Overview of the conference (Photo: VNA)

Da Nang (VNA) – A conference was held in the central city of Da Nang on December 17 to introduce a set of tools to help parliaments self-evaluate their efficiency and share international experience in the implementation of sustainable development goals (SDG).

Addressing the event, Alex Read, an expert from the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), highlighted the role of the Vietnamese National Assembly (NA) in the implementation of SDGs.

He said that the tools are designed for parliamentarians to assess the reality, opportunities, and lessons of SDGs towards helping them institutionalise new agendas and integrate SDGs into the law-making process.

The tools are not binding and are made to suit all parliaments, regardless of political system and development level, said Read.

Meanwhile, Acting Representative of the UN Development Programme in Vietnam Lesley Miller said that in Vietnam, ethnic minority groups, people with disabilities and those living in areas frequently affected by natural disasters, floods, and salinity – especially the elderly, women, and children – are vulnerable people in the community who are in need of greater attention.

Lauding Vietnam’s efforts in implementing SDGs, Miller noted that so far, Vietnam has issued many policies to support vulnerable groups, including the approval of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2015 and a project launched last year to support gender equality activities in ethnic minority regions for the 2018-2025 period.

However, Vietnam’s policies have yet to fully combat inequality, as 32 percent of children with from minor disabilities and 90 percent of those with major disabilities are either unable to access schooling or have dropped out of school.

Only a quarter of the country’s workforce has access to health insurance, she said, holding that this is a great challenge for Vietnam as its budget for SDG implementation is modest.

According to Miller, Vietnam is not alone as many developing countries have faced similar difficulties in realising SDGs. Thus, it is necessary to strengthen the capacity of parliamentarians and the supervisory role of the NA over the implementation of the goals at national level.

At the same time, public investment should be allocated equally, she said, adding that the NA should pay more attention to vulnerable and disadvantaged groups when considering State budget allocation.

Sharing the experience of Sri Lanka in the field, Alex Read cited a number of measures that the country’s parliament has applied, including raising public awareness, approving a bill on sustainable development, mobilising financial resources from society, and strengthening connectivity among governmental agencies and social organisations towards implementing SDGs. –VNA