Ms. Rosa Malango: Keynote address at Regional Seminar on the Sustainable Development Goals for the Parliaments of Sub-Saharan Africa

Mar 1, 2017

The Right Honourable Speaker of Parliament of Uganda, Rebecca Kadaga our host,

Right Honorable Speakers of Parliaments from the Sub-Saharan Africa,

The Inter Parliamentary Union Secretary General, Mr. Martin Chungong

Delegates and officials of the Inter Parliamentary Union

Honourable Members of Parliament,

Colleagues from the United Nations and the respective regional bodies like the African Development Bank and the African Forum and Network on Debt and Development,

Distinguished delegates,

___________

 

It gives me great pleasure to address this August Assembly of Honourable Members of Parliaments from all over Sub-Saharan Africa. Welcome to Uganda, the Pearl of Africa.

Your role as law makers is critical to the sustainable growth of this continent, because you legislate and also hold governments accountable.

You are the citizens’ eyes, ears and voice. And when you execute that mandate diligently, you build welfare and resilience of nations.

The United Nations is here to accompany you in this journey.

What is the Agenda 2030 about?

  1. Ladies and Gentlemen, in September 2015, world leaders gathered at the UN General Assembly under the presidency of Uganda’s Hon. Sam Kuteesa to launch an ambitious agenda for sustainable development, the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  2. This universal call of action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity resulted from an inclusive and people-centered process that involved; Governments, Parliaments, business owners, civil society and citizens.

Parliaments Role in the implementation of the SDGs

  1. Right Honourable Speakers and Honourable Members; the task at hand for us now is how to achieve these goals. We need to localise them, provide adequate funding and commit to implementing them as well as systematically tracking their progress.
  2. Honourable members, I would like to remind you that at the 128th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union in Ecuador delegates adopted the Quito Communiqué, which called for parliaments to play a central role in the implementation of the SDGs.
  3. This was followed by the Hanoi Declaration during the 130th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly in Vietnam which called on parliaments to translate the SDGs into enforceable actions at the national level by mainstreaming them into the deliberative processes of parliaments and ensuring that they are included in the Government budget processes.
  4. As representatives of the people – you are the key to ensuring that the SDGs reach the grassroots so that no one is left behind.
  5. I am glad to see that this seminar will focus on the achievement of Goal 16 – on peace, justice and strong institutions.  This is because without peace, stability, human rights and effective governance, based on the rule of law - we cannot hope for sustainable development.
  6. It is key for us to remember that the goals are interconnected – for example, a decision made in one government unit about where to construct a road could positively or negatively affect other areas such as access to hospitals and schools or economic opportunities such as markets.
  7. Therefore, every time a law is made, Parliamentarians can call attention to whether it is consistent with the SDGs, and move amendments if it is not. Parliamentary committees can also ensure that their scrutiny procedures hold Governments accountable for national progress on the SDGs.

Progress of SDGs in Uganda

Ladies and gentlemen, Uganda has received a lot of positive recognition for its efforts to localise and kick off implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The 17 SDGs have already been mainstreamed into the second National Development Plan (NDP II) by over 60%. Uganda is one of the first countries globally to achieve this. Allow me to highlight some other areas of the progress on the SDGs;

  1. Uganda held one of the first meetings on financing the goals where several ideas were shared on innovative approaches towards domestic resource mobilisation.  
  2. Civil Society is also leading a process of taking the goals to the people. In Uganda they have championed the Tondeka Mabega Campaign which translates to leaving no one behind.
  3. Uganda’s Government also has a Coordination Framework for the SDGs – the development of this framework was led by the Office of the Prime Minister with UN support. It clearly allocates roles and responsibilities of key government and non-government actors. The UN System will support this framework in areas such as advocacy, coordination, planning, financing and reporting on the Agenda.
  4. During the 2016 Democracy day celebrations, the Parliament of Uganda passed a resolution on the 2030 Global Agenda, committing to the effective implementation, monitoring and reporting on the progress of the Sustainable Development Goals. I would like also to applaud the Parliament of Uganda for following through on this declaration.

 

UNDP and the entire UN family remain committed to working with you Parliamentarians to deliver the in your countries.

I am confident that together we can make sure that our local values about humanity and the planet are recognised at a global level. After all the SDGs are about putting people and the planet first as we improve the quality of life for all.

Thank you for your kind attention and I wish you fruitful deliberations.