The Parliamentarian 2020: Issue Three - United Nations at 75: The Commonwealth and the UN

Page 14

VIEW FROM THE CPA SECRETARY-GENERAL

THE UN’S SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS ARE AT THE HEART OF THE COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY ASSOCIATION'S MISSION View from the CPA Secretary-General A shared commitment to multilateralism lies at the In 2015, the United Nations adopted the heart of the CPA’s mission. I am delighted to join the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Association as the Secretary-General at this critical the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and challenging time and I look forward to working providing a comprehensive and demanding set with Parliamentarians across the Commonwealth of targets to tackle poverty, inequality and climate in my new role. I am grateful to the members of the change. UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, CPA Executive Committee for taking part in our has called for a ‘Decade of Action’ to deliver first ever virtual meeting in August 2020. It proved the SDGs by 2030. The global pandemic and its very successful with a high level of participation by impact will make the job even harder, but I hope Parliamentarians from across the Commonwealth. that this will serve to strengthen our resolve. The COVID-19 global pandemic has had a In my previous role as Chair of the United devastating impact on families and communities Mr Stephen Twigg Kingdom’s House of Commons International throughout the world. Our thoughts are with all Secretary-General of the Development Committee, we looked at the role those who have lost loved ones as well as others Commonwealth Parliamentary of Parliaments in the implementation of the SDGs. who are living with or recovering from the virus. Association As part of this work we were keen to learn from Rightly, we applaud the key workers whose hard international best practice. One of the countries work and dedication have saved and sustained so many people’s which impressed us most was Uganda, including the important lives. Applause, however, is not enough. Our shared challenge is to work of the Uganda Parliamentary Forum on the Sustainable ensure that ‘Build Back Better’ is not an empty slogan but a genuine Development Goals. I hope we can do more to learn from each call to action. other in the months and years ahead so that Parliamentarians across The United Nations was born at the end of the Second World the Commonwealth can be effective champions of the SDGs. War with ambitious goals to achieve peace, uphold international law SDG5 is a commitment to “achieve gender equality and and defend human rights. As we mark the UN’s 75th anniversary, we empower all women and girls” and is an important tool for have an opportunity and a responsibility to reaffirm our support for Parliamentarians to support them in ensuring a gender perspective multilateralism. Parliaments and Parliamentarians have a crucial part in their work. The Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) to play as we seek to learn lessons from the past 75 years to help network provides an invaluable platform reflecting the CPA’s inform us in shaping policies for the years to come. commitment to gender equality. Under the leadership of the CWP Chairperson, Hon. Shandana Gulzar Khan, MNA (Pakistan), we aim to strengthen our work on gender through international partnerships with UN Women and others. Of course, it is incumbent “The United Nations was born at the end on all Parliamentarians to promote SDG5 - both in their work on of the Second World War with ambitious policy matters and in their organisational practices. Empowering goals to achieve peace, uphold international women and girls is both a crucial goal in itself and is essential to the successful delivery of other Sustainable Development Goals law and defend human rights. As we mark including tackling extreme poverty (Goal One), promoting access to high quality education for all (Goal Four) and achieving peace, the UN’s 75th anniversary, we have an justice and strong institutions (Goal 16). opportunity and a responsibility to reaffirm SDG16 includes a commitment to “build effective, accountable our support for multilateralism. Parliaments and inclusive institutions at all levels.” This chimes well with the core mission of the CPA as we seek to strengthen the important and Parliamentarians have a crucial part to role of Parliaments and Parliamentarians. In particular, the CPA’s Recommended Benchmarks for play as we seek to learn lessons from the Democratic Legislatures have proved themselves a vitally past 75 years to help inform us in shaping important tool (www.cpahq.org/cpahq/benchmarks). In July 2020, I was delighted to attend the first ever virtual CPA Post-Election policies for the years to come.” 204 | The Parliamentarian | 2020: Issue Three | 100 years of publishing 1920-2020


Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.