Members of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) have committed to taking the necessary action to carry forward proposed new sustainable development goals (SDGs) due to be adopted later this year. The success of the SDGs would transform the world and the lives of its people.
Parliaments from across the world reaffirmed their vision of sustainable development based on human rights, poverty eradication, peace and security in the Hanoi Declaration, adopted at the conclusion of the five-day 132nd IPU Assembly in the Vietnamese capital.
Supporting an ambitious set of 17 goals, IPU Members committed to translating them into enforceable domestic laws, to hold governments to account, and pledged to align budgets with national sustainable development plans.
The Hanoi Declaration, the result of a debate on The Sustainable Development Goals: Turning Words into Action, highlighted the need for institutions such as parliaments, and decision-making processes to be strengthened so they are fit for purpose in realizing the new SDGs.
In a decision-laden 132nd Assembly hosted by the Vietnamese National Assembly, IPU adopted several resolutions that could impact on global peace and security.
National parliaments are being called to implement international treaties and resolutions on water management and the human right to water and sanitation through laws and budget allocations.
With water scarcity already affecting one in every three people on the planet and in the absence of effective management of this critical resource, two thirds of the world’s population will be facing water shortages by 2025. Urbanization, population growth, climate change and environmental degradation are just some of the many factors putting enormous stress on water supplies around the world.
The IPU resolution calls on parliaments to advocate a dedicated and comprehensive water and sanitation goal in the new SDGs as access to clean water and sanitation remains part of the “unfinished business” of the Millennium Development Goals. Nearly 750 million people lack access to cleaner water and 2.5 billion are without improved sanitation.
Effective water governance is also required to make sure conflicts between communities and States are avoided.
IPU Members also identified a comprehensive series of measures to counter the growing threat of cyber warfare to peace and global security, whilst acknowledging the need to strike a balance between security concerns and the respect for privacy and e-development priorities.
Among actions to be taken was for States to ensure the law of armed conflict applied to cyber warfare; for parliaments to work with government branches and civil society to develop a cyber security strategy and for national laws and regulations to ensure cyber technology is not used to foment international conflict or provide perpetrators with immunity and safe haven. The resolution also suggested defining an international convention that would provide a unified position on preventing cyber warfare.
In a final resolution adopted by the 132nd Assembly on international law on national sovereignty, non-intervention in the internal affairs of States and human rights, IPU Members reaffirmed a commitment to democracy and an equitable international order based on the rule of law.
Reiterating respect for the territorial integrity and political independence of sovereign States, the IPU resolution urged States to fulfil their obligations to promote, protect and safeguard human rights without discrimination.
Amongst other key outcomes during the Assembly was the decision to carry out a planned fact-finding parliamentary mission to Syria in the coming three months. An exploratory visit by IPU Secretary General Martin Chungong took place in January this year.
Sixty-six parliaments and organizations also formally endorsed the Common Principles of Support to Parliament at a ceremony during the Assembly. The Common Principles aim to improve the quality of the support available to parliaments through better coordination, planning and design of parliamentary development programmes.