ever more important in the face of COVID-19 crisis. The legislature can help the Executive not only to stay on track, but also to optimize limited resources to leverage emerging opportunities, while protecting the interests of the most vulnerable. The COVID crisis presents a once-in-generation opportunity to do things right and differently.”
The Members of Parliament has come up with an action plan to mainstream SDGs and GNH advocacy, monitoring and oversight into legislative, oversight, representation, and budget functions. The assessment and follow up actions will support Parliamentary Standing Committees in using the SDG and GNH indicators to track progress towards the SDGs and 12th FYP targets and National Key Results Area.
The workshop was facilitated by national experts as well as International Experts including virtually from UNDP Bangkok Regional Hub. It included sessions on the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on SDGs implementation in Bhutan, Parliament’s functionality in times of pandemics, digital readiness of the Parliament, and child-friendly local governance and SDGs.