Environmental auditing creates premise for sustainable development goals hinh anh 1Deputy Auditor General Ha Thi My Dung talks to the media on the Hanoi Declaration. (Photo: VietnamPlus)
Hanoi (VNA) - After three years of implementing the Hanoi Declaration adopted by the Asian Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (ASOSAI), the document has proved effective in both stepping up the implementation of sustainable development goals (SGDs) and tackling global environmental challenges.

The statement was made by Deputy Auditor General of the State Audit Office of Vietnam (SAV) Ha Thi My Dung during an interview with press agencies on the threshold of the 15th ASOSAI Assembly held online from September 6-9.

The Hanoi Declaration was endorsed by the 14th ASOSAI Assembly, hosted by Vietnam in 2018, with the theme “Environmental Audit for Sustainable Growth".

The declaration has become an important part of ASOSAI's strategic vision for development, with the aim of realising the sustainable development goals of the United Nations.

Over the past time, ASOSAI has continuously played an active role in the activities of the international audit community through the ASOSAI Working Group on Environmental Auditing (WGEA) and the ASOSAI Capacity Development Committee (CDC). Specifically, the ASOSAI WGEA has actively contributed to the sharing of knowledge and experience, encouraged the implementation of auditing cooperation among SAIs, and conducted surveys on demand for environmental auditing of SAIs, through the Work Plan 2020-2022.

In addition, SAIs have proactively applied science and information technology in environmental audit activities, such as increasing the use of global positioning system (GIS) and remote sensing technology to assess the impact of mining activities, the use of remote sensing data to study land use activities; and the use of drones to calculate the scope and volume of sand mining.

An important milestone of ASOSAI during the 2018-2021 term was the establishment of a Task Force to implement sustainable development goals at the 54th ASOSAI Governing Board in July 2019 in Kuwait. The 15th ASOSAI Assembly approved this task force to prove the willingness of ASOSAI to address urgent global issues.

During 2020-2022, ASOSAI has been cooperating with the Knowledge Sharing Committee of INTOSAI (International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions) on a cooperative audit programme relating to public healthcare systems, with the participation of 26 Asian nations and three Pacific nations.

The results of the collaborative audit are expected to contribute to the sustainability of the national public health system through recommending INTOSAI's international audit standards on government efforts to strengthen the capacity of early warning, risk reduction and national and global health risk management.

Assessing the effects of the Hanoi Declaration, Dung said the achievements of the ASOSAI Working Group have proven that ASOSAI is a strong model for the region.

The adherence to the recommendations of the Hanoi Declaration of ASOSAI has shown just how serious the region is about common challenges, particularly in environmental auditing and sustainable development, which is a top priority of many nations.

Environmental and sustainable development auditing has proved a structured approach to help shape responses.

Firstly, it has enabled governments to enact stronger measures to protect the environment, as well as raising awareness in dealing with related issues.

Secondly, it has enabled the establishment of long-term mechanisms and allowed changes in the current legal, and future policy, framework.

Thirdly, it has assessed the suitability of government programmes and projects from a sustainable development perspective.

Fourthly, it has adjusted the approach from argumentative auditing to focusing on auditing capabilities for policymaking, to help implement policy goals.

Fifthly, these audit programmes allow greater operational efficiency through knowledge sharing, helping to cope with future challenges.

The content of the Hanoi Declaration on environmental audit and implementation of the SDGs will always be inherited and developed as a priority pillar in ASOSAI’s Strategic Plan and important documents, most recently the ASEAN Strategic Plan for 2022-2027 and the Bangkok Declaration, Dung affirmed.

The ASOSAI Strategic Plan for 2022-2027 will continue affirming the importance of implementing the SDGs and promoting SAIs’ efforts in achieving the SDGs.

In addition, the goal of implementing the SDGs was once again inherited and developed in the Bangkok Declaration drafted by SAI Thailand, ASOSAI Chair for the 2021-2024 term, which states that the Hanoi Declaration affirmed the benefits, efforts and contributions of ASOSAI to the implementation of sustainable development goals, helping to promote knowledge sharing and capacity development in the ASOSAI community in the field of environmental auditing for sustainable development./.