Meeting of the Inter-Parliamentary Union Preparatory Committee
Ladies and Gentlemen,
- It is my great pleasure to join you virtually for the first meeting of the Preparatory Committee of the Fifth World Conference of Speakers of Parliament.
Relationship between the UN and IPU
- The close cooperation between the IPU and the UN dates back to 1946 and has been strengthened over the past decades, including following the signing of the 2016 Cooperation Agreement.
- Today, the scope of our collaboration is remarkable and continues to widen. The IPU is a pillar of multilateralism and actively supports all the key UN priorities. The IPU works closely with UN Agencies to implement numerous joint activities on a wide range of issues: from human rights (with OHCHR), to child protection (with UNICEF) and HIV/AIDS (with UNAIDS). The IPU is also active in many other areas, including more recently to support the UN75 anniversary and the UN post-COVID-19 “building back better” agenda.
- The work of parliamentarians remains vital and unique: you are the bridge between the local, national, and international levels. As parliamentarians, you have the power to ensure the success of multilateral initiatives by integrating them into the national legislations. Therefore, your continued support in advancing the UN’s key priorities remains as important than ever.
Key priorities of the UN for 2021
Ladies and Gentlemen,
- Last month, UN Secretary-General Guterres outlined the following ten priorities for the Organization for 2021:
- To strengthen international cooperation and solidarity in the pandemic response, including ensuring available and affordable vaccines for all;
- To encourage an inclusive and sustainable economic recovery, with major investments in healthcare systems around the world;
- To ramp up efforts for biodiversity and climate, particularly by building a global coalition to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050;
- To tackle poverty and inequality, advance the human rights agenda;
- To make progress towards gender equality;
- To heal geopolitical rifts;
- To promote peace and security through a united Security Council;
- To reverse the erosion of the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime;
- To seize the opportunities of digital technologies while protecting against their growing dangers;
- To build a reinforced, networked and inclusive multilateral system to face the challenges ahead.
- As the world was rocked on its axis in 2020, the key objectives articulated by the Secretary-General offer a unique opportunity to put the world back on the right track through multilateralism and greater global solidarity.
- As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, an estimated 71 million people are expected to be pushed back into extreme poverty in 2020, the first rise in global poverty since 1998. In this context, redoubling efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 must remain our shared priority. This is all the more important as we strive to secure a sustainable and inclusive post COVID-19 recovery.
- The 2030 Agenda provides national parliaments the opportunity to continue playing a leading role in this major exercise of global governance. Parliaments can drive sustainable development by translating the SDGs into laws, monitoring the implementation and ensuring the accountability of their governments for progress towards achieving the SDGs by 2030.
- Also, the SDGs provide a robust framework around which parliaments can base their strategic plans in order to “build back better”. In this context, the self-assessment toolkit produced by the IPU and UNDP is a welcome step forward. This new tool will enable parliamentarians to identify good practices, gaps, opportunities and lessons learned in the context of the implementation of the SDGs.
Outcome of the UN75 Global Conversation
Ladies and Gentlemen,
- The global dialogue conducted last year to mark the 75th anniversary of the United Nations aimed at listening to the people’s priorities and expectations of international cooperation. Over a million people from all countries of the world engaged in surveys and dialogues to articulate solutions to address the numerous challenges we face.
- The results of the global dialogue are striking. People are thinking big – they are also expressing an intense desire for greater international cooperation and global solidarity.
- Analyzing the responses also shows that people believe that the climate and the environment will most affect humanity’s future. The other immediate priority of most respondents is to improve access to basic services: healthcare, safe water and sanitation, and education.
- The active engagement and support of parliamentarians across the world played an essential part in this important global dialogue. Parliamentarians actively contributed to the anniversary by holding numerous events, activities and conversations in your own countries and constituencies.
- Now is the time to respond to these aspirations and realize these aims. The closer we work together, the more likely we will succeed in “building back better” post-COVID-19 and transform the SDGs into reality.
- With its overall theme devoted to “Parliamentary leadership for more effective multilateralism that delivers peace and sustainable development for the people and planet”, the Fifth World Conference of Speakers of Parliament planned to be held in-person this summer will provide an ideal opportunity to bring together the views of parliamentarians from around the globe in order to translate this important Agenda into reality. Your contribution is crucial.
Thank you very much.