Parliament's Role in Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals Handbook

07 May 2017
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This handbook has been developed for parliamentarians as a tool to promote parliamentary engagement on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

The SDGs were adopted, as an integral part of the ‘Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’, by all 193 Member States of the United Nations on 25 September 2015. Relying on lessons learned from the Millennium Development Goals (implemented from 2000-2015), the SDGs define global, long-term development objectives to establish more sustainable means of economic, environmental and social development in all countries. These new global goals, collectively referred to as Agenda 2030, came into force on 1 January 2016 and have a target date for achievement in 2030.

The SDGs were adopted unanimously by United Nations Member States and endorsed by the executive branch of the government of each country. If the goals are to be achieved in any given country, the country’s parliament must play a significant and informed role. The laws needed to create the legal framework for the SDGs will have to be scrutinized and adopted by the parliament. The annual state budget that allocates funding for SDG implementation will need to be passed by the parliament. The parliament must also monitor the implementation of the SDGs by the government to verify that it is appropriate in national and local contexts and parliamentarians must represent their constituents to promote citizen participation in the implementation of the SDGs.

The objective of this handbook is three-fold:

  • Further inform parliamentarians about the SDGs;
  • Share examples of how parliaments and parliamentarians can fulfill their roles in implementing the SDGs; and
  • Offer parliaments and parliamentarians a tool they can use to assess and improve their current capacity for engagement in the achievements of the SDGs.