Following are UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohamed’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, to the Meeting of the First Joint Parliamentary Committee for the 2030 Agenda, in Madrid today:
I am pleased to join you today. I commend Spain’s Congress of Deputies and its Senate for coming together to create this Joint Parliamentary Committee for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Your high-level commitment to the 2030 Agenda is a great testament to the importance that all political elements in Spain attach to the Sustainable Development Goals.
You can play a critical role in ensuring that progress is made on the 2030 Agenda, particularly on monitoring process, turning ideas into action and laws, and ensuring that the Agenda is financed and reaches the most local of levels throughout Spain.
Your work will further strengthen Spain’s role as a committed partner of the United Nations and as a strong supporter of global efforts to end poverty, ensure peace and stability, promote equality, especially gender equality, and tackle climate change and environmental risks.
The 2030 Agenda is bold in its vision and comprehensive in its scope. It promises to leave no person and no country behind. It acknowledges the “essential role of national parliaments through their enactment of legislation and adoption of budgets, and their role in ensuring accountability for the effective implementation of our commitments”.
Parliaments that are representative, transparent, accountable and accessible, and that protect human rights and civic space, tackle inequality and advance social justice for all, as outlined in Goal 16, are primary actors in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
Strong, effective partnerships between parliamentarians and the executive branch, and with regional and local levels of government, are vital to enable inclusive discussions around how to accomplish the Sustainable Development Goals, and in the development and passage of new laws that make implementation possible.
As parliamentarians, you speak for your constituents, and ensure outlets for constituents to speak for themselves. As legislators, you steer national policies and laws with a vision informed by how communities can truly benefit from the 2030 Agenda. And, you can put in place mechanisms to engage all stakeholders, including by using information and communications technology.
Importantly, the influence of Parliaments goes far beyond national borders. By sharing Spain’s experiences and best practices with other parliamentarians, through fora such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union and other means, you are key to ensuring improved implementation of the 2030 Agenda around the world.
Through your leadership, representation, facilitation and engagement, we can ensure that the Sustainable Development Goals are truly owned by the people, and that no one is left behind.
I would like to thank Spain for its leadership by example by taking forward-thinking steps toward implementing the 2030 Agenda, as outlined in its 2018 Voluntary National Review Report.
Spain has furthered Goal 16 in developing effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels and ensured responsive, representative and inclusive decision-making. Spain has put the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals at the centre of government action and it has aligned public policies and priorities with the Sustainable Development Goals.
Spain is one of the top 10 performers at the global level in e-government and has a very high e-participation index. Its commitment to multilateralism and a rules-based world order, supported by a modern and prosperous economy, offers a model for our times.
Spain’s cooperation to find global solutions to many global challenges, including as a member of the European Union, is of key importance for the United Nations.
On this point, thank you for being the first donor to commit to the new Joint Fund for the 2030 Agenda. The creation of this new Fund is a key element in the reform of the United Nations Development System to support improved implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
As Spain knows from its own efforts, achieving the 2030 Agenda and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda will demand a profound change in both policymaking and sustainable development financing. This will be especially challenging for the developing world, but certainly achievable.
It will be necessary for Governments and other stakeholders to identify and trigger those policy levers that can contribute to a smart and accelerated achievement of the integrated Sustainable Development Goal agenda at national level. At the same time, to meet the investment needs of the Sustainable Development Goals, the global community needs to move the discussion from “billions” in official development assistance (ODA) to the “trillions” in investments of all kinds: public and private, national and international.
The Joint Fund will support Member States’ efforts to accelerate progress. It will provide access to the combined capacity and expertise of the United Nations development system and make it available in a streamlined and integrated manner to countries to carry this agenda forward.
Let me conclude by encouraging this First Joint Parliamentary Committee to adopt ambitious new measures to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, which can be presented at the Sustainable Development Goal Summit in September.
I ask you to socialize the 2030 Agenda in your spheres of influence and ensure that your constituents’ perspectives on the Sustainable Development Goals are heard and embedded in your policies. I encourage you to share Spain’s good practices in working with parliamentarians to implement the 2030 Agenda.
Thank you for your engagement and commitment.