National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan addresses the conference in Da Nang city on December 17 (Photo: VNA)

Da Nang (VNA) – A conference highlighting parliaments’ role in realising the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was opened in Da Nang city on December 17 by the Vietnamese National Assembly (NA), the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP).

Addressing the two-day event, NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan stressed that the 2030 Agenda features 17 SDGs and 169 targets, including those on poverty reduction, ensuring health care, education and security, and building peaceful and inclusive societies. They show all countries’ determination to create a better future for the people worldwide so that they can live in a cooperative, peaceful and prosperous environment, she added.

The SDGs are both the targets and opportunities for lawmakers to demonstrate their commitments to improving people’s lives and protecting the planet. To achieve them, the participation of the NA, parliamentarians and members of all-level People’s Councils on whom the people entrust their aspirations and power is critically important, especially in perfecting legal frameworks and supervising the implementation and allocation of budget for activities to realise the SDGs, the NA leader noted.

She said for more than 15 years, since Vietnam began to carry out the Millennium Development Goals – the foundation of the SDGs, its parliament has built and fine-tuned important legal frameworks for the sake of sustainable development, including more than 300 laws and the 2013 Constitution.

Through bilateral and multilateral diplomatic activities, Vietnamese parliamentarians have exchanged experience in relevant fields, thus reflecting the NA’s active role in realising the SDGs.

The law-making body has also paid attention to improving public awareness of the SDGs and turn them into national goals in the long run, thereby mobilising resources to and people’s engagement in this work, Ngan added.

The Chairwoman said the Vietnamese NA highly values the coordination between the IPU and the UNDP in developing a self-assessment toolkit for parliaments in terms of the SDGs implementation.

At the conference, IPU Secretary General Martin Chungong applauded the Vietnamese NA’s efforts to achieve the SDGs. He stressed Vietnam is the first Asian-Pacific nation to have held a meeting on this issue, expressing his belief that with the Vietnamese parliament’s cooperation, fruitful outcomes will be attained in the coming time.

The official also affirmed the IPU’s pledge to assist its member parliaments, including the Vietnamese NA, in fulfilling the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Meanwhile, UN Resident Coordinator and head of UN representative agencies in Vietnam Kamal Malhotra highlighted the global priorities for sustainable development, noting that it is necessary to have international collective actions with the participation of the entire governments and societies.

He also voiced his delight that Vietnam has made strong commitments to translating the SDGs into action plans, highlighting that these activities have been warmly welcomed by the international community.

Underlining parliaments’ role in promulgating laws, approving budget and ensuring the fruitful implementation of the commitments, the UN official said the engagement of parliaments is a strong driving force towards the achievement of the SDGs by 2030.

At the conference, IPU Secretary General Martin Chungong presented the Vietnamese version of the SDGs self-assessment toolkit for parliaments to NA Chairwoman Ngan. –VNA