National Assembly Spearheading Localizing SDGs

Jul 19, 2017

The SDGs are intended to focus and coordinate national policies towards a common vision for humanity. Parliaments need to engage in the implementation and oversight of the entire SDG framework, but they also need to pay special attention to their own institutional development in line with the Targets of Goal 16, namely:

Target 16.6: Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels.

Target 16.7: Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels.

The National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia is spearheding translation of this global framework into actionable national policies that will require a concerted effort and monitoring the Government commitments.

The National Assembly, through its cross-party caucuses such as GOPAC Chapter Serbia (Global Organisation of Parliamentarians against Corruption), whose founding and work is supported by the UNDP and SDC (Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation) Project, endorsed SDGs in its Action Plan. Namely, the Chair of the Serbian Chapter, MP Dubravka Filipovski, forsaw participation of the Chapter in the Regional IPU (Interparliamentary Union) Parliamentary Conference on SDGs supported by the UNDP/SDC Project in Belgrade in 2018. MP Milorad Mijatovic, IPU Coordinator and GOPAC member announced a public hearing in the National Assembly on SDGs. Moreover, Deputy Speaker, Gordana Comic, called for the Government to delegate a coordinator and start with the implementation of SDGs and proposed a meeting with ministries aimed at forming SDGs Units.

The UNDP/SDC Project translated the IPU and UNDP self-assessment toolkit for MPs and will organise a workshop on the toolkit in co-ordination with the IPU so as to advance engagement with the SDGs and effectively institutionalize the Agenda into the legislative process.

The coming National Assembly Conference on SDGs and Parliaments and the Self-Assessment toolkit resulted from the third Regional Seminar on the SDGs in the Hungarian Parliament organised by the Assembly of Hungary and the IPU. The Project was invited to present its results on behalf of the UNDP Regional Hub. The main point of discussion was SDG 16. The seminar discussed how parliaments could mainstream and institutionalise the global goals so as to capture synergies and build coherence at the policy level. The Project presented the results streaming for strong and demand-driven cooperation with the National Assembly such as portal for monitoring public finance, cross-party caucuses and mobile committee sessions.

Furthermore, the Project with the NARS delegation was also invited to the Open Parliaments and Realizing the SDGs – a side event at Open Parliaments Conference that took place in Kiev, Ukraine on 18 May 2017. This event was a prelude to Open Government Partnership Legislative Openness Working Group conference, hosted by the Ukrainian Parliament, where cross-party caucuses, portal and other Project-fostered results were presented at two panels on the CSOs and Parliament (Green Seat). The conference tackled how open government and open parliament initiatives can build public trust and confidence in the legislature. The Project results were commended by the Open Government Partnership Steering Committee. Furthermore, many other countries were interested in learning from the Serbian experience and results, such as Ukraine, Nepal, Moldova, Haiti etc. This has secured invaluable global promotion of the Project results and thereby the NARS that will be encouraged to even further its work on this platform.

Globally, the Project results, i.e. the Portal for monitoring public spending was featured as an example of good practice for SDGs implementation in the publication entitled Parliament’s Role in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals: A Parliamentary Handbook.

The latest issue of the Parliamentary magazine Kvorum features news articles about the inclusion of SDGs in the action plan of the national chapter of GOPAC in Serbia, as well as the above mentioned conferences (OGP/SDGs). The publishing of this magazine was supported by Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and UNDP, within the project Strengthening the Oversight Role and Transparency of the Parliament – 2nd Phase.

For more information about this project, please contact Stevan Vujasinović by phone on +381 (0)11 4155 310 or by e-mail at communications.rs@undp.org