BSPC Vice-President Jorodd Asphjell from Norway points out the crucial importance of further measures to reach the 2030 United Nations sustainable development goals as soon as possible before 2030.
The European Conference of Presidents of Parliaments brought together Speakers and Presidents of the parliaments of the 47 member states of the Council of Europe; of parliaments enjoying observer and partner for democracy status with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and of international parliamentary assemblies. The parliaments of central Asian and Maghreb countries were also represented.
On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Council of Europe, the conference initially dealt with the topic of “Our Common European Home: The Next 70 Years”.
The 2nd thematic area dealt with “Implementing the UN 2030 Agenda and Its Sustainable Development Goals: Contribution by Parliaments”.
The conference concluded by discussing the topic: Women in politics and in the public discourse. What role can national parliaments play in combating the increasing level of harassment and hate speech towards female politicians and parliamentarians?
As the first speaker in the debate concerning the second theme, namely contributions by parliaments to the implementation of the 2030 goals of the United Nations, Jorodd Asphjell – referring to the intensive discussion of Agenda 2030 development goals during the last two Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conferences – stressed the urgent need for further far-reaching measures to which the BSPC had called and urged governments and pointed out the decisive role of parliaments in this regard.
In detail, he stated:
- The 2030 Agenda of the United Nations is of concern to all of us.
- The sustainable development goals have become central topics at the national level in many countries.
- Reaching them means securing our future for generations to come.
- That is why we, as parliaments and representatives of the people, must keep focusing on these issues – both individually and in our parliamentary organisations.
- Regarding SDG 13 on Climate action, we must urge our governments to act; to do more and to do it quickly.
- The future of our children and grandchildren is at stake. And we have all seen how the young generations are losing patience.
- As parliamentarians, we have a responsibility to listen and to contribute to achieving the SDGs by 2030.
- Many countries have taken far-reaching measures over a long time to meet the objectives.
- Parliamentary cooperation could play a decisive role here.
- By cooperating, we will achieve a far greater impact and we will have a far better chance of success.
- We as parliamentarians are responsible for the future development in our countries.
- The Agenda 2030 was a main topic for the Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference both in 2018 and this year. A special focus has been placed on removing plastic waste and restoring the oceans.
- In August, the Norwegian parliament hosted the annual BSPC meeting in Oslo.
- The City of Oslo has made a considerable effort to become more environmentally friendly over the past years.
- It has conserved its natural areas, cleaned up the Oslo Fjord and restored the city’s waterways.
- This was one of the reasons why Oslo proudly won the European Green Capital Award for 2019.
- The environmental aspects of the Baltic Sea are a hot topic in the BSPC. Industrial waste and fertilizer from farming have further increased pollution in the sea.
- In our resolutions, we urge our governments to take action and achieve the objectives of the Agenda 2030 as soon as possible. Appropriate strategies and measures must be pursued.
- On the executive side, the Council of the Baltic Sea States is making progress in this direction.
- We are also promoting, supporting and involving initiatives among young people to achieve the SDGs. An example are the activities implemented by the international network under the name Regeneration 2030.
- The BSPC has also taken new steps in interparliamentary cooperation when discussing the health of our seas with our colleagues from the Black Sea region.
- Together we can move forward through mutual cooperation and the exchange of best practice.
- We believe that parliamentary cooperation plays a key role in achieving the SDGs.
- Therefore, let’s continue to work together on this in the future. Only then will the next generation pay tribute to what we have done.
Let’s get to work,
Let’s get involved,
Let us develop ideas and visions
to help both the people who elected us
and future generations
to live in a peaceful and sustainable world.
Meetings in the margins of the conference
The BSPC Vice-President also met the President of the Council of Europe, Presidents, Vice-Presidents and Secretaries Generals of several national parliaments and of interparliamentary organisations.